Thursday, July 2, 2015

Greece: What Syriza needs now is solidarity.

Roger Silverman in London *

What SYRIZA needs right now is solidarity, not learned criticisms from the sidelines. Denunciation is easy; you have to be able to win people to your ideas, and you don’t do that with scattergun accusations of treachery and betrayal.

This is a government which has shown the courage to publicly expose the IMF and the EU as criminals, blackmailers and bullies. It has defied the bankers, defaulted on its debt to the IMF, and appealed to the people to reject their insulting demands. While forced to negotiate with them, it has done so in full public view, reporting back to the people step by step. What a contrast to the cowards and traitors at the head of the old European socialist parties and their soulmates in PASOK.

There are grave dangers at this juncture. In an atmosphere of widespread fear of the consequences of defying the troika, there is a risk that SYRIZA’s well-intentioned but misplaced attempts to reassure wavering voters that a fair settlement can still be reached could cause confusion and weaken popular support for a NO vote in Sunday’s referendum. A majority for YES or an indecisive result could place in jeopardy the hopes of worker activists throughout Europe for a decisive defeat for the bankers, and set back the continental-wide struggle against austerity for years.

What is urgently needed now is a decisive strategic plan to mobilise the people and build a new Greece: to seize control of the economy out of the hands of the oligarchy, nationalise the banks and major enterprises, impose capital controls, occupy the larger workplaces, and appeal to the working class throughout Europe to follow their example. This could transform Europe.

Roger Silverman is a member of the Workers' International Network  and author or co-author of  some of the WIN documents at the top of this blog.

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