Paul Steinhart’s support for Italexit demo

The economic and social desasters of the neoliberal EUROpean regime has stirred popular revolts all over Europe. Brexit and the yellow/green coalition government in Italy were definitely the most promising events signalling the beginning of the end of the neoliberal hold on of democracy in Europe.
This is still true today even though it has to be acknowledged that the recent events in both countries have to be interpreted as defeats in the strugggle for democratic self determination.   
Particularily dissappointing is the fact, that it were two forces, that we on the political left had reason to consider as our allies, who turned out to prefer to fight for the EUROcracy.
That there is still a Left, that is on the side of the People, shows your demonstration today. I therefore wholeheartedly wish you all the best for the event and very much regret of not being able to support you in Person today in Rome.    Weiterlesen

Declaration of the 4th Forum of the European Coordination to Exit the Euro, the EU and NATO

March 4, 2017

The 4th Forum of the European Coordination to Exit the Euro, the EU and NATO, held in Paris on March 4, 2017, was a success. However, it should be noted that though speakers had been invited to defend the A and B Plan strategies, none of them came to debate the matter – something we regret strongly.

The forum happened while the « European construction » is about to celebrate the 60 years of existence of the Rome Treaty on March 25, 2017, after the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty. A sad statement for the peoples that suffer from them.

All the speakers highlighted the disastrous consequences deriving from the euroliberal policies inflicted to the citizenry. They shed light on the impossible reform of the system, which has been designed and organized to reduce and then suppress national and people’s sovereignty.

 

For a unilateral exit strategy out of the EU and the euro

The citizenry understood that the real problem is the European Union. Yet, some still proclaim « an A plan and a B plan » again and again – such plans that have been implemented in Greece and have proved to be complete failures, as shown by the destitution in which the Greek people is now. These great supporters of Syriza suggest the same solution that Mr Tsipras has carried out : « negociate again and again ».

Their A plan : to discuss with the EU to change the ECB status. Yet, in order to change that key point, the unanimous agreement of the 28 Member-States is required. It is obvious then that all the EU Member-States governments are hostile to this idea and most likely for still a very long time.

As for the B plan, which plans a grouped, negociated exit, this is only a new smokescreen engineered to slow down the exit process – tergiversations that protect policies favorable to financial interests.

The EU has been designed and built to suppress national sovereignty and maintain policies favorable to the dominating classes. It is a locked system which cannot be modified from the inside. The only way to a solution is the unilateral way out to build a Europe of nations.

The European Coordination to Exit the Euro, the EU and NATO takes the following initiatives :

– Supporting and calling to demonstrate on March 25 in Rome during the march set up by a network of organizations and personalities against the celebration of the 1957 Rome Treaty by the 28 EU Member-States heads of government. For the European Coordination to Exit the Euro, the EU and NATO, March 25 must be a day to march and fight against this « European construction » and to exit the euro, the EU and NATO, and to restore national and people’s sovereignty.

– Supporting and calling to demonstrate on March 25 – Greek National Day – in the morning at the Greek embassies of European capital cities, requiring the restoration of human rights in Greece.

– Organizing the 5th International Forum of the European Coordination to Exit the Euro, the EU and NATO, in Barcelona (Spain) during Fall 2017, opened to the public and the press.

– Calling to reinforce the Coordination and to create an international front to implement common and coordinated initiatives.

– Promoting the largest unity possible in all the countries to defend the social and economic rights of the working and middle classes, and to fight against the adjustments and budget cuts required by the Troika.

What comes after SYRIZA?

speech by Dimitris Mitropoulos, member of the leading body of Polular Unity at the Second Assembly of the CLN (Confederation for National Liberation), 1-3 September 2017, Chianciano Terme

The first question we need to address is which the elements that compose the current image and describe the developments in Greece are.

First, for many decades Greece will be the EU‘s contemporary colony of debt.

The recent deal between the Greek government and the Troika has not made any decision on the Greek debt, while at the same time it anticipates a yearly surplus rate between 2,5 and 3,5% until 2060, in order to save the necessary resources for the repayment of a debt that has mainly been created by the banks themselves and has been magnified for the sake of their survival.

This means an endless austerity, though lower than the one that we have experienced during the last 7 years. But in any case is an austerity built on the ruins of an economy that has lost 25% of its GDP.

The main victim of austerity is the welfare state: the schools, the hospitals and the security forces. This lack of personnel and infrastructure was also proven in the latest summer’s forest fires. 3 airplanes tried to put out more than 80 fires all over Greece. Many others could not fly because the state would not invest money on their technical maintenance.

It’s clear that as a result of the ongoing austerity, Greece gradually tends to become a failed state.

Moreover, a contemporary colony of debt means at the same time a reduced national and popular sovereignty.

Greece will be under an ongoing supervision for almost 40 years, a supervision that is going to be harder than the one provisioned by the Stability pact for the rest of the eurozone’s country members. The reason is because the fiscal requirements will be stricter for the sake of the surpluses and that the Greek debt is unsustainable.

The markets will punish the slightest derogation from the repayment of the debt with increased interest rates. The danger of a new blockage from the markets and new memoranda will function as a permanent and almost automatic mechanism of supervision and discipline.

Nevertheless, Tsipras will have the opportunity to present a new success story, equal to the one that Samaras had presented in 2015: a slight development for the first time after 8 years of recession, accompanied by an agreement for the repayment of the debt after the German elections, especially for the years 2021- 2024, when the expiring bonds will exceed the capabilities of the economy, even if we had a yearly surplus of 5-6%.

In this way, Tsipras will try to preserve himself during the next elections, after one- one and a half years. But the key point here is that the government has in fact prolonged the imposition of this neo-colonial regime until 2060.

Second, a basic characteristic of the contemporary Greek reality is a peculiar social-national depression after the defeat of the anti-memorandum movement in 2015.

The expanding poverty, the dead ends that many families face as a result of the high levels of unemployment or the increased taxation meet the general lack of a future positive perspective.

The Greek people feel frustrated with the EU but do not believe that there is a solution. Several polls have shown a positive attitude towards a political proposal that would take the country outside the Eurozone. But they don’t believe that there is a force that could reliably lead the country without throwing it into chaos.

The annexation of Tsipras in 2015 has not only brought a new Memorandum of austerity. Its main consequence has been the defeat of the spirit of a small people that had the courage to say “No” to the markets and to the anti-democratic monster of the EU.

It made the people believe that there is no way out and no solution away from the embarrassing supervision and the permanent austerity. In this way everyone tries individually to get accustomed to such a living.

Furthermore, it has caused the humiliation of the left. Twenty five years after the fall of USSR, during the years of 2010-2015, the case of Greece was the opportunity of the European left to regain its lost reliability, to fight imperialism and retrieve the national dignity and the popular sovereignty against the projects of imperialistic integrations like the EU but in favor of the peoples.

This is Tsipra’s biggest crime, not the neoliberal policies he has implemented. In 2015 the Greek people were in revolt, ready to give fights and collide. Today, the same people are embarrassed and disappointed.

The third element is a political system between ridiculousness and decadency. SYRIZA and New democracy address each other as if they were in the ring, only to create a fake polarization on unimportant issues such us the place where each political leader has spent his holidays, or if the high school students should pray before the start of the lessons or not.

