SYRIZA and the way forward
June 25, 2012

The conservative New Democracy party will lead a new government in Greece after two stunning elections in which it barely defeated the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, a coalition of left-wing parties and organizations committed to tearing up the “Memorandum”—the former government’s commitment to drastic austerity measures that have plunged Greece into a depression and slashed working-class living standards.
SYRIZA skyrocketed from minor party status to win 16.7 percent of the vote in the May 6 election, and 26.9 percent on June 17—outpacing other left options, including the Communist Party and the smaller anti-capitalist coalition ANTARSYA. Frighteningly, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn also did well in the polarized vote, and will have 18 seats in the new parliament.
The Internationalist Workers Left , a revolutionary socialist organization and one of the founding groups in SYRIZA in 2004, issued this statement about the results on June 17, and what comes next for the left in Greece. It follows:
1. The results of the election on June 17 were a continuation of the political earthquake of May 6, which radically altered the balance of political forces.
The showing for the left, expressed in the decisive support for SYRIZA among the working class and the popular classes—created panic among the local ruling class, and also among its international allies. At the same time, it created a wave of hope, excitement and solidarity for the resistance movement and the left, both at the European level and globally.
This achievement of the working class of May 6 and June 17 must be defended, and it must be completed.
2. The results of this election prove that the goal of overthrowing the pro-austerity forces and electing a left-wing government that would take on the task of stopping the attacks of the capitalists, the EU and the IMF in order to protect the interests of the working class was possible. SYRIZA, by throwing all its forces in the pursuit of that goal, in a determined way and with an honest attitude based on unity, succeeded in winning massive growth on a level that is unprecedented in all the years since the military junta that fell four decades ago.
Finish the list with all seven points.
United, we can win! We can succeed in bringing a radical change in Greece, and we can fuel the fire that is simmering in Europe.

SYRIZA and the way forward

June 25, 2012

The conservative New Democracy party will lead a new government in Greece after two stunning elections in which it barely defeated the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, a coalition of left-wing parties and organizations committed to tearing up the “Memorandum”—the former government’s commitment to drastic austerity measures that have plunged Greece into a depression and slashed working-class living standards.

SYRIZA skyrocketed from minor party status to win 16.7 percent of the vote in the May 6 election, and 26.9 percent on June 17—outpacing other left options, including the Communist Party and the smaller anti-capitalist coalition ANTARSYA. Frighteningly, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn also did well in the polarized vote, and will have 18 seats in the new parliament.

The Internationalist Workers Left , a revolutionary socialist organization and one of the founding groups in SYRIZA in 2004, issued this statement about the results on June 17, and what comes next for the left in Greece. It follows:

1. The results of the election on June 17 were a continuation of the political earthquake of May 6, which radically altered the balance of political forces.

The showing for the left, expressed in the decisive support for SYRIZA among the working class and the popular classes—created panic among the local ruling class, and also among its international allies. At the same time, it created a wave of hope, excitement and solidarity for the resistance movement and the left, both at the European level and globally.

This achievement of the working class of May 6 and June 17 must be defended, and it must be completed.

2. The results of this election prove that the goal of overthrowing the pro-austerity forces and electing a left-wing government that would take on the task of stopping the attacks of the capitalists, the EU and the IMF in order to protect the interests of the working class was possible. SYRIZA, by throwing all its forces in the pursuit of that goal, in a determined way and with an honest attitude based on unity, succeeded in winning massive growth on a level that is unprecedented in all the years since the military junta that fell four decades ago.

Finish the list with all seven points.

United, we can win! We can succeed in bringing a radical change in Greece, and we can fuel the fire that is simmering in Europe.

THEPEOPLESRECORD.COM GREECE ELECTION UPDATE

June 17, 2012

30% of the vote counted. New Democracy - 30.61%, SYRIZA - 25.83%. Clear results won’t be for another 3 hours, estimated, but as urban areas start reporting in greater numbers, SYRIZA will close that gap.

Follow thepeoplesrecord.com  today for live election results in important elections in Greece, Egypt and France!

Source

Watch this video of protesters across Greece marching through the streets of cities on the night of June 08, 2012, denouncing the “dark force” of fascism as the spokesman of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party continued to elude arrest more than 24 hours after his extraordinary on-screen assault of two female leftwing politicians.

