Passed by the SPUSA International Commission May 25, 2010
The Socialist Party USA resolutely supports the workers and students protesting against the IMF/European Union imposed austerity package. Greek trade unions and socialist organizations have acted swiftly and correctly by using one of the most powerful tools available to workers, the general strike, to combat this process. The crisis in Greece may come to head in the coming period and we join other international socialist and radical political organizations in extending our promise to support our comrades in Greece.
Greece shows the current crisis of international capitalism in its harshest form. This crisis is an attack by global capital on the weakest link in the European welfare states. Since the fall of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, capitalism has sought to break the power of the European working class, impose a neo-liberal agenda, and end decades of welfare state benefits. The current global economic crisis has allowed the ruling layer of capital, the so-called FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) to strike, refusing to lend Greece any more money, creating the possibility of a Greek default.
The continued attack on the Euro, despite a trillion dollar international bailout shows that capital cannot be appeased or negotiated with. If Greece refuses to bow, it will be forced to default on its debts, and have no choice but to impose the austerity measures demanded by capitalism, unable to borrow money to pay its workers. Greek workers are thus confronted with a stark choice: a crushing defeat or socialist revolution.
American workers have been subjected to a series of lies about the Greece. Claims that Greek workers are overpaid and retire at the age of 53 are false: the average retirement age in Greece is 61.4 years, later than the average European. Greek wages, already the lowest in Europe, were slashed by previous governments to 1984 levels. The average wage, including social security and taxes: a measly $1,063. Despite claims that Greek government was irresponsible, that its debt is unsustainable, the cost of servicing Greek debt is now less than half of what it was in 1993, a mere 6% of GDP.
The Socialist Party USA rejects these lies and stands in solidarity with the Greek workers, socialists, communists, and anarchists. We urge the protesters to move further, not merely to reject the despicable policies of the IMF/EU, but to overthrow capitalism altogether. Only by abolishing capitalism can the Greek workers defend their way of life.