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’.