Communist Youth Organization

The Youth Branch of The Workers’ Communist Party of Iran

Chia Barsen: Greece replacing the power of bondholders with the power of the people

The new left-wing party in Greece, Syriza, wants to re-negotiate the terms of the Greek bailout. The bailout plan that is being implemented in Greece is essentially a “sink” for accumulated surplus capital in the Eurozone setup by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), ECB (European Central Bank) and EC (European Commission). These bailouts serve to unclog the arteries of capitalism in Europe and to restart the flow of return on surplus capital. Further, the bailouts always promote and protect the interests of the bondholders while the resources of the indebted countries are free to be plundered through the harsh conditions of debt repayment. Currently Greece has been given 250 Billion Euros in bailouts. Other European countries such as Ireland, Portugal, and Italy have also been given similar bailouts. 

Institutions such as the ECB work between banks and the state to protect the interest of the lending bond holders. IMF is a monetary institution setup to protect, promote and propagate US currency hegemony of the world. These institutions also play an important role in financing the election of pro-bailout governments into office, which protect the interests of the bond holders, such as the current New Democratic Party in Greece. 

With 25 % unemployment, cuts to wages and pensions, the people of Greece know very well that the “debt repayment” and “bailouts” have a capitalist class character and are not a path to prosperity for Greek people. Greek people also know that the bourgeois state of Greece is in direct collusion with the ECB and this partnership has meant nothing but poverty for millions of Greeks. 

The power of the capitalist state is centred on two major pillars: the armed forces (the monopoly of violence) and currency manipulation. The main job of the Syriza government, if it truly wishes to emancipate the working people of Greece, is to untangle the Greek economy from the tentacles of financial institutions such as the IMF and the ECB as much as possible: replacing the power of the bondholders with the power of the people. This move may entail leaving the Euro currency and strengthening the Greek state sovereignty that is currently highly eroded. 

The Greek anti-austerity movement is not alone. Other parties in Europe such as “Podemos” in Spain, and left-wing parties in Italy and Portugal are also very much present. If the Greeks maintain their momentum to overthrow and uproot all the exploitative financial institutions, the rest of Europe is sure to follow. However, this is all completely contingent on these left-wing parties remaining loyal to the working class economic interests and not stopping at short-term gains and small reforms that only ensure the continued dictatorship and longevity of capitalism.

Chia Barsen

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