Even after referendum Syriza forced to propose massive austerity


 The new Greek finance minister has tweeted that "Greece reforms' proposal sent to the Institutions and Eurogroup's Dijsselbloem" well ahead of the midnight deadline. If media reports are to be believed it appears the Syriza led government is offering massive further austerity cuts of 13 billion in return for some debt relief and a further 50 billion bailout.

According to the Guardian "Greek negotiators are believed to have accepted the need for VAT rises and rules blocking early retirement as the price of a deal" If these are the terms those who saw in Syriza some confirmation that electoralist politics could deliver real change are going to be disappointed.

According to the Financial Times "In a sign Mr Tsipras could face stiff resistance at home, his Syriza party called a rare meeting of MPs at 8am Friday morning to weigh the proposal. Government officials said the plan – known as the bailout’s “prior actions” because they are the specific reforms that must be implemented before receiving aid funding – would be presented to parliament late Thursday night"

Despite getting a massive 61% backing in the referendum it turned out the EU institutions and individual EU leaders felt no particular need to pay serious heed to maintaining the democratic illusion. The not so invisible dictatorship of the market was their first and indeed only priority.

And its not a trivial dictatorship, although of course its not how the media presented it the papers have been full of stories of fears of medicines and even food shortages in Greece. We have seen the threat of starvation used as weapon of mass terrorism in Europe today by the same politicians who have to be passed smelling salts if a protesters so much as shouts at the car they are in. They had no problem pursuing policies that would deny insulin to diabetics but a water ballon horrifies them.

The worst aspect is that the concessions offered may be deemed to not be enough. We won't know that till the EU summit on Sunday but its already clear that there is a bloc that sees delivering a hard public beating to Syriza as being of more value than going out of their way to reach a deal that keeps Greece in the eurozone. Parts of the right wing media are already paving the path for rejection by suggesting that the debt relief offered would be a defeat for Germany.

And so perhaps we reach the end of the play on the big stage. Now the question is how will the social movements in Greece react both to the deal and to the imposition of austerity that will follow. What positions will those elsewhere in Europe who were in solidarity with a fight dominated by Syriza take when that fight becomes a messer one in the streets, communities and workplaces.

WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )