Leading ANTARSYA member’s views on the Greek elections
ANTARSYA is a ”Front of the anticapitalist, revolutionary, communist left and radical ecology”. It was set up in 2009 by 10 organisations and independent militants. These organisations include radical ecologists, ex-Communist Party (KKE) and KKE Interior members, Maoists and Trotskyists and members of the Greek Socialist Workers’ Party (SEK). The SEK’s socialism from below politics stands in the same International Socialist tradition as mine. As, I should point out, do those of the Internationalist Workers’ Left or DEA which is a member of SYRIZA.
These are some personal notes by Panagiotis Sotiris. He is a member of the coordinating committee of ANTARSYA and they reflect aspects of the discussion within ANTARSYA, but it is not a statement from ANTARSYA. ANTARSYA is a front and there are different tendencies and they will issue their statement soon.
Greek elections reflect a polarized society. The Left takes more votes from youths, people in productive ages (18-44), employees, people living in poorer neighborhoods, people living in cities. The Right gets votes from older ages, more rural areas, affluent strata. On the one hand, this means that there is a dimension of civil war in current social contestation. On the other hand, it is evident that that the bases of a new ‘historical block’ are evident in the electoral result.
New democracy being the first party means that it is possible to have a pro-austerity government along the New Democracy – PASOK axis. However, it will not be a legitimized government. Even though it will start with the attempt to “renegotiate” the Memoranda , in the end it will be strong-armed into imposing austerity. This will lead to new social explosion. It is the responsibility of the movement to make sure that this government will face popular anger.
SYRIZA did not manage to take the first position. However, we still have an impressive result for the Left, the biggest total electoral presence in post-war elections. The reason SYRIZA lost is not because its political proposal was not realist enough. On the contrary the problem with SYRIZA was exactly that it ‘glided’ towards the ‘realism’ of renegotiating austerity. This meant that the tone and the stakes of the electoral debate was becoming more favorable to pro-austerity forces. SYRIZA did not manage to answer the ideological terrorism regarding a potential exit from the euro, exactly because it did not have a clear position against the euro.
The fact that the fascists maintain their electoral result is a reason for concern, especially if we take into consideration that people who voted for them now knew what they were voting for… Now it is the time to start fighting fascism: street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood.
The Communist Party, KKE, is facing the destructive results of its tactics and especially the undermining of popular unity. Let’s hope that we shall hear some form of self-criticism from the leadership of KKE.
ANTARSYA waged a difficult electoral battle. We knew from the beginning that many ANTARSYA voters would vote for SYRIZA. However, we chose, during the whole campaign, to avoid useless polemics and instead to focus on the question of the necessary left-wing program, beginning with the need to stop paying the debt and exit the euro and on to the need to form a United Front of struggle and solidarity. Now, we are facing the task of helping the movement and social mobilization that will eventually overthrow this government and open up new paths of hope.
The future lasts a long time and surely more than singular events. The protracted people’s war continues. With determination, unity in struggle and a radical program we can still win.