A comment by Tim Hall, supplemented by material from a Bloomberg article, on the situation in Greece 

To: Detroit Workers' Voice mailing list
February 8, 2015
RE: Greece at the crossroads

The European banks are stepping up their robbery of the Greek workers and poor, applying intensified, immediate pressure on the new, anti-austerity Syriza government, essentially demanding that it betray its promise to the voters who just elected it, a promise that it would fight the austerity cuts to the livelihood of the masses demanded by the big European banks. The Greek masses are reeling from severe cutbacks that have made their lives very miserable and precarious.

Syriza  may be forced to take radical measures against the banks right away -- or capitulate. It did not expect to be presented with this choice so rapidly; it wanted to ngotiate, but now the big capitalists are forcing it to decide what course it will take. Syriza needs to fund the Greek banks in the short run and would normally do this with funds from the European Central Bank, but this has just been denied (see article below). This may force Syriza to either default on the existing loans or nationalize the Greek banks, other words, to take radical measures to benefit the people -- or to give in to the austerity demands of the European Central Bank and betray the anti-austerity desires and demands of the working class and people.

European hardliners and the European Central Bank are trying to force the Syriza-led new Greek government to make a decision right away. They are applying pressure on the Greek banking system by turning off support from the European Central Bank.

This is a big test of Syriza and the anti-austerity movement in Greece and Europe. Syriza has not said what it would do in this situation. We hope for radical measures, but we will see what it does.

In the U.S. both the Democrats and the Republicans are on a cutback warpath against the workers and the poor. Greece and Syriza are further down this road. The Greek struggle will bear many lessons for American workers. We should watch it closely.

Below is an excerpt from the following Bloomberg article, dated 2-4-2015:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-04/ecb-shuts-off-direct-funds-to-greece-as-reform-progress-in-doubt

“As Greece’s creditors line up to oppose the country’s demand for a debt restructuring, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s refusal to accept more bailout loans may result in a cash crunch as early as next month, twopeople familiar with the country’s financial position said.

The ECB’s move may be the harbinger of a harder stance by Greece’sEuropean creditors. In order for the government to pay its bills beyond next month, it needs the so-called troika of ECB, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund to agree to lift a 15 billion-euro ceiling on the amount of short-term debt it can issue.”

--Tim Hall, editor of "Struggle" magazine, an anti-establishment, revolutionary literary zine oriented to the working-class struggle (www.strugglemagazine.net) <>

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Posted on February 9, 2015.
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