Last weekend the Central Committee of Syriza met. Opposition to the party’s Majority line on the agreement with the Eurogroup was strong. A critical amendment by the Left Platform, the main opposition group led by the Minister Panayotis Lafazanis, won 68 votes, 41% of the total.
Even the new party secretary, Tassos Koronakis, was elected by a small margin of 102 votes out of 199. As the Greek newspaper, ToVima, explained, the Central Committee “has sent a signal to the government”.
Stamatis Karagiannopoulos, of the Communist Tendency, intervened in the debate and presented the Tendency's resolution. The Communist Tendency gave critical support to the amendment of the Left Platform. Here, we make Stamatis Karagiannopoulos’s intervention available for our readers.
Stamatis Karagiannopoulos’s intervention at the SYRIZA Central Committee, and the resolution he submitted on behalf of the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA
The position of the Communist Tendency on the agreement and the recent developments is well known.
Faced with developments of such a nature, the point of any inner-party discussion is for its members to assess which political views within the party had warned the party well in advance about such developments. In that respect, every well-meaning left activist would have no trouble to accept that all the key warnings on the part of the Communist Tendency towards the party leadership over the last two years have entirely been borne out by events.
Comrades of the leadership, over recent years we have been pointing out that it would be a mistake to adopt negotiating tactics as a method of overturning austerity and the Memoranda. Your dogmatic fixation on negotiations has necessarily led you today to regard the implementation of the SYRIZA programme as a “unilateral action” (NB one that is prohibited under the recent agreement). Over recent years we have been asking you, comrades of the leadership, not to recognise the debt and the obligations to service it. Now, you have been brought to such a position that you publicly refer to the debt as “viable” and have been forced to accept “primary surplus” limitations to implementing your programme. On the basis of the rotten state of the capitalist economy [in crisis], the imposition of “primary surplus” targets would inevitably lead you to new austerity measures and to the total abandonment of the election commitments.
Comrades of the leadership, we have been warning you against taking any position on the false dilemma of the “the euro vs. the drachma”, given that the actual fundamental dilemma for the workers is none other than “capitalism or socialism”. By dogmatically insisting on Greece’s participation in the Eurozone at all costs, you are now forced to accept the extortions of the masters of the Eurozone.
Comrades of the party leadership, we have been advising you to complement the Thessaloniki programme with a series of radical and socialist measures – such as the repudiation of the debt, the nationalisation of church property, and the nationalisation of the largest companies, initially the most profitable ones – in order to finance the programme. However, you preferred to regard as “realistic” the possibility that this programme could be financed by the EU and the Troika itself.
Your own fear of assuming the necessary radical and socialist measures has now disarmed you and has restricted you to having to comply with the suffocating restraints of the current memoranda-imposed budget, and to postpone to some undefined moment in the future even that very modest Thessaloniki programme.
Comrades of the party leadership, despite the seriousness of your initial compromise, you still have time to salvage this situation by changing direction and assuming the necessary radical and socialist policies.
At present, you have a further reason to do so. It is likely that your tactics of retreat would force you to bring the agreement for a vote in parliament only to find SYRIZA governing in practice not just with the reactionary ANEL but also with New Democracy, the Potami party and PASOK. The stakes therefore are too high for the party and the Central Committee to unconditionally have confidence in a government that has reneged on fundamental commitments. Therefore, for this reason, the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA proposes that the Central Committee uphold the content of the following brief motion:
Motion submitted to the SYRIZA Central Committee
The SYRIZA Central Committee reaffirms its support for the electoral commitments of the party and its founding political and programmatic principles. It calls upon the government to immediately cancel the Memorandum agreement reached with our creditors and calls on our MPs to vote against the agreement,, should it come before parliament for its approval.
The Programme of SYRIZA which enjoys the mass support of the Greek people who voted for and support it, must be fully implemented without seeking the approval of our creditors.
The Communist Tendency disagreed with the proposed political decision of SYRIZA’s Political Bureau. Despite our disagreement with the Left Platform’s choice to submit an amendment to the Political Bureau’s proposal – rather than to submit a self-standing alternative document – we critically supported the amendment it submitted (accessible here).
The motion presented by the Communist Tendency to the Central Committee will also be submitted over the coming period to those SYRIZA local branches where it is present.