‘Better to break the rules than break the poor’ 

The Scottish Socialist Party today declared its solidarity and support for the Syriza Government in Greece ahead of Sunday’s referendum and called on the SNP to do likewise.

colin_foxSSP spokesman Colin Fox told us Greece’s ongoing battle against crippling indebtedness and imposed neo-liberal austerity reaches a crossroads today. And the Greek people need the support of working people everywhere as never before.

For the first time a payment due to the ‘Troika’ [IMF/ECB/EU] today has not been made. The Syriza Government faced a clear choice and has rightly chosen to defy the moneymen rather than heap further misery on the impoverished Greek people.

The 1.6bn Euro debt to the International Monetary Fund due is a minor detail. Greece has total debts of 330bn Euro’s. Yet their refusal to pay marks a watershed in Greece’s relationship with its creditors.

An agreement reached with the IMF last week was ‘scuppered’ when the European Central Bank and the European Union insisted on forcing Greece into a deeper recession before signing over the latest bailout funds also due today. The ‘Troika’ demanded further cuts in wages, pensions and vital public services. The Greek Government simply refused to accept such added ‘humiliation’.

Sunday’s referendum has therefore been called to ask the Greek people whether they wish to accept the further crippling austerity demanded by the European moneymen or not. If they vote YES to further austerity Alexis Tsipras has made it clear he will resign as Prime Minister. Another Government will then have to be formed. If they vote NO – Syriza will go back to the creditors and demand some of the debt mountain is written off and a package of reforms designed to grow the Greek economy is introduced.

Greek people need the support of working people everywhereColin Fox
Even then Greece is not out of the woods, not by any means. On 20th July another 3.6bn Euro debt falls due. And it will take an awfully long time to pay back 330bn Euro’s. Greece simply cannot afford to do so. Its economy has been shattered by a recession comparable to the US Depression of the 1930’s. It is vital the international community presses for these unpayable debts to be abolished.

Ten years ago some 250,000 people marched through Edinburgh demanding that un-payable, ‘bad’ debts in the Third World were written off in order to ‘Make Poverty History’. Some were. A similar international movement is needed now to insist Greece’s ‘bad debts’ are also rescinded.

Media Contact: Ken Ferguson 07925 613145