What Greece’s SYRIZA stands forJune 6, 2012
1. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis:
— Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing, and access to all services of public utilities.— Protection of and relief measures for indebted households.— Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, and abolition of VAT on basic-need goods.
2. Disposal of the debt burden
The national debt is first and foremost a product of class relations, and is inhumane in its very essence. It is produced by the tax evasion of the wealthy, the looting of public funds, and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.
We are asking immediately for:— A moratorium on debt servicing.— Negotiations for debt cancellation, with provisions for the protection of social insurance funds and small savers. This will be pursued by exploiting any available means, such as audit control and suspension of payments.— Regulation of the remaining debt to include provisions for economic development and employment.— European regulations on the debt of European states.— Radical changes to the European Central Bank’s role.— Prohibition of speculative banking products.— A pan-European tax on wealth, financial transactions, and profits.
3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth and elimination of unnecessary expenses:
— Reorganization and consolidation of tax collection mechanisms.— Taxation of fortunes over 1 million euros and large-scale revenues.— Gradual increase, up to 45 percent, of the tax on the distributed profits of corporations (SA).— Taxation of financial transactions.— Special taxation on consumption of luxury goods.— Removal of tax exemptions for ship owners and the Greek Orthodox Church.— Lifting of confidentiality for banking and merchant transactions, and pursuit of those who evade taxes and social insurance contributions.— Banning of transactions carried out through offshore companies.— Pursuit of new financial resources through efficient absorption of European funds, through claims on the payment of German World War II reparations and occupation loan, and finally via steep reductions in military expenses.
4. Productive social and environmental reconstruction:
— Nationalization/socialization of banks, and their integration into a public banking system under social and workers’ control, in order to serve developmental purposes. The scandalous recapitalization of the banks must stop immediately.— Nationalization of all public enterprises of strategic importance that have been privatized so far. Administration of public enterprises based on transparency, social control and democratic planning. Support for the provision of Public Goods.— Protection and consolidation of co-operatives and SMEs in the social sector.— Ecological transformation in development of energy production, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. These reforms will prioritize nutritional abundance and fulfillment of social needs.— Development of scientific research and productive specialization.
5. Stable employment with decent wages and social insurance:
The constant degradation of labor rights, coupled with embarrassing wage levels, does not attract investment, development or employment. Instead, we are calling for:
— Well-paid, well-regulated and insured employment.— Immediate reconstitution of the minimum wage and reconstitution of real wages within three years.— Immediate reconstitution of collective labor agreements.— Instigation of powerful control mechanisms that will protect employment.— Systematic opposition of lay-offs and the deregulation of labour relations.
6. Deepening democracy: Democratic political and social rights for all:
There is a democratic deficit in the country. Greece is gradually being transformed into an authoritarian police state. We are calling for:
— The restoration of popular sovereignty and an upgrade of parliamentary power within the political system:

— Creation of a proportional electoral system— Separation of powers— Revocation of ministerial immunity— Abolishment of economic privileges for MPs

— Real decentralization to create local government with sound resources and expanded jurisdiction.— The introduction of direct democracy and institutions of self-management under workers’ and social control at all levels.— Measures against political and economic corruption.— The solidification of democratic, political, and trade union rights.— The enhancement of women’s and youths’ rights in the family, in employment, and in public administration.— Immigration reforms:

— Speeding up the asylum process— Abolition of Dublin II regulations and granting of travel papers to immigrants— Social inclusion of immigrants and equal rights protection

