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Statement of Solidarity With the People and Government of Greece

category international | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Wednesday July 08, 2015 14:11author by Party of the Laboring Masses (PLM) - Philippines Report this post to the editors

The following statement is issued by various progressive individuals and organizations from many parts of the world, but mostly in Asia-Pacific. A copy of the statement has already been sent to Syriza's international department.

2015greecesyriza.jpg

"Your Struggle is Our Struggle"

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and the Syriza-led government as they prepare for a referendum on July 5, 2015 on whether to accept the continuation of the program of neoliberal austerity or chart a new course free from the debilitating stranglehold of the “troika” - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission.

We support the call of Syriza for a 'no vote' as the only option for the people of Greece, especially the working classes, to assert sovereign control over the country's economy and their own future.

We condemn the “troika” and their allied political institutions, for forcing their policies of neoliberal austerity, privatization, deregulation, and savage cutbacks dismantling the public sector. We, therefore, hold the “troika” responsible for the massive unemployment, increased poverty, greater social inequality, and a severe economic depression now being experienced by Greece. The irony of it all is that the huge debts the “troika” is demanding for repayment did not go to Greece but were used to repay private sector creditors such as French and German banks. In other words, these are onerous and illegitimate debts.

We had welcomed the election of the Syriza-led government on a program committed to ending the neoliberal-austerity policies imposed by the EU creditors and we stand in solidarity with them as they struggle to implement an anti-austerity program.

The austerity program has been assessed as a colossal failure by leading economists worldwide. Despite this, the insistence of the EU creditors and their political and economic allies to resuscitate this failed program, can only be construed as a cynical political maneuver whose real aim is to bring down the Syriza government, the first anti-neoliberal, anti-austerity government to be popularly elected in Europe.

Syriza was a product of the mass movements’ and working people’s struggles against neoliberal austerity promoted by unbridled capitalism. Similar political organizations have arisen across Europe, such as Podemos in Spain, a product of the anti-austerity 'indignados' movement.

The specter that haunts the European capitalist class is a 'Syriza syndrome' spreading to other parts of Europe, particularly in Spain, with the election of an anti-neoliberal Podemos government. By bringing down the Syriza government, the capitalist hydra aims to strangle such a movement at its birth.

Peoples from all over the world, in both developing and developed countries, have been struggling for the past decades against the imposition of a whole range of neo-liberal measures - liberalization, deregulation, and privatization, including neoliberal austerity programs imposed by capitalist governments led by the US and its allies, through the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial institutions.

There has also been a long history of struggles against debt repayments and for the cancellation of odious and illegitimate debts. The world has experienced how debt burdens and neo-liberal impositions have created havoc on economies, depleted natural resources, exacerbated inequalities, and impoverished peoples while siphoning off billions of dollars to global capitalist banks, giant corporations and imperialist governments.

We welcome the people of Greece into the struggle of peoples of the global South against neoliberalism, onerous debts and austerity.

Your struggle, is our struggle. Your victory, is our victory.

Signatories

Individuals:

Eduardo C. Tadem, Ph.D., Professor, University of the Philippines

Reihana Mohideen, Ph.D., Transform Asia

Ric Reyes, Philippines

Sonny Melencio, Chair, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) - Philippines

Jean Enriquez, World March of Women

Mary Ann Manahan, Focus on the Global South, Philippines

Joseph Purugganan, Focus on the Global South, Philippines

Josua Mata, SENTRO, Philippines

Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development

Manarishi Dhital, Editor Janadesh Weekly and socialist activist, Nepal

Cora Valdez Fabros, STOP the War Coalition, Philippines

Isagani Serrano, President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)

Amado Mendoza Jr., PhD., Professor, University of the Philippines

Teresa Encarnacion Tadem, Ph.D., Professor, University of the Philippines

Joseph Anthony Lim, Ph.D., Professor, Ateneo de Manila University

Jafar Suryomenggolo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Kyoto University

Edru Abraham, Professor (ret), University of the Philippines

Jerik Cruz, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva

Teodoro Mendoza, Ph.D., Professor, University of the Philippines

Anuradha M. Chenoy, Ph.D., Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Ph.D., Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Darwis Khudori, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Le Havre