At the same time, they almost completely agree on privatizations, destabilization of labor rights, pension system cuts, external, pro-NATO and pro- Israel relations of the country. The Right wing never gives up the opportunity to accelerate the neoliberal counter-revolution to the limits, given that it has such an opponent as SYRIZA. It deploys an anti-communist rhetoric and adopts extreme positions, such us supporting for example the privatization of forests or the abolition of all the antineoliberal restrictions for the companies that want to invest in Greece.

As a result of all these we are talking about a political system that alienates the people and especially the youth from politics. That’s because all these fights in the parliament and in the media has nothing to do with solutions to the severe problems such us the unemployment, the unbearable taxation, the low wages, the destruction of the healthcare system, the existence of a parliament that simply votes for what the creditors request.

Given the above, which are the duties of the left and the resisting forces?

We are in a different era, we face the end of an era. During the previous years, from 2010 to 2015, the fight against the Memoranda has been the one uniting the people and amplifying the antitheses with the EU and the oligarchy.

Today this is not the fact anymore and the reality is the one described above. We need new initiatives and a great effort to reconstruct the Greek popular movement.

First, we need a new process of unity among the anti-neoliberal space, the left and the wider democratic space that will agree that anti-neoliberalism without a plan for an exit from the EU and the Eurozone, without the reclamation of the national and popular sovereignty cannot exist. As LAE (Popular Unity) we are willing to take such initiatives, together with other political forces.

Second, we need a plan of social mobilization. No political development is ever possible without the resistance movements. Within 2017 the government has already proceeded to the selling of the port of Thessaloniki. Other privatizations are going on. The auction of popular houses by the banks is also about to happen. Companies and manufactures are also being sold to multinational companies. The privatizations fund held by Troika will supervise the Greek property for 99 years! The whole country is being sold. So this is the basic axis for the resistance movement.

Third, we need a direct popular program of claim and change. The three basic elements of our program (cessation of debt payments, exit from the Eurozone, nationalization of the banks) always remain our lap but the people does not pose today the question of the exit so they are not enough.

We need an immediate program of popular claims regarding the wages, the pensions, the labor rights, a program of invigoration for the welfare state, a program to regain our national and popular sovereignty from Brussels and Berlin.

Fourth, all the above will be useless if we forget that the basic problem of the left after 2015 is its lack of reliability. The Greek people today puts its trust into no one, are suspicious with all political forces after being deceived by SYRIZA. They believe that the left is verbalistic but in practice they acts exactly the same as the neoliberals.

Consequently, unity around a specific program is not enough. Without a program we are heading to opportunism and without unity we cannot be effective and we should always keep these two in mind. But at the same time we have to understand that the main problem for the Greek left is the lack of our reliability, and this is not something that we can easily reclaim from disappointed people.

The Communist Party does not bother to deal with these issues. It feels satisfied having a percentage around 5-6%, mostly due to its history. In reality, it abstains from the political struggle. It rejects any cooperation, it poses the agreement on socialism as a precondition, it underestimated the struggle for national independence.

The majority of Antarsya, has already made it clear that there is no space for political cooperation. Two years ago their excuse was that we as LAE are not clearly against the EU. After our national assembly, when we made our pro-EU-exit position clear, the excuse was that we do not fight against capitalism.

The reality of the Greek left makes our job more difficult and increases the unreliable image of the left. But the problem is not only unity. This is actually only one aspect of it. The other is the way we make politics. Let us see how Podemos, La France Insoumise or Grillo, beside our differences, have covered the political space and managed to create a political dynamic. There was a potential, but it has not been covered by the forces of the revolutionary left. Why is this?

Allow me to make three observations that we consider at the same time as crucial for Greece, in our attempt to answer the question, what comes after SYRIZA.

First, there is no political force that can intervene politically from a left-progressive side without posing the central issue of the EU. That means posing the deterioration of the national and the popular sovereignty. The European left pretends to be deaf when it comes to this.

Today, we desperately need an alliance against the EU, accompanied by a plan for the reclamation of our national currency.

Second, it is not only the workers that are affected by the process of the neoliberal globalization and the EU. Let us see what has happened to the EU itself within the crisis.

The employees have lost, the middle strata have lost, but at the same time whole countries have been degraded by German capital and the markets. There is space left to build a wide alliance among the “losers of the globalization”.

We do not talking about a left or an anticapitalist alliance with a direct target towards socialism but for an alliance of democratic forces focusing on the fight against the contemporary imperialism and having at their core the issue of sovereignty in the framework of the nation-state, which has been lost into uncontrollable centers and international organizations.

This is even more important for the states of the south. The relationship between the solution of the problem of gaining sovereignty and the fight against capitalism is obvious. Let us just see the cases of Greece or even Venezuela.

Third, the old-fashioned political discourse and habits are not functional today. New faces, a reliable leadership, new figures and an easier language are necessary in order to make contact with the so-called losers of the globalization. If the left keeps moving as usual, there will be other forces that will cover the political space.

This is the discussion that should open in Greece today, in order to start creating a new liberating political subject, not just a recycling of the old leadership and personalities of the past SYRIZA.

The historical analogies are not always successful. But since this year we celebrate the 100 years of the October revolution, let us remember that the defeat of 1905 was followed a long period of disappointment and retreat of the popular movement.

We can wait for 12 years. But it is even better if we start working from now on to organize the political subject of our needs, to liberate our country, a country-colony of debt. As Popular Unity, we are going to work on this purpose.

A clear break with the Euro regime is required

For a wide alliance of democratic, social and popular forces to be prepare for the clash with the EU

by Wilhelm Langthaler

 

By means of the Euro regime the capitalist oligarchies of the European Union are inflicting the worst social disaster on the popular classes. The waves of attacks are carried out in an uneven way affecting first of all the peripheries which in some places are suffering more than during the great depression of the 1930ies. Enforcing mass impoverishment has been requiring a substantial curb on democratic rights and especially the dismantlement of national sovereignty by the Brussels supra-national bureaucracy.

Popular resentment, unease and also resistance is, however, rapidly growing. The subaltern strata eventually start to search for means to end the relentless attacks by the elites. They turn against globalisation. In order to restore social justice and democratic participation the popular masses envisage the return to national sovereignty. The Brexit vote was a heavy popular blow against the ruling elites both the British ones as well as those of the EU. New such acts of disobedience, rebellion and explosion are in preparation and can happen soon in a range of countries. The next litmus test is the constitutional referendum in Italy which could lead to the collapse of the Renzi regime which has been serving as the last defence line of the Europeist elites.

 

A look on Euromania to understand the disenchantment

The common currency was promoted as the crowning of European unification, depicting its core, the common market with is supra-national institutions, as a civilizational progress. That was based on two indeed historic promises which the workers’ movement ultimately had failed to delivery on: On one hand there is the pledge to social convergence of the continent which historically had been ragged by an abyss between rich and powerful centres and poor and subordinated peripheries. On the other hand there was the projection of a democratic framework which would provide for the overcoming of the inherited conflicts between the nations and allow for lasting peace. Obviously those two aspects go hand in hand influencing each other.

Those were the heydays of globalisation. Clinton promised that unchained capitalism would bring civilization to its highest point eventually ending there. This narrative tended to be bought by the global middle classes, the “Golden Billion”, well into the years 2000. The credit bubble enabled them to embark on a consumerist spree while celebrating that not work but mere financial speculation would secure their wealth.

That poverty has been steadily growing and an army of working poor reappearing, went unnoticed or encountered no interest by the middle classes which provided the pillars which casino capitalism was resting on. Neither did the NATO war on Yugoslavia disturb their perceptions. It appeared as a global policing operation driving out the bad spirits of the past and not as the inauguration of the renewed subordination under the western centres.

