We must support SYRIZA against elite attacks, anti-debt campaigners say

January 6, 2015
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

Greece will hold elections on January 25, which polls indicate are likely to be won by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which campaigns against the brutal austerity that has caused widespread misery across Greece.

It is not hard to see why. The brutal austerity measures enforced on Greece's people -- who did not cause the global financial crisis they are being made to pay for -- led to 20% of Greek people with jobs living below the poverty line by March last year, on top of an unemployment rate trade unions put at 31%.

The social consequences include the fact that there were about two suicides a day in Greece in 2010, with research suggesting half the deaths were due to austerity.

However, Greek and European elites are expected to pull out all stops to prevent a victory for the Greek left. Green Left is sending a team of two journalists to Greece to cove the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the elections. You can find out how to donate to help us cover the costs here. You can also sign an international statement of support for SYRIZA.

The Committee to Abolish Third World Debt (CADTM) released the statement below on January 1, calling for solidarity across borders with the Greek people in their showdown with the European elites. It first appeared at the CATDM website.


Even before the dissolution of the Greek parliament and the ensuing call for new elections, international and European powers had launched a campaign of lies and threats aimed at frightening the Greek electorate away from voting for SYRIZA in the upcoming general election to take place on January 25.

Seconded by the mainstream European media, the continent's "leaders" -- including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble -- are preparing yet another brutal intervention in Greece, a country they have already turned into a social ruin through the inhuman and barbarous austerity policies they dictated.

The CADTM does not have the least doubt about the real intentions of those who have used Greece as a testing ground for the most extreme neoliberal policies and the Greek people as guinea pigs for social, political and economic shock therapy.

We must be ready for an escalation of their campaign. They cannot allow SYRIZA to gain victory and be emulated throughout Europe.

They will stop at nothing because they are well aware that the result of the Greek elections will be decisive in the social war they are waging against the vast majority of the European population.

It is because the stakes are so high that we can expect the "leaders" of Europe and of Greece to refuse to accept the result of the poll that, for the first time in Greek history, should bring victory to the Greek left.

They will certainly try to stifle the left-wing government that should be the democratic result of the election, because its eventual success will be interpreted as tremendous encouragement to the workers and peoples of Europe to resist.

The CADTM, which has always stood alongside the Greek people in their struggle against austerity and the grave infringements on their social and democratic rights, again calls on European and worldwide social movements and radical parties to unflinchingly support the resistance and struggle of the Greek people.

The illegitimate, illegal and odious debt that the Greek people have been burdened with is not their debt. The CADTM calls for the creation of an international popular commission to audit Greece's debt in order to identify the illegitimate, illegal and/or odious parts that should not be repaid.

This would set a precedent and nourish a debate on debt repudiation in all the peripheral European countries.

To support the Greek people and the Greek left in their struggle to liberate the country from the grip of creditors and from the dictatorship of the markets is now the duty, not only of grassroots activists, but of every European citizen that rejects a Europe of austerity that produces misery, racism and barbarism.

The Guardian's Seamus Milne interviews SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in 2013 about SYRIZA's response to the crisis and the prospects for social transformation.

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.