May 2012, Week 5


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Thu, 31 May 2012 22:17:04 -0400
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Platform of Greece's Syriza Left Coalition - The Solution is
With the Left!

The Exit from the Crisis is Left: Main Points of Greece's
Syriza Leftist Coalition

by Jadaliyya Reports

May 31, 2012



[The following is the platform put forth by the Greek
political coalition Syriza (an abbreviation for Coalition of
the Radical Left) on 9 May 2012. The leftist coalition is
currently polling at approximately thirty percent and is
expected by some analysts to win in the next elections in

The Exit from the Crisis is on the Left

1. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis

    Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income
    or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection,
    housing, and access to all services of public utilities.
    Protection of and relief measures for indebted households.
    Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, and
    abolition of VAT on basic-need goods.

2. Disposal of the debt burden

The national debt is first and foremost a product of class
relations, and is inhumane in its very essence. It is produced
by the tax evasion of the wealthy, the looting of public
funds, and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and

We are asking immediately for:

   * A moratorium on debt servicing.
   * Negotiations for debt cancellation, with provisions for
   the protection of social insurance funds and small savers.
   This will be pursued by exploiting any available means,
   such as audit control and suspension of payments.
   * Regulation of the remaining debt to include provisions
   for economic development and employment.
   * European regulations on the debt of European states.
   * Radical changes to the European Central Bank's role.
   * Prohibition of speculative banking products.
   * A pan-European tax on wealth, financial transactions, and

3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth, and elimination
of unnecessary expenses

   * Reorganization and consolidation of tax collection
   * Taxation of fortunes over 1 million euros and large-scale
   * Gradual increase, up to 45%, of the tax on the
   distributed profits of corporations (SA).
   * Taxation of financial transactions.
   * Special taxation on consumption of luxury goods.
   * Removal of tax exemptions for ship owners and the Greek
   Orthodox Church.
   * Lifting of confidentiality for banking and merchant
   transactions, and pursuit of those who evade taxes and
   social insurance contributions.
   * Banning of transactions carried out through offshore
   * Pursuit of new financial resources through efficient
   absorption of European funds, through claims on the payment
   of German World War II reparations and occupation loan, and
   finally via steep reductions in military expenses.

4. Productive social and environmental reconstruction

   * Nationalization/socialization of banks, and their
   integration into a public banking system under social and
   workers' control, in order to serve developmental purposes.
   The scandalous recapitalization of the banks must stop
   * Nationalization of all public enterprises of strategic
   importance that have been privatized so far. Administration
   of public enterprises based on transparency, social
   control, and democratic planning. Support for the provision
   of Public Goods.
   * Protection and consolidation of co-operatives and SMEs in
   the social sector.
   * Ecological transformation in development of energy
   production, manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture. These
   reforms will prioritize nutritional abundance and
   fulfillment of social needs.
   * Development of scientific research and productive

5. Stable employment with decent wages and social insurance

The constant degradation of labour rights, coupled with
embarrassing wage levels, does not attract investment,
development, or employment.

Instead, we are calling for:

  *  Well-paid, well-regulated, and insured employment.
  *  Immediate reconstitution of the minimum wage, and
  reconstitution of real wages within three years.
  *  Immediate reconstitution of collective labour agreements.
  *  Instigation of powerful control mechanisms that will
  protect employment.
  *  Systematic opposition of lay-offs and the deregulation of
  labour relations.

6. Deepening Democracy: democratic political and social rights
for all

There is a democratic deficit in the country. Greece is
gradually being transformed into an authoritarian police

We are calling for:

   * The restoration of popular sovereignty and an upgrade of
   parliamentary power within the political system:
   * Creation of a proportional electoral system
   * Separation of powers
   * Revocation of ministerial immunity
   * Abolishment of economic privileges for MPs
   * Real decentralization to create local government with
   sound resources and expanded jurisdiction.
   * The introduction of direct democracy and institutions of
   self-management under workers' and social control at all
   * Measures against political and economic corruption.
   * The solidification of democratic, political, and trade
   union rights.
   * The enhancement of women's and youths' rights in the
   family, in employment, and in public administration.
   * Immigration reforms:
   * Speeding up the asylum process
   * Abolition of Dublin II regulations and granting of travel
   papers to immigrants
   * Social inclusion of immigrants and equal rights
   * Democratic reforms to public administration with the
   active participation of civil servants.
   * The demilitarization and democratization of the Police
   and the Coast Guard. Disbandment of special forces.