Massive and on the long run unsustainable imbalances had been building up, however, already at that time. There was the substantial current account surplus generated by the German centre which went inverse to offsetting capital flows to the periphery. The Schröder government further depressed wages development way below productivity growth – a systematic anti-popular policy no other country could match. But liberalist indicators have been blind to such signs of imminent crisis as market decisions are deemed always right and wise. On the contrary they have been turning it into a virtue every country has been bullied to emulate until today.

Change in the public perception by the middle classes came about only years into the global economic crisis which started in 2007/8. The credit bubble collapsed, banks were pushed on the brink of default being bailed out by the states, which on its turn triggered the sovereign debt crisis. The emergency credit programmes imposed on the periphery provided not only for extreme austerity, wage depression and eternal recession but also led to the loss of the last traces of national sovereignty by the debtor countries.

 

Hybrid imperial character of the Euro/EU regime

When creating the Euro the capitalist elites were unified in setting up a supra-national institutional framework armoured in front of the popular masses able to impose the neo-liberal agenda. But that did not mean that national interests ceased to exist. Actually it was a complicated compromise between the two leading countries France and Germany. Paris by means of the common currency intended to end the terror which had been exerted by the Bundesbank and to allow some economic co-ordination. Conversely, Bonn/Berlin maintained a sceptical view on the common currency for they feared to be forced to give in to demands of their partners. They eventually accepted the Euro in return to German re-unification and the modelling of the ECB along their extremist ordo-liberal conceptions. Finally German export business got the much wanted brake on currency revaluation which their ideologues and state bureaucrats did not want to grant them. It was this institutionally fixed undervaluation which allowed their ensuing exceptional expansion.

But this compromise included the break-up of the link between currency and treasury – an unprecedented situation where the issuer of money is not empowered to defend it as lender and spender of last resort. Germany refused any “transfer union” and made the “no bailout clause” a precondition.

Deprived of any protection including depreciation and use of their own currency the industries of the peripheral countries got heavily degraded. Austerity common from the mid 80ies did not suffice any more to keep the German pace of driving down the wage/productivity ratio. Given the construction principles of the currency union the default of the periphery became imminent. Without bailouts and bond market intervention by the ECB the Euro would have collapsed years ago.

As the main creditor state Germany thus acquired an extraordinary role calling the shots behind the supra-national bureaucracy. The lacking debt mutualisation, required by any common currency, serves as a powerful stick in the hands of the German elites blackmailing the rest of the EU onto their ultra-liberal line more and more running also against the interests of the respective national elites.

This imperialist turn, however, is of very limited reach and can backfire very soon. To refuse paying the imperialist costs in the long run is a weakness not a strength. The extraordinarily powerful lever of conditioned emergency credits can be easily turned into a lever to split the entire imperial edifice – a simple mechanism of reverse momentum. Suffice that a member country refuses to accept the conditions, is ready to default on its debt and is prepared to issue its own currency – exactly what the Tsipras government did not dare to endeavour.

That shows not only how unprepared Germany is for its newly acquired role but also how vulnerable the imperial edifice of the Euro regime is given the increasing contradictions it continues to generate.

The loss of hegemony of the EU elites across the continent is far reaching. Not only the poor strata but also increasing sections of the middle classes do no more believe in the narrative of social convergence. But the social component is only the basis on which the political crisis thrives. It is the imperial character as well as the German dominance within it that renders things so explosive. The promise of continental participation, democracy and peace crumbled. Not only the Euro but also the entire EU narrative is no more credible for the subaltern classes. The Brexit class vote there is indicative.

The centrifugal forces have grown too strong to be suppressed by the supra-national centre all the more as it is increasingly split along national interests. The collapse of the Euro regime is inevitable and only a matter of time. That will impact heavily on the EU edifice as well though there might be some possibilities of saving some elements.

Which way out this historic conflagration is being floated by the different tendencies within the elites as well as among the forces referring to the popular masses?

 

Social Europe

From the very start of the common market there has been the idea to push the supra-national authorities towards Keynesian measures. There are different shades and grades of this concept as well as various authors ranging from sections of the elites (like Delors) to the unions passing by the historic left which has not stopped to call for a “Social Europe” until today.  Especially in its onset hope had been set on the common currency. First of all, the French state believed to become empowered to balance unchained German ordo-liberalism.

All this is based on an incomprehension of reasons and pre-conditions of the supra-national unification as well as on the prevailing relationship of forces. The common market and its supra-national institutions result in an explicit anti-Keynesian neo-liberal compact which became possible only after the defeat and U-turn of the Mitterrand government in France. Though the Euro started out with a compromise, it still had to accept the German ordo-liberal frame all along the ensuing treaties.

If the weaker states have not been able to withstand the pressure of the neo-liberal centre led by Germany (their elites even had joint voluntarily to be stronger against their own popular classes), how then it is reasonably conceivable that within the supra-national institutions Keynesianism would eventually prevail? It was the other way around: In order to enforce neo-liberalism, the social and democratic gains crystallized on the national level needed to be dismantled by pushing back the states’ distributional intervention by shifting sovereignty to the centre. The Brussels bureaucracy is nothing else than the European form of globalisation.

The best and practical proof for this is the Greek disaster. Syriza tried to extract at least some face-saving concessions but not even that worked. They set all their hopes on the interests of the other states to soften austerity. But the German stick threatened them all eventually leaving Greece alone.

There is the point that stronger economies would wield a more powerful lever like Spain, Italy and ultimately France. It is also true that in the final moment Berlin always has been cutting a deal in order to avert the collapse of the entire edifice. But the concessions, on the other hand, have always been minor and did not alter the overall framework let alone the dominant role of Germany.

 

Schäuble’s scenarios Weiterlesen

Spain: 140 personalities against blackmail by Euro and Eu commission

For the defence of the people’s dignity, we must refuse the threats, political blackmail and intervention from the “Eurogroup and European Commission”

Before the servitude of the Spanish government and the political agents who negotiate and prepare new budget and public expenditure restraints for the accomplishment of the 2017 deficit objectives dictated by the Eurogroup and European Commission, the undersigned address to the citizenship, and political, social and civic organisations, for:

1.- To defence the sovereignty and dignity of citizens and peoples of the Spanish State before the brutal pressure exercised by the European Commission which threats with the suppression of the structural funds regularly envied to the Spanish State. This restriction could mean a loss of more than 1 milliard euros if the Spanish government can’t accomplish the objective of 15 milliards euros’ cutback in order to obtain a public deficit of 3,1% in 2017 (2,2% in 2018). The Spanish government must show the accomplishment of this cutback in Brussels before the 15th October.

2.- To refuse the arbitrariness and unequal treat of the EU institutions in their relations with the different state members. Is intolerable the omission of application in the past the sanctions for non-fulfilment of Maastricht criteria and the “Stability Pact” about public deficit in the case of states like Germany and France, whereas states like Greece were punished with measures that cause a great social suffering, the bankruptcy of the State and the obstruction of an effective exit from economic crisis. We firmly oppose against the application of new measures of punishment at Spain and Portugal, as at the rest of the EU members.

3.- To rebel against the unsuccessful austerity and pro-cycle politics which are imposed by the EU institutions, in spite of the social disaster, the grow of injustice and inequality  brought on by this politics. Besides this politics have produced a political crisis with the growing delegitimisation of the parliaments and governments of the States members, and a growing euro-scepticism towards the EU project.

