Socialist Worker

Greek socialist: ‘We stand for the cancellation of all debt’

by Patrick Ward
Published Thu 24 May 2012
Issue No. 2304

Greek socialist Giorgos Pittas welcomed the huge vote for the radical left in Greece and called for a “people’s default” at a meeting in London last night (Wednesday).

Giorgos said that the popularity of the radical left party Syriza in the last Greek election showed the struggle entering a new era. “The earthquake of the election wouldn’t have happened without the movement,” he said.

He accused the Greek ruling class of trying to start a “cold war” against the left as a result of the election result.

Another general election has been called for next month, after parties failed to form a coalition government.

Syriza could become the largest party after the vote. But Giorgos added that the workers’ movement would have to continue fighting even if a left government is elected.

“In two years we’ve brought down two governments,” he said. “In most cases strikes have been organised not by union leaderships, but by union assemblies.”

Giorgos is a journalist for Workers Solidarity, Socialist Worker’s sister newspaper in Greece. He was speaking at an event organised by the Socialist Workers Party.

He said, “We stand for the cancellation of all debt. We want to do this unilaterally. We have to break with the IMF and the euro. We stand for the nationalisation of banks, and of factories facing closure.

“We stand for workers’ control—the only way to achieve real change for the people.”

The meeting heard about the human consequences of austerity in Greece. Giorgos said that suicide and drug abuse rates had rocketed as a result, and that more than half of young people are now unemployed.

Giorgos also spoke about the need to resist the growth of the street-Nazi Golden Dawn party, at the same time as fighting the ruling class.

He added, “The anti-austerity movement is rising. A movement is rising across the whole of Europe.

“We need to change this movement into a revolutionary movement against capitalism.”

Giorgos will speak again tonight at a meeting in Manchester. Crisis and turmoil across Europe—how can the 99 percent win? Thursday, 7pm, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester St, M1 5GD


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Thu 24 May 2012, 11:19 BST
Issue No. 2304
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