Regime crisis in Greece

The collapse of the Papandreou government in Greece and the EU imposed “national salvation government” of the “socialist” PASOK together with the right wing New Democracy under EU, above all German direct supervision, is exacerbating the unfolding bourgeois regime crisis in the bankrupt country, fueling new social political explosions on a national, European and international levels.

The new Quisling government imposed over a Greece downgraded into the position of a protectorate has to slavishly implement the decisions of the EU Summit of October 26: a 50 per cent “hair cut” of the Greek sovereign debt bonds (which, among other things, will dilapidate the pension and social security funds of the working population that were obliged to buy sovereign bonds for  years), combined with a new package of savage anti-popular measures, with 300 thousands workers in the public sector losing their jobs and put in “ labor reserve”- already 30 thousands civil servants were fired on November 1 – new privatizations, a sell out of public property, new drastic cuts in wages and pensions already cut twice in 2010 and 2011, new  crashing burdens of taxes for an already agonizing and pauperized petty bourgeoisie. Adding insult to injury, the European Union asks that the new prime minister, the new finance minister, the leader of PASOK George Papandreou, the leader of the New Democracy Antonis Samaras, and the Chairman of the Greek Central Bank submit to Brussels a written document signed by all of them and binding all of them, like vassals to the imperial power, to the decisions of the last EU Summit. This is a precondition to give to Greece the 6th section of the first bail out package of 2010; without that sum of money, the Greek government will have no means to pay wages and pensions next month.

It is one thing to issue an imperial order and totally another to put it in practice in a country in which its people already had bleed enormously the last two years and it is rapidly transformed into a nation of destitute. In any case, the implementation of the EU decisions will not solve  at all but they will exacerbate the dramatic recession and the insolvability of the debt (theoretically, if the EU plan is implemented, the Greek sovereign debt to GDP ratio will be 120 per cent in 2020, the same as in 2010!!)

The rapid deterioration of the world capitalist bankruptcy in summer and autumn 2011 not solely had a catastrophic impact in an already devastated Greece but also sharpened the class struggle and deepened the radicalization of the working class and of the popular strata. There is a non stop wave of strikes, occupations of schools, places of work, and- an unprecedented event-of all the Ministries, Town Halls and other public buildings. Popular Assemblies in the popular neighborhoods, Coordinating Committees of different sections of workers in strike, the first independent centers of workers action have been formed.  The General Strikes and clashes with the riot police in May and June 2011 but particularly the tremendous mass mobilization of more than a million workers  all over the country  in the General Strike on October 19-20, followed by the unprecedented eruption of the popular masses and the youth in the streets in direct action disrupting the parades on the National Day of October  28 ( day of commemoration of the war against the invasion of Mussolini’s Italian fascist army in 1940) clearly showed that the situation became uncontrollable. Especially the disruption and cancellation of the main official military parade in a country ruled by the military dictatorship many times in the past and more recently by the CIA sponsored junta of the colonels, obliging the head of the State, the President of the Republic Papoulias to leave the stand of the officials among the insults of the people shocked the ruling class, its political personnel and the State repressive apparatuses.

As Papandreou himself had to confess publicly in the Parliament, in his farewell speech during the discussion for a vote of confidence to his government, his desperate maneuver that has shaken all the world financial system and the EU to call for a referendum was determined by these October events of explosion of uncontrollable popular anger. (By the way, the question that Papandreou wanted to pose into the referendum hoping to confuse and blackmail the Greek people was not very different by that proposed later by the furious duo Merkel-Sarkozy: “You want to accept the 26 October EU decisions and remain in the euro-zone or you want to reject it, declare default and return into a devalued drachma?”). The inference of foreign capital, particularly of sections of US capital, into Papandreou’s proposal of a referendum played, in that case, a secondary role; the rebellion in the ranks of the PASOK parliamentary group against Papandreou’s proposal was by itself a by-product of the all over destabilized situation.

The so-called “national salvation” government, until this moment that these lines are written (four days after its announcement) is not formed, showing the inherent contradictions and difficulties of the entire operation. Mainly it would be a two parties coalition government of PASOK and the New Democracy, supported by the far right LAOS and some very small neo-liberal and liberal “left” groups and the Ecologists-Greens (the last were pressurized by the European Greens and personally by Daniel Cohn Bendit to give a “vote of tolerance”). The parliamentary Left (the Stalinist KKE and the reformist SYRIZA) have condemned the new government, refuses to participate or support it and calls for early elections.

Apparently, particularly after the failure of the center right government in Portugal to control the situation after the defeat of the “socialist” government, the general option promoted by the EU in the post-Berlusconi Italy and elsewhere is to form center left/center right coalition governments to manage an unmanageable catastrophe.

The populist mask of Samaras and its right wing Party, pretending the last two years to be an irreconcilable “patriotic” opponent of the troika of the EU/ ECB /IMF and its Memorandum of austerity has fallen. Confusion and divisions between neo-liberals and populists are mounting now within the New Democracy ranks as within PASOK, which is literally in shambles. All the recent months polls, and, of course, the last ones, after the PASOK/New Democracy agreement for government cooperation,  give only a 22 per cent for the Right, if elections were held now, and below 15 per cent  for PASOK. If the current shrunk constituencies of the two parties are put together, they show definitely that they represent only a minority in the people. The current moribund Parliament represents less than its shadow in comparison with the situation in 2009 when it was elected.

Actually, the “national salvation” government lacks any legitimacy; it represents “a hole of the constitutional-legal order without the abolition of the constitutional –legal order” according to the famous definition of the “State of Exception” given by the Nazi legal theoretician Carl Schmitt.  It is a general staff established by the European and Greek capital to wage class war against the working class and the pauperized popular classes.

At the same time, it is a very weak, stillborn government. The left wing radicalization of the masses is deepening as all bourgeois parties, including the right and far right populisms are discredited. The EEK calls for an indefinite General Political Strike to bring down the Gauleiters of the EU.

Although our Party, the EEK, is considering to intervene in the coming elections, when and if they take place, we stress that there is no parliamentary solution to this unprecedented systemic crisis; the only way out can be opened by the self organization of the masses, their arming with a  revolutionary Party and program – abolition of the debt, nationalization of the banks and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation under workers control, re-organization of the economy on socialist bases under a workers power,  break with the imperialist EU and its euro-zone, and a common struggle with  the other workers in our Continent for the United Socialist States of Europe.

Savas Michael-Matsas

Athens, 8 November 2011

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