From the TUC

Syriza’s struggle is our struggle

28 May 2015, By

The Greek Syriza government is still locked in crisis negotiations with ‘the group formerly known as the Troika’ (the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission) over releasing the money the Greek state needs to meet its obligations to creditors and also to its people.

But it isn’t only about debt: Syriza is demanding the right to restore collective bargaining, as well as fair wages and fair pensions. And it isn’t only about Greece, as the rights Syriza are demanding are rights we would want every government to exercise.

Those points explain why the former Troika institutions are so intransigent. What they are demanding of Greece certainly isn’t justified on economic grounds – everyone knows that Greece’s debt is unsustainable, and everyone knows what ‘unsustainable’ means, even if they pretend not to in public. And Syriza isn’t just demanding the right to restore collective bargaining because they are left-wing ideologues, it’s because their vision of economic development is based on quality jobs and quality wages, and both need the effective partnership between workers and managers that collective bargaining delivers.

The IMF has, periodically, accepted that it forced Greece further into recession, making those debts even less repayable. But it hasn’t changed course.

The reason why the IMF, ECB and Commission are dead set against collective bargaining, wage rises and the restoration of a decent pension is because of what might happen elsewhere if they gave up fighting these in Greece. The former Troika, all unelected institutions, are answerable at a convenient arm’s length to national politicians in France, Germany, Italy and Spain (and to some extent the UK and the USA) who fear the rise of similar parties to Syriza, or social movements like trade unions, who could demand the same things in their own countries if Greece ‘got away with it’.

So this is a power struggle, plain and simple, and we have to be on the side of Syriza, the Greek unions and the Greek people. As ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said yesterday:

“After five years of destructive austerity and structural adjustment, the IMF and other international lenders should stop their obstructionism, make loan disbursements on the previously agreed extensions and support the Greek people’s efforts to rebuild their economy through policies that give priority to employment creation.

“We call on the IMF to desist in its mindless attack on workers’ wages, rights and pensions.”

4 Responses to Syriza’s struggle is our struggle

  1. Paul Mackney
    Jun 2nd 2015, 1:06 pm

    Excellently put, Owen!

  2. Greece Holidays Support
    Jun 3rd 2015, 2:10 pm

    The Troika (International Monetary Fund, Central European Bank and European Commission) is killing the European economy with its politics of austerity.
    Its objective is just to make Countries pay their debt and interest, without any discussion, and without any respect for the life of European Citizens who suffer the consequence of austerity.

    Only one country is standing against this: GREECE.

    The Greek government is fighting austerity not only for their interest, but for the interest of all the European people. Every European citizen see her/his money stolen to give it as interest to banks, and see his/her rights violated every day by the austerity politics.

    We have to support the effort of Greece, because it is also our fight!
    We can do it in a simple and fun way:

    Let’s make our holidays in Greece! Let’s support their economy and people!
    Say NO to Austerity!
    Say YES to hope! Say YES to Greece!

  3. Greece Holidays Support
    Jun 3rd 2015, 2:11 pm

    Please sign online our initiative:

  4. Elias Kampouris
    Jun 3rd 2015, 4:30 pm

    For far too long this new method of War using economics to break and take countries has been going on. The IMF and all are only interested in funding failing courses to grab the natural resources of the countries that joined this Union.. Unfortunately there are always those in any country who’s vested interest is their own monetary gains and not the health and welfare of their countries. Finally Syriza stands up thankfully because of Tsipras and Varoufakis to bring Greece to a healthy stance. Yet the powers that be of course want nothing of it, but Starving People are funny and not to be taken lightly the French Monarch did..
    Greece has much to offer and given half a chance it will make it. But then countries with vested interest need to quit trying to sabotage their people from coming to Greece for great Holidays. Come enjoy the clear water, the great sun and don’t worry you’ll be happy and glad you did. Greece isn’t going anywhere it’s been here for thousands of years and with tourism it’ll be here for many more..