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Greek anti-austerity activist Petros Constantinou on the latest developments in the Greek struggle

All eyes remain on Greece in the wake of what many observers are calling an act of historic capitulation by the Syriza government, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreeing to provisional terms for a third bailout of the depressed Mediterranean economy.  Indymedia’s Alex Whisson spoke to Greek socialist and anti-austerity activist Petros Constantinou about the latest developments in this pivotal struggle.

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One Response to Greek anti-austerity activist Petros Constantinou on the latest developments in the Greek struggle

  1. Mike Ballard July 23, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Syriza was voted in because it came out against austerity. The Syriza government gave the citizenry the chance to change its mind in the referendum and 61% said “No” to austerity being proposed by the Troika. But, the citizens never gave a mandate to leave the EU or drop the Euro as the national currency. Most polls show that Greek citizens don’t want a Grexit.

    So, what can the anti-capitalist left do?

    Certainly, they can engage in street protests and strikes. These they do and are doing well. Still, the majority of Greek citizens are not anti-capitalist, they are anti-austerity. They do not think austerity is fair, but they still believe that a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work is the only alternative. The unions aren’t questioning the wage system and neither are the anti-capitalist left.

    Who is calling on workers to establish common ownership and democratic control over the collective product of their labour? Who is calling for the end of wage labour and the beginning of production of wealth for use with distribution based on need?

    Why does the left continue to push for nationalisation of the banks when it could just easily point out that the banks only hold the symbolic promise of more wealth production by workers in exchange for the price of their skills? Maybe this is why Greek citizenry can’t think of an alternative to remaining in the European Union.

    Meanwhile, Syriza has tarnished the credibility of the left in the minds of citizens. Syriza has not only appealed to citizens’ sense of nationalism–they’ve pandered to it. The left does this a lot. The right can play that game much better because nationalism is the ideology of the bourgeois revolution and the belief that liberation equals the rule of Capital.

    As the old, non-Bolshevik social revolutionary left used to say, “The workers have no nation”. The workers are ruled by the Greek bourgeoisie and the landlord class, the very people who used the State to borrow from the Euro-bourgeoisie by issuing bonds the banks the Euro-bourgeois own, bought. The Greek ruling class never paid sufficient taxes to back up their bond buying State. The hogged the wealth wage labour made for them and now they demand austerity from the workers in Greece in concert with their class allies in the European Union.

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