When those who hold the real power  in EU don’t want to attend the citizens’ protest and indignation, undervalue the consequences of Brexit, remain insensible before the critics about their neoliberals economic politics expressed by economists of international prestige, even the opinions of institutions like IMF, the peoples of states members of the EU must say stop it! and following the example of United Kingdom break the chains which condemn us to a future without hope.

As a consequence, we call at the citizenship, the workers, the social and political organizations of all the peoples in the Spanish State to fight against the offensive, irrational and unfair “diktat” of Eurogroup and European Commission, to mobilize in order to press the provisional government for the no application the budget and public expenditure restraints derived from those impositions, to interpellate the parliamentary members to prevent with their participation the legitimisation of agreements which betray the interest and  sovereignty of the peoples of Spanish State.

Is time to say Stop! To the injustice, the arbitrariness y treason to the popular sovereignty.

We must uphold our dignity breaking the treaties which enslave us, abolishing the article 135 of Spanish Constitution, and recovering the popular sovereignty.

October 2016

Julio Anguita González

Juan Andrade, profesor Universidad Extremadura

Alejandro Andreassi Cieri, profesor UAB (jubilado)

Jorge Amar Benet, economista. Presidente de APEEP (Asociación por el Pleno Empleo y la Estabilidad de Precios)

Antonio Amaro Granado, jubilado del sindicato de sanidad de CCOO, miembro de la comisión ejecutiva de CCOO-A

Mariano Aragon Pascual, ACIM

Vidal Aragonés Chicharro, abogado del Col·lectiu Ronda y Profesor Derecho del Trabajo de la UAB

Antonio Arnau, activista social

Maria Antònia Arnau Puigvert, jubilada, Assemblea Pensionistes de Gràcia

María José Aubet Semmler, socióloga, activista contra todos los tratados de la UE desde el de Maastricht

Antonio (Toni) Barbará Molina, médico y activista Marea Blanca

Josep Bel Gallart, sindicalista

Javier Bernad Aguilar, activista de EUiA y de CO.BAS

Nuria Blanco de Andres, jubilada

Luis Blanco Maldonado, portavoz de la Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (IAC)

Ramon Boixadera Bosch, economista

Jaume Botey Vallès, profesor historia UAB

Josep Manel Busqueta, Economista, miembro del Seminario de economía Critica „Taifa“ y pastelero

Jose Cabrero Palomares, ex-diputado en el parlamento andaluz y ex-senador de IU

Miguel Candel Sanmartin, profesor emérito de la Universidad de Barcelona

Manuel Cañada, miembro de los Campamentos Dignidad

Rosa Cañadell Pascual, profesora jubilada. Articulista. Comisión Promotora #ilpeducacio

Juan-Ramón Capella Hernández, catedrático emérito de Filosofía del derecho, moral y política.

Marta Carrera Plans, medica jubilada

María Teresa Cebrián Luque, secretaria médica, miembro de la Mesa de Catalunya y de la Mesa Estatal del FCSM

José Luis Centella Gomez, secretario General del Partido Comunista de España

Luis Cerrillo Escudero, activista social

Dolores Codina Camats, docente

Manuel Colomer Lluch, economista

José Alberte Corral Iglesias, economista

Jorge Cortegana López, sindicalista SEAT

Angel Crespo Sanchez, activista social

Sergi Cutillas, economista co-fundador de la cooperativa Ekona, miembro de la Plataforma para la Auditoria Ciudadana de la Deuda

Xesus Diaz Diaz, jubilado, secretario general de CCOO de Galicia (1989-2000)

Isabel de la Cruz, profesora Universidad de Valencia

Eva Mª Durán Blanco, periodista

Íñigo Echenique González, profesor IES José Luis Sampedro (Tres Cantos)

Albert Escofet Sanchez, miembro de Xsuc-Socialisme21

Neus Escofet Sanchez, activista social

Jone Etxeberria, miembro del Consejo Nacional de Sortu

Ginés Fernández González, director de Mundo Obrero

David Fernandez Ramos, periodista y activista social

Santiago Fernández Vecilla, activista de movimientos sociales (PAH, FCSM)

José Ignacio Fiz Fernández. Profesor de la Universidad Rovira i Virgili

Ramon Font Nuñez, portavoz nacional USTEC·STEs (IAC)

Ramón Franquesa Artés, profesor de economía mundial Universidad de Barcelona

José L. Galán Corrochano, realizador audiovisual

Ferran Gallego, historiador

Francisco García Navarro, metalúrgico

Ermengol Gassiot Ballbè, profesor de la UAB

Maria Pilar Genovès Cailà

Iñaki Gil de San Vicente, escritor, militante de la izquierda vasca

Antonio Gil Mainar, activista Marea pensionista

Ernesto Gómez de la Hera, sindicalista

Daniel Gómez de Cullá, jubilado de Administración Local

Manuel Gomez Muñoz, miembro del Comité de empresa y de la Sección Sindical de CCOO en DAMM

Andrés Gomez Pardeiro, proletario y sindicalista

Luis González Edreira, jubilado

José Antonio González Espada, abogado laboralista

Alberto Herbera López, metalúrgico, activista social

Juan Diego Hernández Valero, abogado

Héctor Illueca Ballester, inspector de Trabajo y Seguridad Social, profesor de la Universidad de Valencia

Pedro Jiménez Muñoz, activista de las Mareas del Prat de Llobregat

Pere Jódar Martínez, sociólogo

Salvador Jové i Peres, ex-eurodiputado por IU

Salvador López Arnal, profesor-tutor de la UNED, colaborador de rebelión, Papeles ecosociales y El Viejo Topo;

Pedro López López, profesor Universidad Complutense

Antoni Lucchetti Farré, abogado y economista

Pau Llonch, militante de la CUP y de la PAH de Sabadell

Josefina Llusa, activista

 

Angeles Maestro, militante de Red Roja

Juanmari Madariaga López de Sá, traductor

Patrizia Manzo Apice, restauradora de pintura en paro

Mercedes Martin Arancibia, periodista

José Luis Martin Ramos, historiador

Carlos Martinez García, primer secretario de Alternativa Socialista

Manuel Martínez Llaneza, profesor titular de Universidad Jubilado

Jordi Santiago Martínez, profesor de español, miembro del colectivo Sentit Comú

Albert Medina Català, economista

Stuart Medina Miltimore, Socio/Partner

Joan Mestres Giménez, activista Movimiento Desempleados

Elena Mingo Pérez, ex-funcionaria internacional jubilada

Jordi Mir Garcia, investigador y docente universitario

Luis Miranda Morales, responsable Secretaria Personas Mayores del PCM

Joaquín Miras Albarrán, presidente de Espaimarx, filólogo

Francisco Molina Varona, educador Social, Presidente de FAECTA Córdoba, activista del cooperativismo como alternativa al capitalismo

Isabel Molina, profesora Universidad de Alcalá

Neus Molina Moreno, sindicalista

Ivan Molinos Meire, delegado de CCOO

Juan Carlos Monedero Fernández, profesor de Universidad

Manolo Monereo Perez, diputado de Unidos Podemos

Jordi Juan Monreal, abogado laboralista

Juan Montero Ruiz, pensionista

Pedro Montes Fernández, economista, Presidente Socilaismo21

Antoni Montserrat, economista

Agustín Moreno García, activista Marea verde

Juan Manuel Navarro Reina, conserje escuela pública

Carlos Manuel Navas Ramírez, director del Centro Integrado Público de Formación Profesional
Canastell (San Vicente del Raspeig – Alicante)

