Eyewitness in Greece – we need a No vote

Posted: July 2, 2015 by Admin in Uncategorized
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Redline has received an eyewitness account from Greece. Here he talks about the referendum announced last Friday by the Greek government, and the latest “proposal” presented by the troika (The IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank).


Campaigning for a No vote in the referendum

Key points

The extreme demands of the EU and IMF forced the Greek government to withdraw from the “negotiations” and call for a referendum.

Syriza’s call for a referendum is a “radical” political move; however the government is using the referendum as a negotiating tactic to strengthen its hand to reach “a mutually beneficial agreement.”

For instance, the Finance Minister Varoufakis, has said “there is still chance for presentation of a reformed proposal by the lenders,” which will subsequently change Syriza’s stance from NO to a YES. There is a real risk the referendum could be cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Nonetheless the announcement of a referendum marks a turning point. The crisis is deepening, there is much confusion, and a real lack of preparation of the society. We can expect further destabilization of the whole political system and of all the political forces as they try to  apply “memorandum” policies.

However, the referendum may develop its own momentum. Whatever the result of the referendum it will have an ambiguous interpretation.

The progressive forces are calling for a big popular NO. A big NO vote will not be able to be easily manipulated by those who wish to establish the acceptance of the continuation of the debt colony regime as an unavoidable necessity.


Since the first memorandum five years ago, it was strikingly obvious that the troika’s goals have not been economic, but clearly political. While ordinary citizens understood this, the government did not. The troika’s aim is not to secure the loans’ repayment terms, but:

a)to impose a harsh neo-liberal adjustment, aiming at Greece’s incorporation in a new EU project, in which Greece is part of a degraded European periphery

b) to humiliate the government internationally and inside Greece and either overturn it or forced it into a violent transformation and collaboration with openly pro-troika systemic forces .

As for the government: The leadership team has realized the entrapment. Alexis Tsipras understood that joining the agreement the EU imposed would mean his complete political cancellation, leading him sooner or later to his political death. So he saw the referendum as an extreme backlash of tactic trap avoidance. However, lacking a real intention to change strategy, he is not able to integrate this move to a larger political project.

Future developments

Probably the Greek government is hoping mostly for some direct reaction from the lenders due to the referendum announcement within this week, more than the results of the referendum itself after Monday 6th of July. For this reason it should not surprise us if even in the last minute, the government accepts supposedly “favorable proposals” from the lenders, and either cancel or modify the referendum.

 However, despite the intentions of the government, the referendum or, rather, its announcement has its own independent dynamics:

From the lenders’ side, an even tougher stance sets in, as the consultations with the Greek government are hindered and the scenarios of government overthrow are increasing. Whatever may happen, the current government is considered as a “foreign body” to EUROcracy. This applies even in the undesirable for the people last minute “honorable compromise” case, which would mean renewed enormous austerity measures.

On the side of the Greek people, the awakening of the anti-memorandum radical feelings is necessary and possible. At the same time there is fear in large part of the society which is intensified by the horror propaganda, but also by the closure of banks. There had been no preparation of the social factor for this situation, and this is only the beginning. Apparently, the ambivalent Syriza leading figures’ attitude also adds to the popular fears.In any case, with any result, the situation will be very difficult for the country and the people.

We should expect a financial tsunami, political and geopolitical developments: increased poverty, collapse of income, political upheaval, geopolitical tensions.It is clear that we are entering new political paths and rapidly changing developments.

 Why a NO vote is vital

It is important to support the ‘NO’ vote, and further enriching it with the real needs of the people and the country:

NO to ultimatums, Memoranda and debt-colony. No to “negotiation” that will perpetuate the current dead-ends. NO to EUROcracy and the old political system that serves it.

NO to people’s division – We need to strengthen national and popular unity. We need to prevent actions that encourage a civil-war climate. A resounding NO can be said only by the People, the popular forces.

Today we need a broad social front in favor of NO, which would include the middle-class people.Together with the struggle for NO in the referendum, there needs to be a plan for a way out. For instance: an immediate payments’ moratorium, among other immediate measures. And necessarily it needs a deep political change, reconstruction of the production on different basis, and social-cultural renaissance.

A mass popular NO in the referendum, if it goes ahead, is the crucial component which can reverse the situation and cancel possible anti-people designs. It is the best answer to the intrigues of the troika and the domestic “willing” forces of all kinds. A high percentage of a NO will be difficult to manipulate by those who wish “an agreement at any price” with the EU. A huge result of NO could be a “loud” intervention of the people. It will not be easily translated into a “lighter Memorandum” or the “47 pages agreement” the Greek government proposed.

The Syriza leaders’ persistence in describing the referendum as “tactical move that will contribute to a better deal” undermines the meaning of a NO and the battle for its victory.

We are entering a new environment, an environment of organic crisis and instability.

Further reading: The way forward – a view from a Syriza central committee member

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