7. Restoration of a strong welfare state

Anti-insurance laws, the shutdown of social services, and the
steep fall in social expenditures under the Memorandum have
turned Greece into a country where social injustice reigns.

We are in need of:

   * An immediate rescue of the pension system, to include
   tripartite financing and the gradual consolidation of
   separate pension fund portfolios into one public, universal
   system of social insurance.
   * A raise in unemployment benefits until the substitution
   rate reaches 80% of the wage. No unemployed person is to be
   left without unemployment benefits.
   * The introduction of a guaranteed minimum income.
   * A unified system of comprehensive social protection
   covering the vulnerable social strata.

8. Health is a Public Good and a social right

Health care is to be provided for free and will be financed
through a Public Health System. Immediate measures include:

   * Support and upgrades for hospitals. Upgrade of health
   infrastructures of the Social Insurance Institute (IKA).
   * Development of an integrated system of first-level medical care.
   * Covering the needs of medical treatment in both personnel
   and equipment, in part by stopping lay-offs.
   * Open and cost-free access to medical treatment for all
   residents in the country.
   * Free pharmaceutical treatment and medical examinations
   for low-income pensioners, the unemployed, students, and
   those suffering from chronic diseases.

9. Protection of public education, research, culture, and
sports from the Memorandum's policies

With regards to education, we are calling for:

   * Consolidation of universal, public, and free education,
   including coverage of its urgent needs in infrastructure
   and personnel at all three levels.
   * Compulsory 14-year unified education.
   * Revocation of the Diamantopoulou Law.
   * Assurance of self-government for Universities.
   * Preservation of the academic and public character of

10. An independent foreign policy committed to the promotion
of peace

The capitulation of our foreign policy to the desires of the
U.S. and the powerful states of the European Union endangers
the country's independence, peace, and security.

We propose:

   * A multidimensional and peace-seeking foreign policy.
   * Disengagement from NATO and closure of foreign military
   bases on Greek soil.
   * Termination of military cooperation with Israel.
   * Aiding the Cypriot people in the reunification of the
   * Furthermore, on the basis of international law and the
   principle of peaceful conflict resolution, we will pursue
   improvements in Greek-Turkish relations, a solution to the
   problem of FYROM's official name, and the specification of
   Greece's Exclusive Economic Zone.

The incumbent economic and social system has failed and we
must overthrow it!

The economic crisis that is rocking global capitalism has
shattered the illusions. More and more, people understand that
capitalist speculation is an inhuman organizational principle
for modern society. It is also widely acknowledged that
private banks function only for the benefit of the bankers,
harming the rest of the people. Big business and bankers
absorb billions of euros from health care, education, and

An exit from the crisis requires bold measures that will
prevent those who created the crisis from continuing their
destructive work. We are endorsing a new model for the
production and distribution of wealth, one that will include
society in its totality. In this respect, the large capitalist
property is to be made public and managed democratically along
social and ecological criteria. Our strategic aim is socialism
with democracy, a system in which all will be entitled to
participate in the decision-making process.

We are changing the future; we are pushing them into the past!

We can prevail by forging unity and creating a new coalition
for power with the Left as a cornerstone. Our strength in this
endeavour is the alliance of the People: the inspiration, the
creative effort, and the struggle of the working people. With
these, we will shape the lives and the future of a self-
governed people.

Now the vote is in the hands of the People! Now the People
have the power!

In this new election, the Greek people can and must vote
against the regime of the Memoranda and the Troika, thus
turning over a new page of hope and optimism for the future.

For Greece and for Europe, the solution is with the Left!


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