Jonas Nilsson, tipógrafo y activista social

Joan Josep Nuet Pujals, diputado de Catalunya si que es pot

Arcadi Oliveres i Boadella, economista, activista por la justicia social y la paz

Ignasi Orobitg Gene, agricultor apicultor

Marta Padrós Castells, profesora de la UAB, secretaria de género de CGT

Giaime Pala, historiador

Gumer Pardo, sindicalista

Josep Maria Parramón Homs, economista

Silvio Peressini Prado, profesor

Marina Pérez Cañadell, profesora y sindicalista de USTEC-STEs (IAC)

Miquel-Dídac Piñero Costa, libertario, pensionista

Andrés Piqueras Infante, profesor Titular de Sociología y Antropología Social de la Universidad Jaume I de Castellón

Guillem Ramis Moneny, maestro de escuela jubilado

Valentín Redondo González, empleado público

Clara Rivas Sugrañes, activista social

Juan Rivera Reyes, profesor de Historia, Coordinador de la Mesa Estatal del Frente Cívico „Somos Mayoría“

Martín Rodrigo y Alharilla, profesor de Historia Contemporánea en la UPF

Lara Rodríguez, abogada

Lluís Rodríguez Algans, economista asesor laboral en Maitzaren Lehena Aholkularitza / Consultoría Primero de Mayo y militante en redes de economía crítica y autogestionaria

Abelard Rodríguez i Llàcer, operario industrial

Manuel Rodríguez Luceño, laboral Consejería Medio Ambiente Junta de Andalucia

Pedro Rojas Planas, profesor de enseñanza secundaria

Antonio Ruiz, miembro de Espai Marx

Jose Ruiz Lopez, sindicalista y activista marea pensionista

Manuel Sánchez Vicioso, vicepresidente de La Carta Malacitana, vocal del Ateneo de Málaga

Maria Cruz Santos Santos, historiadora

Gabriel Sanz Carras, profesor

Teresa Sagrado Vives, técnico de laboratorio, Universidad de Valencia

José Sarrion Andaluz, profesor de Universidad, diputado por IU en las Cortes de Castilla y Leon, coordinador general de IU de Castilla y Leon

Jose Saucedo Pedregal, bombero de la Generalitat

Rosario Segura García, economista

María Lidia Senra Rodríguez, diputada en el Parlamento europeo por AGE

Santiago Silva Camps, profesor de filosofía

Antoni Soy Casals, profesor de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Barcelona

Joan Tafalla Monferrer, miembro de Espai Marx, Doctor en Historia

Diosdado Toledano González, activista de Marea de mareas, miembro de la Asamblea Politica Social de Izquierda Unida y de Socialismo21

Jordi Torrent Bestit, profesor (jubilado)

Salvador Torres Serrano, activista movimiento vecinal Nou Barris-Barcelona

Rodrigo Vázquez de Prada, periodista, director de Crónica Popular

Juan Trias Vejarano, catedrático emérito de la UCM

Núria Vidal de Llobatera Pomar, bióloga jubilada, activista por la justicia social y ambiental

Nando Zamorano, miembro de Espai Marx

 

salirdeleuro.wordpress.com

Address of Lexit network to the No Euro Forum

Dear friends,

We wish you all the best, success and progress for the No Euro International Forum in Chianciano Terme! We think that struggling for social rights and democracy at the time being requires a direct attacking of the neoliberal type of European integration and the single currency regime. In that respect we deem international coordination as a key element of any serious political strategy.

Several people who have joined the Lexit Network are engaged in the coordination and will be in Chinaciano Terme. We´d be happy to show more presence as Lexit Network to allow a wider exchange on political views and strategies. Unfortunately, as a small network with limited capacity, this is not possible for us on September 16th to 18th. We have recognized that our appeal was object of debate in the coordination and are looking towards fruitful exchange in the future.

In solidarity,

Lexit Network

European Forum of Leftist Euro exiteers to take place in Italy mid-September

by Wilhelm Langthaler

From 16-18 September the No Euro International Forum is scheduled to take place in Chianciano Terme, Siena province. It is already the third such meeting organised by a European coalition of different political forces advocating the urgent exit from the single currency while not fearing the break with the single market and the European Union altogether as a consequence.

 

The previous meeting took place in Athens just one week prior to the historic resistance referendum which could have been interpreted as a popular mandate for the break with the Euro oligarchy but instead was turned into submission to the liberalist dictate.

 

The initiative had been launched by an “International Leftist Co-ordination against the Euro” founded in Assisi, Italy, in August 2014 by a core group from the countries suffering most from the Euro straitjacket, namely Italy, Greece, Spain and France. In some place even several factions have been participating spanning different political milieus. Forces or personalities from Germany, Austria, Finland, Portugal, Slovenia and Britain have been joining in gradually.

 

The Greek social revolt, its electoral consequences and its ensuing strangulation became a major turning point and push for the Euro exit project though with twists and turns. Soon after the Greek capitulation the Plan B initiative emerged promising to draw the lessons from the defeat and projecting an alternative to the rule of the Euro oligarchy. But the hopes for a second gradualist try, now in much larger and more powerful Spain, soon brought Plan B to collapse before it actually could take shape. The former Greek finance minister-cum-starlet-cum-clown took a u-turned eventually calling for the further radicalisation of the oligarchy’s centralisation project which he fantastically intends to turn leftist.  The much humbler Italian ex vice minister Fassina declared plan B impossible and for French Front de Gauche leader Mélenchon the entire endeavour was only meant as an electoral game anyway. The only horse remaining true to his promise has been the German ex minister Lafontaine nevertheless being prisoner of a party longing to prepare itself for a red-red-green government in the footsteps of Schröder.

 

Meanwhile the Brexit vote of the popular classes has started to dismantle not only the Euro but hit the heart of the neo-liberal dictatorship – the EU itself. Everybody is now aware that the elite’s plan for a “ever closer union” of the capitalist classes crushing all remaining democratic and social gains under a supra-national para-state will not work out.

 

The moderate turn of Podemos and its near embrace of the “caste” has let to its electoral defeat. In Portugal the social democratic government tolerated by the left is unable to deliver on its promise to at least mitigate the impact of the Brussels/Berlin destructive programme. As soon as it squeaks to disregard the centre’s dictate, the terror of the spread re-emerges. But the epicentre of the Euro crisis eventually has shifted to Italy. Backed by the oligarchy, Renzi wanted to amour the elite by an authoritarian presidentialism to be voted for in a constitutional referendum. With the collapse of the banking system looming at the horizon a defeat of the elite becomes possible. That in turn could bring the anti-Euro forces led by the five stars movement to power with incalculable consequences on both the Euro regime as well as the EU edifice.

 

One of the results of the decay of the Plan B initiative from above is the formation of the Lexit platform from below which eventually drew the necessary consequences. Not only Fassina signed the call but also numerous scientists, intellectuals and activists who had hoped for more results of Plan B. Luis Bernardo from Portugal and co-founder of the Lexit network will even participate at the No Euro Forum as well as Costas Lapavitsas, the pro-break MP from Syriza who later joined Popular Unity (LAE) and also participated in the Plan B discussions.

