In the days following the victory of Syriza, many trade unions all over Europe expressed their solidarity with the Greek people.
Most of them are trade unions from South European countries, Spain (ELA, CCOO, UGT), Portugal (CGT P), France (CGT), but also from Ireland (SIPTU) and UK (TUC and Unite the Union) as well as international unions like ITUC, ETUC or IPS.
They welcome the victory of anti-austerity policies and highlight it as an opportunity for all Europe to stop austerity and take a new path for a social and democratic Europe. Many of them made the link between the fight of Greek people and their own struggle. "The fight of the Greek people against austerity is the same fight that British, Irish and millions of other working people across Europe are waging against the failed politics that protects the rich and well off at all expense of the poor" Mc Cluskey, Unite General Secretary, said.
SIPTU (Ireland) General President Jack O’Connor, said: “We emphatically support Syriza’s call for a debt conference and their imaginative solution which would release hundreds of billions of euro to the task of rebuilding Europe, offering hope in place of despair.”
Let me highlight one statement, for two reasons, because it came from the largest trade union in the world and because it came from Germany.
Relying on the result of the election in Greece, the DGB called to a revision of the EU economic and social policy. It called to the respect of democratic decision from the Greek. I called to open serious negotiation with the new Greek government. "Europe must not persist in pursuing, at the expense of the Greek population, a policy that has been decisively rejected by the majority of Greek voters. Just carrying on regardless is no longer an option!" DBG said.
The DBG ended by "The political upheaval in Greece must be turned into an opportunity to establish a democratic and social Europe".
The statement is now a petition open for signing from Union leaders in Europe. Austrian union signed it as well as ...
In summary, "The international financial institutions and the European authorities need to respect the voice of the Greek people and explore every option with the new government,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “Negotiation must replace edicts as the engine to regenerate the Greek economy.”