Left Unity national secretary Kate Hudson writes.
We unreservedly condemn the criminal attacks by the states and institutions of the European Union on Greece and its people. Not satisfied with the imposition of extreme neo-liberalism and the destruction of the livelihoods and welfare of millions of people, these so-called European ‘partners’ are now proceeding to strip Greece of its national sovereignty and self-determination. The terms under consideration are nothing short of economic terrorism to force political compliance and reduce Greece to colonial status. European imperialism, previously reserved for peoples and states outside Europe, has now been turned towards Greece, asset stripping, privatising and deregulating, reminiscent of the structural adjustment programmes imposed on Africa and elsewhere in the 1970s and 1980s and on the countries of eastern Europe in the 1990s.
The Syriza-led government has been unable to overcome the determined opposition of the Troika and EU elites and implement its anti-austerity programme. The deal accepted by the Syriza leadership on 12th July was a serious blow to the fight against austerity – both in Greece and across Europe. We recognise that the balance of forces is heavily weighted in favour of the EU institutions and powerful states like Germany and we regret that Greece faced these institutions alone, without support from other states or effective and powerful support from the labour and progressive movements across the continent. We have always recognised that the Greek struggle is our struggle too and we regret that we have not been able to be of more assistance.
Since its election in January, the Syriza-led government has been caught in a contradiction: it was elected by the people to oppose austerity but to keep Greece in the Eurozone. That has been a consistent theme throughout, even during and after the referendum which saw over 61% voting No to the terms of the bailout. The government has tried through negotiation to fulfil that mandate but that has clearly not been possible. The EU states and institutions will not allow a radical left government to succeed. A successful challenge to neo-liberalism by Greece would have opened the door wide to further challenges across Europe, including Spain, which has seen recent electoral victories for left coalitions. The EU states and institutions have recognised the challenge and are waging class war, not only against Greece and its people but against all the peoples of Europe.
The Syriza-led government has been caught out and brought low by the political contradictions within Greece, its isolation as a state fighting austerity and the overwhelming might of European capital ranged against it. How Syriza will address the continuing crisis and ongoing catastrophe, how other political organisations will respond and pose alternatives, and above all how the people of Greece will respond, is an urgent matter that concerns us all. This is a life and death struggle for Greece, and indeed for all of us. As we have said many times, what happens in Greece will have an enormous impact on what happens here. A success for extreme neo-liberalism and defeat for democracy in Greece will lead to further onslaughts on the people of Europe.
Whatever analysis we arrive at about how Syriza could or should have done things differently, the need for solidarity with the people of Greece is greater than ever before. They are fighting an ever greater struggle, not only against austerity and illegitimate debt, but against the destruction of their democracy, self-determination and national sovereignty. It is our responsibility to work to end the isolation of Greece through both political and material solidarity: we cannot let the people of Greece stand alone – the development and strengthening of solidarity networks coordinating together across Europe must be our urgent priority. We stand with the people of Greece in their determination to defeat austerity.