Sunday, 25 January 2015
EUROPE'S FIRST RADICAL LEFT-WING GOVERNMENT SINCE 1945 ABOUT TO BE ELECTED
The poll of polls published today in the Greek General election show Syriza the ‘Coalition of the Radical left’ on 35.7% of the vote meaning they would secure 147 seats in the 300 seat Parliament. Whilst this is just short of the overall majority needed to govern outright three of the smaller parties likely to pass the 3% threshold for representation [Potami, PASOK and Independent Greeks] have said they would abstain in any 'no confidence vote’ and therefore allow Syriza's Alexis Tsipras to become the next Prime Minister. After casting his vote in Athens today Tsipras forecast the result would ‘mean the future of Europe will see progress and democracy predominate, not austerity.’ It is clear Syriza has won today’s election on the most left-wing programme Europe has seen since 1945. In their manifesto, the famous seven point ‘Thessalonki Declaration’, they promise to confront the most powerful financial institutions in the world to ensure half the 319bn Euro Greek debt is written off. The ‘Troika’ [European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and EU] as well as the establishment parties New Democracy and PASOK insist the Greek people must continue to live in their existing economic, social and political purgatory for years to come. Standing up to these interests on behalf of the Greek people Syriza have said ‘No. We refuse to live under these conditions a moment longer. There is another way that protects our dignity and improves our appalling standard of living. Hope is coming. Greece will advance. Europe is changing.’ They have promised to convene a European conference against austerity to allow similarly indebted nations to jointly campaign against austerity and for debt annulment. Syriza will work with other radical left parties across Europe, including the Scottish Socialist Party, to secure concrete solidarity support for the Greek people. Meanwhile here in Greece Syriza have pledged themselves to raise the national minimum wage and state pension to 751 and 700 Euro’s per month respectively. They will also create 300,000 new jobs to get the unemployed back to work as soon as possible and have guaranteed no one will again go without food, healthcare or electricity. Greece will not be a socialist country tomorrow but socialists will be running the Government. Syriza is a left-wing anti-capitalist party. It supports public ownership and wealth redistribution and it is determined to lift millions of Greeks out of poverty and want. And that job starts tomorrow morning. Tonight however is a time for celebration both for Syriza activists and socialists everywhere. Their historic breakthrough has been achieved after many years of struggle. Moreover they realise winning the election was, relatively speaking, the easy part. For it is the preparedness of the Greek working class to struggle against the considerable conservative resistance inside Greece and the power of international capital outside lined up against it that will ultimately be decisive.