 

Many other important personalities and forces are scheduled to speak in Chianciano like Tariq Ali from the British leftist Brexit campaign; Inge Höger MP from the left wing of the German LINKE; Julio Anguita, the historic leader of the Spanish Communist party; Manolo Monereo, MP for Podemos Unidos, influential political consultant for Podemos and United Left as well as co-founder of the European Leftist Co-ordination against the Euro; from France Jacques Sapir, anti-Euro writer and Jacques Nikonoff, former president of Attac; Yves Rouille, former leader of the union CGT; Luca Mesec of the Slovenian United Left; Vasilji Volga, Union of Leftist Forces of Ukraine as well as Alexej Albu, Borotba leader from Odessa exiled in Donbass – to name only a few.

 

The broadest range of participants, however, are coming from Greece and Italy, indicating the powerful tidal change against the Euro regime not only among the popular classes but also within the intellectuals and the political milieus including the radical left which for so long defended the false “internationalism” of the elites providing a leftist cover to the ultra-liberalist project.

 

What could emerge from the Italian meeting ahead of the impending devastating crisis of the Euro regime is a large coalition of democratic forces preparing for the break with the ruling EU elite starting with the Euro exit. This is the only way to stop the rightist forces which try to ride the growing discontent of the popular classes and steer it into a reactionary direction.

 

Further information: www.noeurointernationalforum.com

Written for: http://lexit-network.org

Statement of the International anti-EU Forum of left and popular forces

Athens, Oct 18, 2015

 

1.    After the 2013 Cyprus events, when the unanimous “no to the Memorandum” of the Cypriot parliament was turned to a “yes” into a week’s time under ECB’s threat of halting economic support, the violent reversal of the popular „no“ at the referendum of July 5th into a „yes“ by A. Tsipras comes as a confirmation that staying at the E/Z-EU directly counters democracy. The third memorandum signed by Syriza also demonstrates that even modest attempts to challenge austerity policy cannot stand in the E/Z-EU context.

2.    The events on Cyprus and Greece are thus added to the long list of violations of the will of the peoples by Eurozone / EU and various governments. Characteristic instances in this respect are the bypassing of the rejection of the “euroconstitution” that the Treaty of Lisbon reintroduced from the back door, the forced reversing of the Irish referendum with regard to the Lisbon Treaty, the required fiscal adjustment programs with the participation of the IMF at the Baltic countries, the attempt to blackmail the people of Iceland and the mandatory programs in a number of countries to rescue the euro.

3.    The conclusion that all the peoples of Europe have to draw from these is that a struggle against the Eurozone / EU is the key element of the fight against austerity / Memoranda. It is a process paramount for the articulation of any exit plan from the crisis in favor of the popular classes and a key point for altering the existing equilibrium of power in favour of the popular classes. This is the key lesson to be learned from the recent developments in Greece – that resulted in a temporary parliamentary prevalence of the view that „there is no alternative”: ​​if you do not question the Eurozone -EU from the part of the popular movements, you cannot have progressive change

4.    EU and eurozone’s orientation is not negotiable. They are both structured so as to serve the interests of capitalists, bankers and powerful countries, while in the years of the crisis they have created an iron grid of undemocratic tools and procedures that bind member states till the complete abolition of their popular sovereignty and national independence. The supervision institutionalized by these mechanisms, along with the assignment of monetary and exchange rate policy to the ECB, in reality abolishes the governments and neutralizes any potential pressure that working people could exercise with regard to economic policy. Any radical change is thus inextricably linked with the breach, withdrawal and dissolution of these unions and the creation of mutually beneficial and coequal relations between states.

5.    In that context Eurozone constitutes a neoliberal program that not only inflicts severe losses on labour but also boost the surpluses of powerful countries at the expense of others that are forced to absorb these very surpluses in the form of lending thus further deteriorating their account balance. By blocking liquidity, the laws of modern Debtocracy are imposed within Europe from creditor countries to debtor countries. With liquidity being used as a weapon, ecomomies are forced to adapt measures and neoliberal reforms are imposed that on the one hand lead to an intentional reduction of the popular classes’ living standards and on the other aggravate public debt. Using the euro and liquidity as weapons, they impose a crisis exit strategy beneficial for capital. Labor costs decrease for the profitability of capital, self-employed are led to suffocation, small and medium enterprises are sacrificed for the benefit of multinational-big companies. Consequently, any alternative program cannot but have exit from the eurozone and the nationalization of the banking system as its starting point. It’s vital, though, to see the overall picture: The euro is not just a currency with wrong architecture. It is an imperialistic tool aiming to specific ends; it represents a coalition of national capitals that want to remain afloat both in the international level and in their own competition at the expense of the working class and the popular strata. That is why the fight against austerity cannot be consistently enacted neither at a national nor international context if breaking with this mechanism of neoliberal enforcement is not set as a key objective.

 

6.    This debate is finally opening amid the European left based on the lesson tought by SYRIZA’s fatal capitulation. Initiatives such as the one of Mélenchon, Fassina and Lafontaine are very characteristic in this respect. We welcome the discussion. However, the European left for decades fared with illusions about the character of the EU, with disastrous results. It gave space both for social democrats to implement neoliberalism and for the far right to emerge as the only force willing to defend popular sovereignty. We cannot continue like this. We need an alternative plan, able to interact with social movements in each country, to effectively organize the struggle against austerity policies and the structural adjustments, and to confront the euro and the EU. Such an alternative will be the axis of international cooperation and solidarity, in case they try to punish a country opting for an alternative policy orientation via the use of liquidity as in the cases of Cyprus and Greece (e.g Portugal). The Left and the popular forces must claim a new political space after the tragic outcome of SYRIZA’s strategy to denounce austerity. A space of ​​popular sovereignty and social justice in opposition to the domination of monopoly capital and its international associations. These are not possible within the eurozone and the EU.

7.    The EU treaties cannot be revised because they have been created to extend neoliberalism and dehydrate popular sovereignty and democracy. To the voices that insist on contemporary international problems (e.g. the refugee issue) and the need for international cooperation, we must insist on the fact that the EU and the dominant imperialist powers have the main responsibility for the situation in the Middle East as well as the fact that the imperialist EU is different from the indeed necessary international cooperation. Our goal is not the isolation of each country but a new partnership for European -and not only- peoples and countries, into a basis of mutual cooperation.

8.    The wars of the West and the implementation of structural adjustment programs that lead to poverty and cause the collapse of states are behind the millions of refugees and migrants at the gates of Europe. We oppose the policies of ‘Fortress-Europe’ that are responsible for the deaths of thousands of refugees and migrants at the borders of Europe. We support the movements of solidarity to refugees and demand that the right of asylum and safe arrival is respected. We work for a broad anti-war and anti-imperialist movement in Europe, in order to stop the imperialist interventions that make people leave their countries. We struggle against racism and the policies and ideology of the reactionary xenophobic Far-Right.

9.    We must act immediately, united and coordinated. With pan-European campaigns and initiatives, with a pan-European dialogue between social movements, leftist and in practice antineoliberal political forces. For popular sovereignty. For social justice and a crisis exit strategy in favour of labour and not capital. For another way of cooperation between european peoples that goes beyond the undemocratic and unpopular EU. The dissolution of the eurozone is the first step to that end.

10. To set this in motion, we propose to organize in the near future a forum of discussion in order to develop an alternative to the Euro-regime. We want to work together and coordinate our action with all forces and campaigns that want to breach with the ruling elites’ formula ‘There Is No Alternative’.

Platform of Popular Unity / LAE

 

What Does Popular Unity Stand For?

The platform of Popular Unity, the Greek political front that emerged in the wake of Syriza’s capitulation to the eurozone.

