Greece

How we can reverse the racist agenda

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Greek anti-fascist and revolutionary socialist Petros Constantinou talked to Socialist Review about the Golden Dawn trial, the forest fires, and the prospects for anti-racists across Europe today.

The trial has been running for some time against the Nazi organisation Golden Dawn (GD). What are the outcomes so far and how much longer will the trial go on?

It started on 15 April 2015. It will probably last another year. There are three main cases: the murder of the musician Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013, the violent attack on Egyptian fishermen at their home when they were sleeping, and the attack on trade unionists of the Communist Party in Perama.

In the Fade

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Set in contemporary Germany and Greece, In the Fade, the latest film from Hamburg-born filmmaker Fatih Akin, is a chilling exploration of European neo-Nazism as seen through one woman’s insufferable bereavement.

Katja Sekerci (Diane Kruger), who is white and German, marries her Kurdish-German husband Nuri (Numan Acar) while he is in prison for drug dealing. Following his release, Nuri becomes a model of rehabilitation, setting up his own small business in Hamburg providing translation and travel services to the Turkish and Kurdish communities.

Syriza wins election

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Syriza held onto office in the snap elections on 20 September. Here we publish excerpts from the post-election statement of the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK).

The new coalition government begins from a worse starting point than before. On the opposite side the workers’ resistance can count on the support of a stronger left opposition. The possibilities to stem the tide of attacks on the working class stand before us stronger than they were till now.

Syriza lost about 300,000 voters, at least half of whom moved leftwards. A large part chose to abstain, such as unemployed and poor voters, who were asked to travel for the third time within a year.

Greece's long hot summer

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Greek workers have refused to surrender despite Alexis Tspiras capitulating to the Troika. Costas Pittas reports on how we can see workers' power in the industrial and political turmoil.

Over the last five years July and August have ceased to be months of relaxation for Greek society. Dramatic political developments and struggles by workers no longer automatically come to a halt in the summer heat. This year the speed with which the situation has evolved since 5 July, the day of the referendum, is unprecedented.

Argentina's 2001 crisis: The lessons for Greece

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The debt crisis that is tearing Greece apart has echoes in Argentina at the beginning of this century. Heike Schaumberg draws out lessons from the workers' response to neoliberal strangulation.

The similarity of the debt problem, the revolts, social movements, and pending default have all tempted comparisons between Greece today and Argentina’s crisis and popular uprising at the turn of this century. In December 2001 media and activist attention centred on Argentina like it does on Greece today for more or less the same reasons.

Greek experience

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Joseph Choonara’s comment that “Syriza could have stuck to its pledges in the hope that European finance ministers would cave in” (In perspective, March SR) might actually understate the strength of Syriza’s negotiating hand.

Greek reluctance to leave the euro is still widespread, but surely dwarfed by the dread experienced by German chancellor Angela Merkel and the banking Troika, for the reasons Joseph outlines.

Greek workers resist the Troika

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The harsh compromise forced on the Syriza government by the Eurogroup has deepened the anger against austerity, argues Costas Pittas. This is most pronounced among rank and file workers.

The electoral victory of Syriza in Greece on 25 January created huge optimism. After five years of struggle — with strikes, occupations and demonstrations in the squares — the government of the austerity Memorandum collapsed and a left party came to office. The Syriza ministers’ first declarations boosted this optimism: redundant civil servants would get their jobs back, privatisation would stop and the immigrant detention camps would be closed.

Greece: It didn't have to be this way

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The Troika has succeeded in imposing its will on the Syriza government for now, but other options were. And still are, available.

One of the most scathing responses to the deal struck between Greece’s radical left Syriza government and European finance ministers in February came from 92 year old Manolis Glezos. The former resistance fighter — famous for tearing the Swastika from the Acropolis in 1941 and now a Syriza MEP — compared the agreement to “renaming fish as meat”.

Syriza victory brings joy and expectations

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Panos Garganas, a leading member of the revolutionary left organisation Antarsya, assesses the mood in Greece following Syriza's victory.

There were huge celebrations on the night that Syriza won the Greek general election. Many people turned out to hear Alexis Tsipras declare victory. People are optimistic despite Syriza swiftly forming a coalition government with the right wing Independent Greeks.

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