— Democratic reforms to public administration with the active participation of civil servants.— The demilitarization and democratization of the Police and the Coast Guard. Disbandment of special forces.
7. Restoration of a strong welfare state:
Anti-insurance laws, the shutdown of social services, and the steep fall in social expenditures under the Memorandum have turned Greece into a country where social injustice reigns. We are in need of:
— An immediate rescue of the pension system, to include tripartite financing and the gradual consolidation of separate pension fund portfolios into one public, universal system of social insurance.— A raise in unemployment benefits until the substitution rate reaches 80% of the wage. No unemployed person is to be left without unemployment benefits.— The introduction of a guaranteed minimum income.— A unified system of comprehensive social protection covering the vulnerable social strata.
8. Health is a public good and a social right:
Health care is to be provided for free and will be financed through a Public Health System. Immediate measures include:
— Support and upgrades for hospitals. Upgrade of health infrastructures of the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). Development of an integrated system of first-level medical care.— Covering the needs of medical treatment in both personnel and equipment, in part by stopping layoffs.— Open and cost-free access to medical treatment for all residents in the country.— Free pharmaceutical treatment and medical examinations for low-income pensioners, the unemployed, students, and those suffering from chronic diseases.
9. Protection of public education, research, culture and sports from the Memorandum’s policies:
With regards to education, we are calling for:
— Consolidation of universal, public, and free education, including coverage of its urgent needs in infrastructure and personnel at all three levels.— Compulsory 14-year unified education.— Revocation of the Diamantopoulou Law.— Assurance of self-government for Universities.— Preservation of the academic and public character of Universities.
10. An independent foreign policy committed to the promotion of peace:
The capitulation of our foreign policy to the desires of the U.S. and the powerful states of the European Union endangers the country’s independence, peace, and security. We propose:
— A multi-dimensional and peace-seeking foreign policy.— Disengagement from NATO and closure of foreign military bases on Greek soil.— Termination of military cooperation with Israel.— Aiding the Cypriot people in the reunification of the island.
Furthermore, on the basis of international law and the principle of peaceful conflict resolution, we will pursue improvements in Greek-Turkish relations, a solution to the problem of FYROM’s official name, and the specification of Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Source

What Greece’s SYRIZA stands for
June 6, 2012

1. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis:

— Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing, and access to all services of public utilities.
— Protection of and relief measures for indebted households.
— Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, and abolition of VAT on basic-need goods.

2. Disposal of the debt burden

The national debt is first and foremost a product of class relations, and is inhumane in its very essence. It is produced by the tax evasion of the wealthy, the looting of public funds, and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.

We are asking immediately for:
— A moratorium on debt servicing.
— Negotiations for debt cancellation, with provisions for the protection of social insurance funds and small savers. This will be pursued by exploiting any available means, such as audit control and suspension of payments.
— Regulation of the remaining debt to include provisions for economic development and employment.
— European regulations on the debt of European states.
— Radical changes to the European Central Bank’s role.
— Prohibition of speculative banking products.
— A pan-European tax on wealth, financial transactions, and profits.

3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth and elimination of unnecessary expenses:

— Reorganization and consolidation of tax collection mechanisms.
— Taxation of fortunes over 1 million euros and large-scale revenues.
— Gradual increase, up to 45 percent, of the tax on the distributed profits of corporations (SA).
— Taxation of financial transactions.
— Special taxation on consumption of luxury goods.
— Removal of tax exemptions for ship owners and the Greek Orthodox Church.
— Lifting of confidentiality for banking and merchant transactions, and pursuit of those who evade taxes and social insurance contributions.
— Banning of transactions carried out through offshore companies.
— Pursuit of new financial resources through efficient absorption of European funds, through claims on the payment of German World War II reparations and occupation loan, and finally via steep reductions in military expenses.

4. Productive social and environmental reconstruction:

— Nationalization/socialization of banks, and their integration into a public banking system under social and workers’ control, in order to serve developmental purposes. The scandalous recapitalization of the banks must stop immediately.
— Nationalization of all public enterprises of strategic importance that have been privatized so far. Administration of public enterprises based on transparency, social control and democratic planning. Support for the provision of Public Goods.
— Protection and consolidation of co-operatives and SMEs in the social sector.
— Ecological transformation in development of energy production, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. These reforms will prioritize nutritional abundance and fulfillment of social needs.
— Development of scientific research and productive specialization.

5. Stable employment with decent wages and social insurance:

The constant degradation of labor rights, coupled with embarrassing wage levels, does not attract investment, development or employment. Instead, we are calling for:

— Well-paid, well-regulated and insured employment.
— Immediate reconstitution of the minimum wage and reconstitution of real wages within three years.
— Immediate reconstitution of collective labor agreements.
— Instigation of powerful control mechanisms that will protect employment.
— Systematic opposition of lay-offs and the deregulation of labour relations.

