Statement by Nikos Maziotis to the appeals court at the first trial of the Revolutionary Struggle on July 7 – Concerning the bankruptcy of the country (Greece)

As is well known, the repressive attack by the state against Revolutionary Struggle in 2010, as an historical fact, was a counterpart to the signing of the first memorandum by the Papandreou government and bringing the country under the authority of the IMF, the ECB, and the EU. As was said at the time by a government official, our arrests prevented “a large terrorist attack that would have ended the economy,” a statement proving the dangerousness of the action of Revolutionary Struggle at a critical juncture for the regime.

The first trial against the organization was in the period of the application of the first memorandum, developments that included controlled bankruptcy proceedings and imposed a social policy of genocide and euthanasia towards segments of the population that caused thousands of deaths so far, and poverty, hunger and misery. When the first trial started in October 2011, we had stated that the trial was conducted in a period awaiting formal bankruptcy of the country, which did not happen then, because there was unveiled a controlled bankruptcy regime in order to save the lenders, the then holders of Greek bonds and to defend the Eurozone from the risk of transmission of the Greek crisis.

It is an irony of history that ultimately the bankruptcy of Greece is associated with the days of the leftist Syriza government almost four years later, which announced a referendum on the question YES or NO to the proposals of lenders for the new memorandum that they will sign. Along with the bankruptcy of the country comes the bankruptcy of the left social-democratic illusions that promised state interventions in favor of the workers and the poor of the EU inside a globalized neoliberal environment.

In our most recent attack on 10/04/2014 on the Annex to the ECB Supervision Department of the Bank of Greece (which housed the office of the permanent representative of the IMF in Greece), in our responsibility claim, we recognized almost a year in advance what the Syriza government would do. We diagnosed the impossibility of their program and their declarations, and we highlighted the hypocrisy of their representatives. Some of them then were speaking about non-recognition of debt, others a restructuring or debt haircut. Others supported the abolition of the Memorandum, and yet they all ended up leading to its renegotiation.

The majority of Syriza officials proclaim a steady course for Greece inside the EU and the euro area, while the left tendency support the country’s exit from the euro and the adoption of the drachma, but inside the EU. After assuming power, the Syriza followed a predictable course. In total contrast to pre-election declarations, they recognized the totality of the debt and its repayment, recognized memorandum agreements, recognized monitoring and evaluation of the Greek economy by the technical teams of the Troika -the multinational organizations of the IMF, the ECB, and EU– which have been renamed for communication purposes, no longer the Troika, but the institutions.

On February 20, 2015, the government of Syriza confirmed a total retreat with its signing of the bridging agreement for Memorandum No. 2 that the Samaras government had signed in November 2012. Alongside this they conducted negotiations for the agreement of a new memorandum with lenders. But their retractions, contradictions, and vacillations made the Syriza government seem in the eyes of the lenders unreliable for the management of the Greek crisis, which has resulted in economic suffocation and bankruptcy of the country. Lenders knew in advance that time was on their side and that they could force the Syriza government to accept their terms with the weapon of economic strangulation and the threat of bankruptcy.

They know that a Greek default and exit from the eurozone does not negate the country’s obligations to repay the debt, which all Greek governments have signed off on from 2010 onwards.

The government of Syriza came to grief because while they launched a referendum to accept or refuse the proposals of lenders after withdrawing from the negotiations, after the referendum announcement they returned begging for the resumption of negotiations by accepting the majority of the lenders’ proposals. The referendum was a public-relations exercise of the Syriza government to manage their own political bankruptcy, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

The course taken by the Syriza government proves what we as Revolutionary Struggle claimed in our announcement for the Bank of Greece attack, that, “Syriza, after a long march of political retreats, contradictions and a reversal to ‘political realism’ , indicates the very impossibility of a stable social democratic model in our time, it tends more and more clearly to become a protest party of the neoliberal economic model but with a predetermined total retreat on all issues of crisis management. The acceptance of all the dominant structures, mechanisms and alliances, the acceptance of the EMU, the euro, the EU, the removal of positions for the abolition of the Memorandum and unilateral cancellation of the debt show that the development of a social-liberal party with a social democratic façade becomes –even before they take power, assuming they take power– that they are provided to ensure approval and support for the economic bloc of authority”.

A bit more than a year later, we of Revolutionary Struggle confirm the political bankruptcy of Syriza. The political bankruptcy of Syriza and the expected fall of the government sooner or later proves the impossibility of solving problems highlighted by the capitalist crisis through reforms within the economic market system and bourgeois parliamentarism. This shows what for years Revolutionary Struggle claimed, that “the only realistic solution to the crisis is social revolution”, the action of sections of society and the population for armed confrontation with the regime, for the overthrow of capital and the state in Greece. Social revolution is real rupture. The cause of the crisis is the very existence of capitalism and the market economy, the existence of class and social divisions, the perpetual cycle of capital investment for profit and reinvestment of these profits for even greater profit, a process whose seamless continuation is a sign of capitalist prosperity and whose stopping signals crisis.

As Revolutionary Struggle, in replying to the euro or drachma dilemma, we have argued that the adoption of the drachma in Greece within the framework of the EU and with intact memorandum agreements that prohibit debt default on the part of the debtor, or its conversion from euros to a national currency, not only will not reduce the debt but will rather increase it, and also reduce the purchasing power of salaries of employees, which would mean a deterioration of living standards and increasing poverty.

The issue of currency does not by itself solve any problems. It does not solve the problem of debt, poverty, misery, hunger, death from hardship, illnesses, suicides. No solution is found within the capitalist system. No solution is found in the proposals of parties, no solution results from elections for the bourgeois parliament or from the referendums of authority.

As Revolutionary Struggle, against the continuation of the current policy imposed by the multinational economic elites (i.e. the fascism of the markets), a policy whose exponents are most of the parties including the Syriza government, and unlike the proposal for full nationalization of economic functions and centralized control– a proposal that failed historically– we recommend as a revolutionary solution the collapse of capitalism, the market economy and the state.

It is a more realistic solution, an armed uprising of the people which refuses to pay the debt, which does not recognize loan agreements and memoranda, which does not recognize and accept the euro and structures such as the European Union that have no other purpose than to make them serfs of the markets.

It is a more realistic solution– for an armed uprising of the people that would expropriate the property of the capitalists, the movable and fixed property, the means of production whether from multinationals, banks, or local capitalists, from all those who have purchased state property, business utilities and whatever is left in the hands of the state.

It is a more realistic solution– for the socialized ownership of private and state capital, managed by councils of workers and popular assemblies. The same applies to all sectors of societal production, such as health and education, where the management will be exercised by workers and those who participate with them.

It is a more realistic solution– for the implementation of a social revolution of direct democracy that will immediately eliminate the state and bourgeois parliamentary political professionals responsible for the management of social affairs instead of the people and workers, and in its place will put a confederal system of workers councils and popular assemblies, in which everyone will participate, speak and take decisions together on all social matters affecting them in the workplace, schools, hospitals, universities, neighborhoods, villages or cities.

The choice of our time is not yes or no to the proposals of lenders, it is not between a hard or less hard memorandum, or for the euro or the drachma. The choice is capitalism or revolution.

Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle
Korydallos prison