It is evident that many Greek workers will vote for the left party SYRIZA in the coming elections, with the possibility of that party forming a government. The workers want to use the elections to demonstrate their hatred of the unending austerity under the Troika programme and SYRZIA, with over 1/3rd of the vote, seem best placed to demonstrate that hatred.
It is equally evident that immediately after the elections there will be a profound crisis. The parties to the right of SYRIZA may form a coalition to continue the Troika programme. SYRIZA may form a coalition to the right that brings it to government with a weakened anti-austerity programme. If in government it will find itself locked in conflict with the Troika in a struggle around the future of Greece and of the eurozone.
In preparation for the post-election struggle it is vitality important that where workers vote SYRIZA they do so without illusions, that where possible they vote for revolutionary candidates and at all costs organize independently on their own behalf for the intense struggles that will arise.
This is all the more important given that many socialists, including the leadership of the Fourth International of which we are a component, are much more fulsome in their support for SYRIZA and dismiss doubts about pre-election shifts to the right.
Also, leading figures in the British Left unity group claim that SYRIZA will repudiate the debt. This is simply wrong. SYRIZA are promising what many aspiring government parties have promised before: that they will renegotiate the debt and get better terms.
A more measured claim is that a victory for SYRIZA will lead to a chain reaction across Europe and the rise of broad anticapitalist parties. However this is simply an assertion and it totally misunderstands the dynamic of the current class struggle. The workers support broad reformist parties because they have suffered defeats. They move to the left when traditional parties betray them, but no further than new parties who promise that reform is possible within the existing system and that the desperate struggle for revolution will not be necessary.
A further claim is made. That SYRIZA will form a workers government and raise a beacon across Europe. The party has given absolutely no sign of moving outside the institutions of capitalism. The claim is a sign that many socialists have themselves retreated and are intent on blurring the line between revolution and reform.
Calls for debt renegotiation have failed throughout the years of crisis. Given that the crisis is deepening and that workers across Europe must be convinced that there is no alternative to austerity, the Troika will not give way. The reformist and parliamentary strategy of SYRIZA will not budge them.
The question for workers will then be: do they despair in the face of capitalist intransigence? Or do they move to the streets and workplaces to begin the task of sweeping the capitalist system into the dustbin of history?