Annabelle Benedicto Bonje, De La Salle University, Philippines

Francisco Nemenzo, Former President and Professor Emeritus, University of the Philippines

Ana Maria R. Nemenzo, Campaign for a Life of Dignity for All (KAMP)
Edmund Landrito, Arya Progresibo

Mercy Fabros, WomanHealth, Philippines

Omi Royandoyan, Centro Saka, Inc. (Center for Rural Development Studies)

Michael Treen, national director Unite Union, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Marcela Olivera, Red Vida, Bolivia

Benjamin Quinones, Jr., Ph.D., Executive Coordinator, Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS-Asia)

Fatima Gay Molina, Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP-Philippines)

Janus Isaac Nolasco, University Researcher, University of the Philippines

Aries Arugay, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of the Philippines

Krishna Kumar KK, Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP-India)

Maria Luisa Torres, PhD., Professor, Ateneo de Manila University

Maria Dulce F. Natividad, Ph.D., University of the Philippines

Nathan Gilbert Quimpo, Ph.D., University of Tsukuba

George Aseniero, Dapitan, Philippines.

Chibu Lagman, Independent journalist

Chris White, socialist, former Secretary of the United Trades and Labor Council of South Australia

Sam Wainwright, Socialist Alliance City Councillor for Fremantle, Western Australia

Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance City Councillor for Moreland, Victoria, Australia

Tim Gooden, Secretary, Geelong Trades Hall Council, Victoria, Australia

Darcey O’Callaghan, USA

Marta Harnecker, writer, Chile

Michael Lebowitz, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Canada

Saturnino Borras, Jr., Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague

Nicole Curato, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Canberra

Roland Simbulan, Professor, University of the Philippines

Francis Loh Kok Wah, Ph.D., Professor, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Samuel Lee, Ph.D., Secretary General, Korean National Commission for UNESCO

Kinhide Mushakoji, Ph.D., Professor, Osaka University of Economics and Law

Naruemon Thabchumpon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chulalongkorn University

Carl Middleton, Ph.D., Lecturer, Chulalongkorn University

Eduardo T. Gonzalez, Ph.D., Professor (ret), University of the Philippines

Kho Tungyi, Ph.D., Lecturer, Lingnan University (Hongkong)

Wei Xiaoteng, Ph.D., Professor, South China Normal University

Temario Rivera, Ph.D., Professor (ret), University of the Philippines

Jean Franco, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of the Philippines

Fred Chiu, Ph.D., Professor, National Taiwan University

Rudi Hartono, editor Berdikari Online

Yvonne Miller Berlie, Third World Network

Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now, UK

Caroline Sy Hau, Ph.D., Professor, Kyoto University

Lisandro E. Claudio, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Kyoto University

Lin Shenjing, New International, Taiwan

Hansley Juliano, Lecturer, Ateneo De Manila University

Tyrell Haberkorn, PhD. Fellow, Australian National University

Arze Glipo, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Network for Food Sovereignty

Woody Aroun, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa

Organizations:

Focus on the Global South

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

Socialist Alliance, Australia

Marxist Student Federation, Philippines

Socialist Aotearoa/New Zealand

Alab Katipunan, Philippines

Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives (ARENA)

Alternative ASEAN Network (ALTSEAN)

Liga ng Makabagong Kabataan, (LMK-Philippines)

Partido Lakas ng Masa-PLM, Philippines

Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)

FDC-Southern Mindanao

Awami Workers Party, Pakistan

Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Philippines

Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)

Resistance, Young Socialist Alliance, Australia

Blue Planet Project, Canada

Council of Canadians

Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development

SANLAKAS, Philippines

SANLAKAS –Mindanao

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino-BMP, Philippines

Partai Rakyat Demokratik, Indonesia

Social Action for Change, Cambodia

SustainUs, USA

Global Justice Now, UK

Earth in Brackets

South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE)

LDC Watch

Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)

People’s Alliance in Central East India (PACE-India)

Bangladesh Krishok Federation

EquityBD, Bangladesh

Coastbd, Bangladesh

VOICE, Bangladesh

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum

All Nepal Peasants Federation

Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN), Nepal

Joint Preparatory Committee on Tax and Fiscal Justice (JPCTFC), Nepal

Debtwatch Indonesia

KRUHA Indonesia

LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women's Rights)

