In a visit to London, the main leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, explained the catastrophic situation to which the Greek economy has been plunged upon but the public asked for clear answers about the program of the coalition, criticized by some for being too ambiguous and leaning towards bourgeois socialdemocracy.
Excerpts from article by Georgios Diakogeorgiou at IDOM:
The first priority of a Syriza government is to abolish all the measures that reduce wages and pensions and gradually restore the minimum wage to pre Memorandum levels and promised to “renegotiate” the Greek loans with the foreign lenders.
Secondly, the Syriza government will renegotiate the state loans with the Greek and foreign lenders. He also emphasized the importance of solidarity that workers around the world must show towards each other and towards a government of the Left. Lastly, he criticized the policy of the government saying that Samaras' agenda has helped to strengthen the power of neo-Nazis because, according to him, "Samaras's party has some hidden extreme right -supporters".
There were a lot of people who demanded a clearer vision from comrade Tsipras and put the question of socialism to him. His answer was that nobody can move towards Socialism with decrees and laws, but only with the active support of the majority of the people. He recognized that from the first day, a Syriza government is going to be faced by a difficult period. The threat of reaction from the ruling class will be overcome with the help of the Greek people.
Tsipras is trying to calm the nerves of the troika by visiting the USA, Germany and talking to a forum of the Karamanlis Foundation. On Friday, he said that he will postpone the socialist measures until the majority of the Greek people would support them. This was a really vague statement!
Diakorgeorgiou strongly criticizes this ambiguity and reminds us about the program of the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA, which is much more clear and radical:
Comrade Tsipras doesn’t seem to understand that if he doesn’t press forward with a socialist programme, the only way of staying in power is by capitulation to the Troika. Any move to abolish the Memoranda without nationalization and workers’ control of the banks and the big corporations will result in the collapse of his government. Tsipras’s speech shows us the urgency of a clearly defined socialist programme, something that our comrades in Syriza are fighting for.
Our comrades of the Initiative for a Communist Tendency of Syriza (see their appeal) are putting forward a clearly defined 10-point Socialist programme for the party:
1) Debt cancellation and immediate abolition of the Memoranda and any measures imposed by them.
2) Heavy taxes on big business and the big wealth.
3) Establishment of workers’ control in companies by elected committees of workers, which in turn, will elect a Nationwide Labour Audit Committee.
4) Nationalization of the banking system and creation of a single state bank, with its managing body composed of a 1/3 of employees in banks, 1/3 of representatives of trade unions and 1/3 of representatives of the government.
5) Nationalization and integration into single entities within each industry of all enterprises in which the state holds even one share of the large firms that are closing, the companies of transport (people or goods), water, energy, telecommunications, mineral wealth, infrastructure and construction, with their management consisting of 1/3 employees of the company, 1/3 consumers-workers (trade unions, etc.) and 1/3 representatives of the government. Creation of a Pan-Hellenic Nationalization and Planning Council of the economy with the participation of the Pan-Hellenic Labour Audit Committee of the working people's organizations (trade unions, professional associations, etc.) and representatives of the government, which will establish a firm basis for the socialization of all major companies in the industry.
6) Nationalization of large landed properties and incentives for the voluntary consolidation of smallholders into cooperatives under state control.
7) Implement in cooperation with the government and Pan-Hellenic Labour Audit Committee a project to ensure a job for every unemployed person, through a program of public infrastructure projects and nationalization and the reduction of working hours as much as it is required in order to share out all available jobs amongst all the workers.
8) Steeply progressive taxation of capital and wealth, direct cost savings from the "freezing" of military spending, the expropriation of church property, and above all, the nationalization program will provide the necessary revenue for an immediate increase in salaries, pensions and allowances within the context of a decent standard of living and the introduction an automatic increase of wage and pensions in line with any increase in the cost of living. Adequate funding of Health, Education, Welfare, Social Security, Culture and Sports.
9) Eradication of the bureaucratic and repressive structures of the existing, bourgeois government and the redesign of the state in a socialist basis with the right to elect and recall all senior government officials and dignitaries who will be paid the salary of a skilled worker; the exclusion of special repressive forces from labour disputes, putting the security forces and the army under the democratic control and management of the mass organizations of the workers and the youth; the election of judges by the people and the reform of law in accordance with the interests of working people. For an open discussion by the working people and society of the earliest possible adoption of a Constitution that enshrines the social ownership of the means of production and revolutionary changes in state power.
10) The faithful implementation of this program obviously entails departure from all reactionary, imperialist military alliances like NATO, a conflict with the capitalist EU and its institutions and, inevitably, withdrawal from it. The example of a revolutionary Greece, and an open class appeal to the European workers for a common struggle against capitalism in Europe, for the establishment of the United Socialist States of Europe will disarm imperialism. It would shield the country from external threats and will provide very soon a safe and equitable international position by opening the prospect of pan-European and global victory of socialism.