Greece

With a presidential decree signed on 10 July, Erdogan’s regime decided to convert Hagia Sophia, a historical Byzantine church built in 534 AD, from a museum into a place of Muslim worship. The Byzantine monument was turned into a museum in 1934 with a decree from the founder of the modern bourgeois state, Kemal Ataturk, and marked the secular character of the Turkish state. The conversion is a symbolic act that seeks to emphasise the neo-Ottoman imperialist plans of the “Sultan” Erdogan and the reactionary Turkish bourgeoisie.

In the last few days, the government and the state of the Greek ruling class have embarked upon an open, brazen war against thousands of refugees, with the complicity of Erdogan’s cynical regime and the tolerance and encouragement of the European Union.

A sharpening of tensions between Greece and Turkey reflects both the ruling classes of these nations attempting to get a bigger share of the oil and gas under the Eastern Mediterranean and the changed balance of power between the two countries. The labour movement of Greece and Turkey need to stand firmly against any warmongering or nationalist division and engage in united struggle for a socialist transformation of society!

The following article was written forSocialist Appeal, the British website of the International Marxist Tendency. It discusses the betrayals of the Syriza government in Greece, and explains the lessons of that experience for the British working class and youth should a Corbyn-led Labour government ever come to power.

The results of the Greek general elections of 7 July highlighted two dominant elements: major class polarisation, and consolidation of the phenomenon of widespread voter abstention. The expression of class polarisation (despite acquiring a distorted character due to the SYRIZA leadership’s complete political submission to capitalism) was evident in the large increase of the votes for N.D. (New Democracy) and SYRIZA compared to the European elections of 26 May. The European elections were just 42 days ago, and saw the same level of participation by the electoral body.

An announcement from the Communist Tendency (Greek section of the IMT) on the 7th July elections.

The only possible way to stop the advance of the ND is a mass class vote for KKE: A mandate to fight for power!

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

Alek Atevik, a member of the Central Committee of the Macedonian organization Levitsa(Left) and a leading figure in the Yugoslav section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), spoke to Epanastasi [‘Revolution’] about nationalist myths and the need for internationalist class solidarity.

Last Wednesday, Greece was shaken by a general strike. On Thursday, there were protests in all major cities against a new round of austerity measures. Unlike previous general strikes, which are regularly called as a formality and fail to mobilise significant sectors of the working class, this time important services were affected and various ports, hospitals, and airports were paralysed.

The impasse of Greek capitalism, the lessons of SYRIZA and perspectives for the socialist revolution.

For decades the main party of the Greek working class was the PASOK, founded in 1974 immediately after the fall of the military junta. It won 13.5% in the first elections it stood in that year, seven years later going on to win a landslide victory with 48% of the vote and forming the first left government in Greece’s history. The rise of PASOK between 1974 and 1981 was a clear expression of a radicalisation to the left of Greek society.

The Greek economy has always lagged behind the much more developed economies of countries like Britain, Germany, France and other advanced capitalist countries, mainly of northern Europe. The Greek bourgeois arrived late on the scene of history, with its own independent state only in the 1830s. Ever since, Greece has struggled to establish itself economically in the face of far more developed economies on the continent of Europe.

Greece joined the European Union in 1981 and adopted the euro in 2001. What impact did these two events have on the Greek economy? Within the general boom conditions across Europe pre-2007, Greece also boomed, but this hid the real underlying weaknesses of the Greek economy, in particular its declining productivity.

The suffering of the Greek people is deep, very deep. Austerity is pushing larger and larger sections of the population into poverty. With this comes also a seriously worsening healthcare situation which is a direct consequence of the cuts imposed by the Troika, and suicides have also been going up in line with the increase in unemployment.