In the years 2010-2015, Greece was the epicentre of a global revolt against the bankers’ “troika”. For months on end, parliament was besieged as tens of thousands occupied Athens’ Syntagma Square and city squares throughout Greece. There were at least 42 general strikes. 35% of the total population physically participated in street demonstrations, and in opinion polls 33% called in so many words for “revolution”. A previously obscure coalition of small anti-capitalist parties (SYRIZA) was swept to power in January 2015 with 36.3% of the vote, pledged to fight austerity. When it came to the famous referendum in July 2015, 61.3% of the population voted to defy the bankers, come what may. And then… SYRIZA capitulated. Between 2009 and 2016, the poorest 20% of Greece’s 11 million people suffered a 42% drop in disposable income.
What are the lessons of this defeat for the world working class? And what are the prospects for a new upsurge?
The speakers are
Roger Silverman, WIN political committee, editor of On The Brink and author of Defiance: Greece and Europe (http://www.zero-books.net/books/defiance-greece-europe)
Soteris Vlachos, anactivist, columnist and writer based in Greece, member of the Left Wing split from the Socialist Party of Cyprus (EDEK), and co-author of Revolt and Betrayal (a chronicle of the Turkish Cypriot rising of 2003-2004)
Themos Demetriou, member of the Left Wing, co-founder of the annual conference The Left and the Cyprus Problem, Marxist analyst, author of pamphlets on Greece and Cyprus and co-author of Revolt and Betrayal: 100 Years After – In the footsteps of Lenin 100 Years after the Russian Revolution