by our European Affair correspondent
EUROPEAN money markets dived on Wednesday following the Greek decision to hold a referendum on the latest Eurozone rescue plan. The capitalists clearly fear that the new package, that includes even more attacks on the living standards of Greek workers, will be thrown out and that Greece will then default and leave the Eurozone and the EU altogether.
And well they might because the €100 billion EU loan and 50 per cent debt write-off is conditional on more cuts in pensions and public sector wages, the suspension of all pay bargaining and the lay-off of 30,000 public sector workers, while those who are left will have their pay cut by 40 per cent.
At European Union headquarters in Brussels officials complained that they had neither been warned nor consulted about the Papandreou government’s decision to put the new bail-out plan to a popular vote within the next few weeks. And Franco-German imperialism is stepping up the pressure on Greece’s social-democratic government to drop the referendum and implement the plan as it stands.
Greek premier George Papandreou argues that he needs “a clear mandate” from the electorate for austerity measures demanded by his Eurozone partners. The German and French leaders who drafted the plan at marathon talks in Brussels last week don’t think Papandreou or his social-democratic PASOK movement are capable of persuading the Greek people to cut their own throats for the sake of European integration. But the Greek communists think he might.
Luxemburg premier and president of the Eurozone group Jean-Claude Juncker says that if the plan is rejected it could mean bankruptcy for Greece. But he significantly added that “It will depend on the manner in which the question will be exactly formulated and on what the Greeks exactly vote on,”.
This is exactly what the Greek communists (KKE) think is going to happen with the two major Greek parties closing ranks around a campaign of “naked, open blackmail and ideological intimidation against the people” to get a yes vote for the package in the referendum.
They have denounced the Papandreou government’s move as a ruse to steam-roller the people into submission and they’re calling for a general election now to truly let the people decide on their future.
The KKE say: “The government and the EU will use every means, threats, provocations in order to subdue the working class and the popular strata, to snatch a yes for the new agreement.”
Demanding elections now the Greek communists are calling for a mass mobilisation of the working class and the popular strata to strike hard against the bourgeois political system and the power of the monopolies.