Greece

Support for the Greek government headed by radical left party SYRIZA is growing, new polls show. The polls also found high support for SYRIZA's negotiations with its creditors, which secured a deal to extend its loans package by four months. The deal came with significant concessions to the institutions that have imposed austerity on Greece, which led to strong criticisms from SYRIZA's Left Platform.
Greece’s new SYRIZA government submitted its list of proposed economic reforms to the Eurogroup (the finance ministers of eurozone nations) on February 23 as a precondition for its international creditors to approve a four-month loan extension. The deal was signed on February 20. With Greece’s existing loan arrangement expiring on February 28 and bankruptcy looming, a last-minute deal was finally agreed after three weeks of intense negotiations. The talks had been characterised by daily — sometimes hourly — twists and turns, claims and counterclaims, leaks and threats.
The pledge below was published on the website of the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign, which says: “Let Greece Breathe is a campaign for hope and justice. We aim to show that Greece and the Greek people are not alone in their hour of need. “A victory for Greece will be a victory for people everywhere -- that is why the battle is so fierce. You can help by endorsing the statement and pledge below.” ***
After days of fraught negotiations, a temporary agreement was finally reached on February 20 between the Greek government and its Eurozone creditors to extend Greece's loan agreement. It came a day after the German government scuttled a Greece proposal for a six-month extension to its loans program, which was set to run out at the end of the month.
"Let Greece Breathe" was the theme of a rally called by the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign (AGSC) at Sydney Town Hall on February 16. Several hundred people gathered to express their support for the new SYRIZA-led Greek government and the right of the people of Greece to end austerity and challenge the dictatorship of the European banks and central authority.
Thousands of citizens in Athens, Rome, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Lisbon, Vienna, Madrid, London and many other cities in Europe, as well as the United States and Australia, have taken to the streets in solidarity with the Greek people who are living a humanitarian crisis. Three weeks ago, the Greek people voted to put an end to the austerity policies imposed by the Troika (International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union).
Talks between Eurozone finance ministers and Greek officials abruptly broke down on February 16 after Greece was offered a deal that it said was “unacceptable”. Both sides ended debt-restructuring negotiations in Brussels, creating pessimism that a deal will be reached before a February 28 deadline. A draft agreement offered by the eurozone proposed that Greece accept a six-month extension of its bailout under existing bailout conditions.
Thousands of people hit the streets of Europe in solidarity with the Greek people and their newly-elected left-wing government, which is looking to undo years of imposed economic austerity programs. “Let Greece breathe” has become the rallying cry for those who want Greece’s new Syriza’s government to have a chance to tread a new path for Europe. Demonstrations in cities across Britain, France, Spain and elsewhere stood in solidarity with massive crowds in Greece to express support for the Syriza government led by new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
"Let Greece Breathe" was the theme of a rally called by the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign (AGSC) at Sydney Town Hall here on February 16. Several hundred people gathered to express their support for the new SYRIZA-led Greek government and the right of the people of Greece to end austerity and challenge the dictatorship of the European banks and central authority.
Greece, Venezuela discuss cooperation Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has invited the newly-elected Greek prime minister to Caracas, TeleSUR English said on February 9. “I have invited Alexis Tsipras, comrade Alexis, to visit us as soon as he can, here in Venezuela,” Maduro told Venezuelan public TV. “He plans to come to Latin America. He mentioned all the pressures that he is under. Because of a savage, savage neoliberal system that has been applied in Greece.” Tsipras expressed an interest in touring Latin America, starting with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Actions in solidarity with Greece’s anti-austerity government are being planned across Europe and beyond as Greece’s left-wing SYRIZA-led government confronts a European elite determined to destroy its pro-people platform. Plans for protests to support Greece came as international institutions failed to reach an agreement with the SYRIZA government, TeleSUR English said on February 11. Talks were set to resume on February 16.
The European political and financial elite reacted with horror to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's opening speech to parliament on February 5. In his speech, he ruled out an extension of the financial bailout and the accompanying harsh austerity measures that have plunged the economy into a 1930s-style depression. On February 9, European leaders lined up to warn the SYRIZA government that its proposals, which have included a partial write-off of the country's immense foreign debt, would be rejected by other European nations.
In response the attempted blackmail by the European Central Bank (ECB) of Greece's new anti-austerity SYRIZA government in response to its bid to renegotiate its crippling debt and austerity programs, the Party of the European Left has called for mass demonstrations from February 11-17 in support of Greece. You can read about the latest developments in Greece's battle with the European elites here.
"When was the last time you saw Greeks protesting in support of the government?", Keep Talking Greece asked on February 5.
The statement below was published on Transform-network.org on February 3. It has been signed by seven out of nine presidents of Germany's trade unions, all members of the executive boards of DGB and IG Metall, and mainly Social Democratic Party politicians in Germany's parliament and the European Parliament, including two vice-chairs of SPD, as well as numerous academics. * * *
If anyone was still wondering whether European politics and a Europe-wide class struggle actually exist, reactions from all quarters to the first two weeks of Greece’s new SYRIZA-led government would have cleared up any doubts. The conflict between Europe’s ruling elite and the new Greek anti-austerity administration, headed by radical left party SYRIZA, reached a high point on February 4-5.

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