Released on September 2 and translated for the first time below, the manifesto of Popular Unity is signed by the fifteen organizations of the radical left that comprise this political front, which seeks a rupture with austerity and the eurozone.

Usually presented as a split from Syriza, Popular Unity actually includes a more variegated blend of forces, from left social democrats and social movement activists to far-left currents. Some of these forces come from Syriza: the two components of the Left Platform (the Left Current, led by Panagiotis Lafazanis, and the Red Network around DEA/Workers Internationalist Left), which constitutes the backbone of the movement.

There’s also the Communist Tendency, which is affiliated with the International Marxist Tendency, and the Movement for the Radical Left, a network constituted by activists essentially working in the antiracist, pro-migrant, and LGBT movements previously part of the now-defunct tendency “53+”.

Other organizations come from Antarsya (The Left Recomposition/ARAN and the Left Anticapitalist Regroupment, the two historically Althusserian groups of the Greek far left) or from groups that have collaborated with Antarsya (Leftwing Intervention, Communist Renewal, and the Plan B, led by former Syriza president Alekos Alavanos).

Still more groups have roots in the KKE tradition (the Communist Group Reconstruction) or from layers of Pasok cadres who left the party either in the 1990s (the DIKKI-Socialist Left, a former component of Syriza) or in the last five years (Young Militant or the Left Socialists, a network of trade-union cadres controlling some important sectors of the labor movement).

Some prominent personalities and networks have also joined Popular Unity on a more independent basis, including Zoe Konstantopoulou, the outgoing president of parliament; Nadia Valavan, the former vice-minister of finance; and the network “the OXI lasts a long time,” which groups activists from a left Eurocommunist background around Eleni Portaliou.

What unites this diverse assemblage of groups, personalities, and tendencies is a commitment to replacing austerity with a progressive program of far-reaching social reform. “The alternative way forward that we are proposing,” Popular Unity insists, “will deprive Greece only of its chains.”

The starting point for the formation of Popular Unity is the Greek people’s resounding “oxi” (“no”) in the July 5 referendum. In the face of the scare tactics of the dominant forces in the European Union (EU) and in Greece, the great majority in society, with dynamic participation from the younger generation, staged an authentic popular revolt.

The basis of Popular Unity lies in the resistance of the Greek people, unprecedented in its persistence and numerical strength, particularly in the first two years of imposition of the memoranda. This struggle expressed generalized resistance to the strategic plan for imposing permanent austerity, the stripping of workers of every right, seizure of property, the dissolution of democracy, and the imposition of a regime of limited sovereignty.

A mere month after the Greek people’s “oxi” in the referendum, the passage of the third memorandum has brought dramatic changes to the political landscape. The leadership group in the government that emerged from the elections of January 25 violated the very social contract that linked it to the popular majority, sowing disillusion and rekindling fear. It switched sides and is now on the side of the neoliberal forces, bombarding working people and the middle strata with new anti-popular measures.

This development enabled the creditors to mount a political coup, violating both the Constitution and popular sovereignty in every sense of the term. The international tutelage becomes ever more stifling, the prime example of humiliation being the creation of the notorious fund for privatizations, which mortgages social wealth for generations to come.

The third memorandum is just the beginning. Already on the agenda is the further dismantling of workplace relations, new reductions for pensions that are already degradingly low, a taxation blitz on farm incomes and the small- and medium-social strata, along with a host of other measures that are to be implemented in the coming months.

It was precisely this, in conjunction with the attempt to avert the formation of an alternate anti-memorandum political front, that impelled the government to call a snap election. It is an attempt to sequester the popular vote before the electorate can be informed of, and experience fully, the consequences of the third memorandum. An attempt which enjoyed full support from the European overseers — Merkel, Juncker, Moscovici, Dijsselbloem — who two months previously connived to thwart the Greek people’s right to democratic self-assertion in the case of the referendum.

No serious person can possibly imagine that these socially catastrophic measures might prove effective even from a narrowly financial viewpoint. Their predestined failure will lead to new packages of anti-popular measures, perpetuating the vicious circle we have seen with previous memorandum governments.

Working people, farmers, the young, professionals, and small business people will be ruined simply for the sake of securing the next tranches of the “bailout,” 99 percent of which will go to the creditors or to the bankers. Nothing will be available for the real economy or for the citizens who find themselves on the brink of economic annihilation.

It is beyond a joke to imagine that this government, which signed the third memorandum and from that time onwards has been extolled by the representatives of the creditors and local oligarchs, will succeed — somehow, someday — to extricate itself from it.

If you take the wrong train, you are never going to reach your destination. A person is not living in the real world if he or she imagines that a government that agreed immediately to take €93 a month away from the poorest of the poor, reducing the minimum pension to the pitiful sum of €393 monthly, would be capable of challenging major vested interests.

For a great front of Oxi for as long as it takes

For all these reasons it is urgently necessary to form Popular Unitya social and political front to overturn the memoranda, predatory austerity, the negation of democracy, and the transformation of Greece into a European colony by means of indebtedness.

What we need is a great popular patriotic front, characterized by credibility, reliability, and selfless­ness. A front that will revive the betrayed hopes, overcome the fears, and provide a prospect of victory for the fifth of July’s great popular and youthful current of Oxi.

Those who seek to malign this effort in advance, characterizing it as an act of desertion that supposed­ly brought down the “first left-wing government,” are simply wasting their time. The real deserters from the Left and its programmatic commitments are those who chose to become this country’s third memorandum government.

Popular Unity is not an electoral flag of convenience, nor is it willing to become just another addition to the bankrupt political party system. It represents a regroupment of political organizations, movements, and independent citizens that seeks to express, inspire, and strengthen the authentic popular movement through initiatives of self-organization.

We want to become the voice of those who at present have no voice, the power of those who lack power. We want to initiate a political and social front that can represent the social alliance of working people, the unemployed, farmers, the self-employed, the urban small and medium business strata, intellectuals, and artists, in a common endeavor to map out a new way forward for Greek society.

In this initiative there will be no room for monolithic logics and pretensions to exclusive truth. A variety of social sensitivities, political traditions ,and ideological preferences will have their place. It is a prerequisite for survival of this front that its functioning be democratic, centered on the activists themselves, their demands, and the answers they submit.

The forces, the activists, the men and women participating in Popular Unity are linked together by a powerful political consensus in favor of an immediate, vitally necessary alternative solution to the tragedy of the memoranda, a solution that will work to the benefit of the popular classes at the expense of big capital, and will free Greece from the deadly overlordship of the imperialist centers.

What unites us is a common quest, via different routes, for a new society, liberated from the bonds of exploitation and every species of oppression, a society of solidarity, justice, and freedom, on the path to socialism of the twenty-first century.

Immediate measures for an exit from social disaster

The basic immediate objective of the new Popular Unity is the creation, by the social movements and mass political action, of the prerequisites for a radical alternative solution to the disaster of the memoranda.

The basic features of the alternative route have already been mapped out by numerous leftist groupings, radical movements, and progressive scholars. The alternative solution we embrace seeks to provide answers to all the key problems of the economy, society, the state, and foreign policy. Naturally it is not confined to monetary policy, as is asserted by the swindlers and slanderers who speak of a “drachma lobby.”

The problem with this alternative proposal is not its supposedly inadequate “technical” elaboration but its inadequate political preparation: namely, the fact that it has not been discussed as much as it should have been among the people and the social organizations — among those, in other words, who will be called upon to put up a tough struggle against colossal vested interests in order to implement it.

