Friday, 15 June 2012
Eyewitness Account-Syriza’s Athens Electoral Public Meeting-Omonia Square
Known as the United Social Front the platform was at the bottom quarter of the square overlooking the two 4x hotels that have shut down in the last two years. It was organised in such a manner to show large crowds. Only a few years ago the whole square could be filled up and the platform would be in the middle of it.
Now no party and in particular one that hovered around 4% can fill squares. People have lost faith in organised politics as it is organised as it has become fashionable to say one thing prior to elections and do the exact opposite when in power. There must have been around 25k. For a party which received 1.1 million votes and is poised to receive more, there are no electoral offices that have been rented and there is no actual organised increase in membership, proportionate to the rise in electoral support.
First up was Sofia Sakorafa who read her speech in a calm but wooden manner representing those essentially that have left PASOK, who have grown in the last period, ranging from union bureaucrats to alleged close collaborators of PASOK (images have appeared in the press that Dourou who had water thrown at her by GD in a tv panel talk show, was a close collaborator of the imprisoned ex-Defence Minister of the Siemens scandal Akis Tzohatsopoulos.
In the crowds one could discern all the different groups that make up Syriza, KOE, Xekinima, Marxistiki Foni (last two were in PASOK for over twenty years-Grantites) DEA (ex-SWP who voted for PASOK for as long as they were independent). They have all found a home in the most Europhile party of the Left assuming a new era is dawning where we can have reformist parties in an era when reformism is dead.
But they are there only because Tsipras appeared on the stage and gave an unscripted speech which essentially was focused on the message of unity and that this is the time for the Left. Enough damage has been done enough destruction and that if the current economic policy continues the Eurozone will break apart. The era of corruption is over and we need to get Greece back to work. Terrorise the terrorists he stated. Compared to all else Tsipras can hold his own but the content is lacking.
Only one in five Greeks who are officially unemployed get any benefit whatsoever of 361 euros per month and the tax bills issued this month to all have essentially dropped wages and pensions by another one or two monthly amounts. Most wages are now around E1k (less than UK's minimum wage) in the public sector and the economics of depression don’t seem to change as capitalism is collapsing and no amount of manoeuvring within the present socio-economic system will change that. Things are about to get a lot worse.
If Syriza assumes power the Europhiles will pre-dominate and try to do everything in their power to defend the Eurozone and go against its left wing and its own electoral base. To what extent they will be successfull will depend on a variety of factors. One is that they are united prior to assuming power. Once in power the internal faction divisions will come to the fore. That is why Syriza doesn’t want to win outright and wants to govern with others. The rotteness of the far 'left' grouplets is about to be magnified for all to see.