6. Deepening democracy: Democratic political and social rights for all:

There is a democratic deficit in the country. Greece is gradually being transformed into an authoritarian police state. We are calling for:

— The restoration of popular sovereignty and an upgrade of parliamentary power within the political system:

— Creation of a proportional electoral system
— Separation of powers
— Revocation of ministerial immunity
— Abolishment of economic privileges for MPs

— Real decentralization to create local government with sound resources and expanded jurisdiction.
— The introduction of direct democracy and institutions of self-management under workers’ and social control at all levels.
— Measures against political and economic corruption.
— The solidification of democratic, political, and trade union rights.
— The enhancement of women’s and youths’ rights in the family, in employment, and in public administration.
— Immigration reforms:

— Speeding up the asylum process
— Abolition of Dublin II regulations and granting of travel papers to immigrants
— Social inclusion of immigrants and equal rights protection

— Democratic reforms to public administration with the active participation of civil servants.
— The demilitarization and democratization of the Police and the Coast Guard. Disbandment of special forces.

7. Restoration of a strong welfare state:

Anti-insurance laws, the shutdown of social services, and the steep fall in social expenditures under the Memorandum have turned Greece into a country where social injustice reigns. We are in need of:

— An immediate rescue of the pension system, to include tripartite financing and the gradual consolidation of separate pension fund portfolios into one public, universal system of social insurance.
— A raise in unemployment benefits until the substitution rate reaches 80% of the wage. No unemployed person is to be left without unemployment benefits.
— The introduction of a guaranteed minimum income.
— A unified system of comprehensive social protection covering the vulnerable social strata.

8. Health is a public good and a social right:

Health care is to be provided for free and will be financed through a Public Health System. Immediate measures include:

— Support and upgrades for hospitals. Upgrade of health infrastructures of the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). Development of an integrated system of first-level medical care.
— Covering the needs of medical treatment in both personnel and equipment, in part by stopping layoffs.
— Open and cost-free access to medical treatment for all residents in the country.
— Free pharmaceutical treatment and medical examinations for low-income pensioners, the unemployed, students, and those suffering from chronic diseases.

9. Protection of public education, research, culture and sports from the Memorandum’s policies:

With regards to education, we are calling for:

— Consolidation of universal, public, and free education, including coverage of its urgent needs in infrastructure and personnel at all three levels.
— Compulsory 14-year unified education.
— Revocation of the Diamantopoulou Law.
— Assurance of self-government for Universities.
— Preservation of the academic and public character of Universities.

10. An independent foreign policy committed to the promotion of peace:

The capitulation of our foreign policy to the desires of the U.S. and the powerful states of the European Union endangers the country’s independence, peace, and security. We propose:

— A multi-dimensional and peace-seeking foreign policy.
— Disengagement from NATO and closure of foreign military bases on Greek soil.
— Termination of military cooperation with Israel.
— Aiding the Cypriot people in the reunification of the island.

Furthermore, on the basis of international law and the principle of peaceful conflict resolution, we will pursue improvements in Greek-Turkish relations, a solution to the problem of FYROM’s official name, and the specification of Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Source

June 05, 2012

This weekend (June 3rd) Slavoj Žižek was in Athens with Alexis Tsipras,the president of SYRIZAthe Coalition of the Radical Leftand Kostas Douzinas, Philosophy of Law professor of Birbeck, University of London, to discuss European austerity and Greece’s pivotal position to elect a government that counters the “madness of market ideology.” Expanding on his recent essay in the London Review of Books, Žižek argues that far from being the “irresponsible, lazy, free-spending, tax-dodging” thorn of Europe, the Greeks are the very lifeblood of the Europe to come. “Far from a threat to Europe, you are giving a chance to Europe to break out of its inertia, to find a new way.”

Greek Leftist party Syriza leads polls by 31.5%June 2, 2012
Party leader AlexisTsipras promised to boost the minimum wage, hike taxes on the rich and freeze a major privatization drive designed to raise $24.2 billion, a key condition of its bailout deal.
He also pledged to “nationalize and socialize” Greek banks that draw on European support funds to recapitalize themselves after a landmark state debt cut brokered by the previous government in March.
Source

Greek Leftist party Syriza leads polls by 31.5%
June 2, 2012

Party leader AlexisTsipras promised to boost the minimum wage, hike taxes on the rich and freeze a major privatization drive designed to raise $24.2 billion, a key condition of its bailout deal.

He also pledged to “nationalize and socialize” Greek banks that draw on European support funds to recapitalize themselves after a landmark state debt cut brokered by the previous government in March.

Source