Our Rivers, Our Life ( OROL)-Philippines

Gitib, Inc - Philippines

MAKABAYAN-Pilipinas

Aliran, Malaysia

Asia Pacific Network for Food Sovereignty (APNFS)

http://www.masa.ph/

___________________________________________

Defend Democracy, Repudiate Austerity

Akbayan Party’s Statement of Congratulations and Solidarity with the Greek People

We in Akbayan Party extend our congratulations and solidarity with the Greek People in their overwhelming rejection of austerity in their recently concluded national referendum. We laud their government, led by the political party Syriza and their Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, in standing with their people instead of taking the easy route of surrender and acceptance of the bailout package proposed to them by their creditors.

The Greek people have spoken. They have made it clear that they will not bear the humiliation of more privatizations and deregulations. These measures are not the answer to the country’s debt crisis. Instead, these measures have crippled the country’s economy and worsened the crisis.

Their decision to reject the terms of the bailout package proposed to them by the infamous troika of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank is a reiteration of their consistent opposition to the neoliberal policies imposed on them. They had already made clear that they reject the punishing economic measures forced on them by electing an anti-austerity party, Syriza, into power. That mandate remains.

The troika’s humiliating antidote to the country’s debt crisis in the form of cuts to social spending, gutting the Greek public sector, among others, has not resulted in any meaningful solution and instead ensured that Greece's future spirals into further uncertainty. These measures have worsened unemployment with 1.5 million Greeks without a job out of an active population of 6 million or an unemployment rate of 27% with youth unemployment hovering at 50%. Pensions in the country have been reduced by 44%, with 44.8% of Greek pensioners now living below the poverty line. Because of austerity, the country's GDP has been reduced from 27,000 USD in 2010 to 21,700 USD in 2014. These policies are not working.

These policies have also adversely affected the sizable migrant community in Greece, especially our own overseas Filipino community, who have become more socially and economically vulnerable due to the decrease in government spending and protection. The social tensions created by the crisis have also emboldened the burgeoning neo-fascist and anti-immigrant movement in whose racist rhetoric pin the blame on the foreign migrants instead of the true culprits of the crisis, which are the austerity policies.

The Greek people should no longer be made to pay for the illegitimate and onerous debts which have enriched foreign creditors. They should not be made to pay for a debt crisis that they did not cause. Their government has remained steadfast that a solution to their debt woes should never be at the expense of their own economic sovereignty. This reflects the mandate and the sentiment of the Greek people.

Their government’s decision to defer any deal with the troika without the full consent of the people is in line with the Greek people’s assertion that they should determine the fate of their country. This is democracy in its most straightforward definition.We laud them for remaining true to their heritage as the cradle of democracy. As shown by the referendum results, democracy did not fail them.

Now that the Greek people have repudiated austerity they are on their way to regaining a measure of self-respect, arrest the continued ransack of foreign corporations and creditors of their economy and pave the long road towards recovery. This will not sit well with its foreign creditors and the troika who are probably preparing to retaliate at the negotiating table. As such, we in the Philippines and other countries of the global South should stand with them in their rejection of austerity and neoliberal policies. We must also stand in solidarity with their government as they once again enter in negotiation with their creditors with a clear mandate from their people.

While the Philippines may be thousands of kilometers from Greece, we share a similar experience of bearing illegitimate and onerous debts. Our country's traumatic experience under the Marcos dictatorship did not end with its collapse but persisted as our country had to pay for the illegitimate loans contracted by the Marcos regime. These debts, much like the Greek debts, severely limited our capacity to invest in much needed social services. Some may surmise that the Philippines has little chance of sharing the same fate as Greece. However, our country has been the recipient of the same 'antidote' of neoliberalization, of privatizations and deregulations. Our country has faithfully followed the same economic policy prescriptions as Greece.

Today, Greece has chosen democracy over austerity. They have stood for their democratic principles as the true sovereigns of their country, their economy and their future.

Democracy has triumphed over austerity.

Akabayan - Citizens Action Party - Philippines

https://akbayan.org.ph

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