On 5 July, the Greek people is called to make a decision of historical importance; a decision that will not only determine the future of the country, but the future of Europe as a whole. The institutions of the Troika (International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, European Commission) are not only trying to destroy change in Greece, they are trying to undermine us all. Now is the time to raise our voices against this blackmail by the European elites.
European elites are crying crocodile tears over Greece’s alleged lack of good will to reach a compromise, leading to the departure of Varoufakis from the emergency Eurogroup meeting on Saturday 27 June. We firmly condemn this narrative which conceals the outrageous ultimatum that was given to the Greek government – take it or leave it –, and we fully support the Greek government’s decision to give a say to the people on a proposed agreement that contravenes the very programme on which SYRIZA was elected. Democracy must not be blackmailed.
It is also rumoured that, after all, the Greek proposal made public on Monday 22 June was very similar to that of the institutions of the Troika. This is simply not true. The Greek government never accepted the reduction of wages and pensions demanded by the lenders, proposed a redistribution of the tax burden in favour of the poor and restructuring of the debt which were both rejected by them. And the list could go on. This campaign of disinformation is part of a wider decredibilisation strategy that targets the Greek government, allowing the institutions to preserve their image at the same time.
The heads of EU states and governments, as well as the institutions of the Troika, keep repeating that voting “no” on 5 July is voting against the participation of Greece in the Eurozone if not in the European Union. By saying so, they want to generate fear and chaos, and prevent the very possibility of a democratic debate on an issue that exclusively concerns the nature of the proposals for an agreement with Greece. We fully support the holding of the referendum in the best possible conditions: no blackmail, no threats, let the Greek people decide!
As the managing board of transform!, we believe that the victory of the “no” will provide the Greek government with a strengthened democratic legitimacy to negotiate a fair agreement with the institutions of the Troika and the European partners. Voting “no” is sending a clear message that the socially and economically destructive neoliberal recipes are no longer wanted. Voting “no” is supporting a change of course in Europe. Voting “no” is opposing austerity, and it is our common interest. Voting “no” is choosing democracy and cooperation over blackmails and ultimatums. It is therefore of the utmost importance to show solidarity with the democratic will of the Greek people.
This initiative results from a meeting in Athens gathering representatives from social movements, networks, trade unions and political forces.