The victory of the reformist coalition Syriza in the Greek parliamentary elections marks the beginning of a new period for the class struggle in Greece. Since 2010 the Greek people has fought against the unfair debt imposed by the imperialists, especially France and Germany, the EU and the International Monetary Fundo (IMF) in return for so-called ‘economic’ plans imposed by the imperialist in order to plunder the nation’s wealth. However, over the last two years, after the Greek government accepted the second IMF memorandum, the most combative elements of society placed their hopes in a victory for Syriza. Many Greeks voted for the coalition in the belief that it was the only viable means of improving their living conditions.
Such a vote is logical and understandable. When lacking of a revolutionary perspective, the people puts its faith in a program which promises ‘change’ even if it means coming to an arrangement with imperialism. Syriza’s victory is by no means the apotheosis of revolt by the Greek people and does not indicate that the country is on the verge of a revolution. In France, the election of Mitterrand in 1981 was a huge source of hope, but actually marked an important point in the bourgeois counter-offensive against the popular movement. It is up to the Greek revolutionary organisations and the grassroots movement to prevent the same thing happening in Greece. Syriza intends to re-negotiate the debt by cancelling a part of it and paying back the rest in instalments, while lowering taxes and increasing the minimum wage and guaranteeing access to healthcare and electricity for the poorest members of society.
Syriza wants to convince the imperialists in the IMF and the EU agree to reallocate the funds earmarked for the ‘economic’ plans, to be used to finance social measures instead. Syriza has said that it is in the interest of the imperialists to agree to the minimal demands of the Greek people in order to save the European Union and the common currency, whereby Syriza effectively commits itself to safeguard the basic interests of imperialist capital in exchange for concessions which benefit the people : reformism in a nutshell. Furthermore, Syriza has announced that it will form a government with the reactionary, nationalistic party Independent Greeks (ANEL), involving a series of concessions on a number of democratic demands contained in its program such as migrant workers’ rights and LGBT rights.
What else will Syriza be prepared to give up in the future in order to stay in power ? The new government will most almost certainly involve a slight improvement in the living conditions of the Greek proletariat and people. However, by refusing to stand up to the two main enemies, i.e. Franco-German imperialism and the Greek bourgeoisie, and by failing to address the underlying causes of the economic and social crisis, Syriza will be unable to prevent new catastrophes from arising in the not-so-distant future. It is not their supposed laziness or dishonesty that caused the ruin of the Greek people, but domination by foreign imperialist Capital with the backing of the local, bourgeoisie leeches. Strengthening the revolutionary movement and the offensive of the mass movement is the only way forwards in order to earn the trust of the Greek people and proletariat, beating the forces willing to make concessions to imperialism who are only strong because the masses are weak.