We plan to fill this gap immediately, through a great campaign of public dialogue, in opposition to those who are intent on imposing a new “idionymon” (the law banning political dissent from the 1930s), demonizing and even penalizing this “prohibited” discussion.

The immediate emergency measures which must be taken to open up the new way forward are:

  • Abolition of the socially and economically ruinous memoranda and the accompanying colonial loan agreements that mortgage our future.
  • Suspension of debt repayments — whose non-viability has been recognized, from its own viewpoint, even by the International Monetary Fund — with a view to effecting an overall annulment of the debt, or at least the greater part of it. The suspension of payments will be accompanied by political and legal actions, at the international level, utilizing the relevant findings of the Greek Parliament’s Truth Commission on the Greek Debt.
  • Independently of the action at the international level, but in parallel with it, there will be immediate and insistent demands — political, legal, and movement-based — for payment of German debts, that is to say the Greek loan to Germany at the time of the Occupation, and reparations to the victims and the compensation for the destruction from Nazi atrocities.
  • An immediate end to austerity and implementation of a policy of redistribution of social wealth to the benefit of working people and at the expense of the oligarchs. Particular attention must be paid to the social strata worst hit by the crisis, with income support and a step-by-step increase in the minimum wage and the minimum levels for pensions and unemployment benefits, along with the securing of medical and pharmaceutical cover and basic provisioning (power, water, heating) for all.
  • More generally, support for wages and pensions, and social expenditures for free public education, popular health care, and culture. Gradual wage increases will be encouraged, in step with the rate of growth. Punitive taxation and other memorandum-based measures against farmers and the self-employed will be rescinded. The Uniform Property Tax will be abolished, and a tax system will be introduced affecting only very large-scale fixed property.
  • Nationalization of the banks and their operation under a regime of social control, with watertight guarantees for the savings of ordinary people. The new nationalized banking system, freed from the patronage of the European Central Bank (ECB), will underwrite the vitally necessary cancellation of debt for households exhausted by the crisis and the equally necessary liquidity for small and medium businesses threatened with closure. To this end, the Agrotiki Trapeza (Bank of Agriculture) and TachydromikoTamieftirio (Post Office Savings Bank) will start operating again, with investigation of the scandals surrounding their sale. Nationalization of the banks will make possible an immediate in-depth inquiry into the dodgy loans dispensed to monopoly groups, not to mention tax evasion though various lists of tax evades such as the “Lagarde-list.”
  • Weiterlesen

    „TREASON“

    „Treason“ is not a category of modern politics. It is a word not truly apt for analysing social and political patterns of today’s societies. It smells of feudalism, of personal commitments in times long foregone. Structural analysis may be hindered rather than furthered by such a vocabulary.

    Alexis Tsipras went to the referendum in a truly difficult situation. He wanted to alleviate his own political burden, feeling no more able to bear responsibility for the far-reaching decision: how to go ahead with Greece’s relations to Germany and to EU? He declared firmly to accept the verdict of the electorate whatsoever. If the Greek people would vote to submit, he would submit and step down, he told. He would give in and leave office.

    But the Greek people did not give in. The population voted NO with a huge, a truly impressive majority. It was unexpected not only to the European centre, but to the Greek Left, and to the government, too. The Greek people said „όχι„, very loud and very clear. It commissioned him: Say NO! NO to the austerity! NO to the national humiliation! NO to EU-policy and politics!

    And Tsipras, his government and his party now say YES! YES to austerity; YES to complete submission; YES to Schäuble, Dijsselbloem and Juncker!

    If ever the word treason made any sense, then it is now! This action of Tsipras and the majority of his party is treachery in every sense of the word, morally, politically, and historically. It is one of the dirtiest political manoeuvers in the history of the Left. And besides being a baseness, it is a foolish to the utmost. Tsipras was on its knees before June 26th. Now he lies face down on the earth – it is not enough for the EU-criminals. He has to kiss their asses.

    To have a parallel to such a political twist, we have to go back a century. As World War I started, the German and the Austrian social-democracy, and in fact the European social-democracy as a whole, had demonstrated against war and imperialism. On August 4th, the German social-democrats voted the war, the imperial aggression and the butchery in the name of militarism and profit. Now, Tsipras and the majority of his party, together with the compradors of Nea Demokratia and To Potami, votes the most complete submission of Greece, and they vote against their comrades of the left wing.

    Let us have a look at the wreckages of SYRIZA-politics of the last five months.

    SYRIZA got a relative majority. Thanks to the fraudulent Greek election law, devised by the conservative parties, Nea Demokratia and PASOK, to assure a parliamentary majority by a minority of votes, they got such a majority. However, their first movements were resistance to EU-policies. Thus, if they had gone to a new election, they had got a honest majority, for many more Greeks supported them.

    Latest at this time, Germany an its allies decided to topple this government or to crash it. This was no surprise, by no means. But the naive SYRIZA-men – I have seen no woman – were quite astonished. Instead of caring for the future, they gave in, step by step.

    Varoufakis was a provocation in his outfit to the mummies of financial oligarchy and their political puppets. Perhaps this was a merit for a short time. However, it was not enough, as Varoufakis seemed to believe. He was a lousy minister, completely unable to do his job.

    For his job had to establish immediately, on January 26th, control of capital flows. Only in the last minute, as it proved nearly fatal to Greece and its government, he established such controls. It made no more sense, and it was done in the most stupid way it could be done.

    He must start from the first minute to build up a new and effective apparatus for collecting the taxes, for controlling Greek oligarchy and for letting them pay at least their due share. He did nothing.

    It was a must to prepare for the attacks of the ECB. It would inevitably come, for using the weapon of cash in such a deep crisis is standard for the sharks of the financial markets and their political personal in the central banks. He did nothing, or in fact, by his silly remarks about the scrapped printing machines of the old Drachme he invited them to attack most brutally.

    After less than half a year, SYRIZA’s political results are a catstrophy for Greece and for the rest of Europe. We have to ask for the consequences, for Greeks as well as for the European Left.

    *) The Left in Greece will be discredited within short a call. With hindsight, KKE can congratulate itself. They refused to make politics, and now they seem justified. Probably, they will win some votes. However, such a non-programme and non-politics can be no alternative.

    *) The left wing of SYRIZA declines desperately to confront reality. If there was ever a necessity to break away, this are these days. They have the chance to establish an alternative policy, but only for a very short period.

    *) The catastrophe for the European Left is, if possible, even greater. This Left has identified completely with SYRIZA. The events of the last days are a godsend for Renzi, Hollande and Rajoy. SYRIZA had provided them with the best arguments they could imagine for the coming elections in Spain, and for the political conflicts in Italy.

    To end in a more fundamental way:

    Left politics has always fluctuated between electoralism and putschism. Both strategies have proved to lead to nowhere. To look exclusively for electoral success resulted always in a complete resignation in political regard. To reject frivolously electoral politics resulted in authoritarianism. We have the historical example of the Bolshewiks in 1917 / 18. This was the very first move to the discomfiture of 1989.

    Blanquism is surely not an alternative. Aside from basic concerns, it is simply impossible in present times. Armed resistance to even a modest army did result almost always in being routed. The only exceptions were the complete disorganization of the army before the confrontation, as, f. i., in Russia 1917.

    SYRIZA’s defeat was easily to presage, unfortunately. We could not foresee that it would elapse in such a dirty and ignoble way. This shows us in a way completely without any doubt that a debate on left strategy is quite indispensable. We have to start it at the spot.

    Albert F. Reiterer – 13. Juli 2015