Apologise to the Greek people and to the European labour movement for calling for the withdrawal of the 5th July referendum.
This petition had 54 supporters
The results are in. The Greek people have overwhelmingly voted “oxi” to the Troika’s severe austerity proposals. The result gives the Syriza government a strong mandate to go back to the Eurozone financiers and demand a better deal which puts people before IMF profit.
With the IMF having to admit that the Greek debt is currently unpayable and that there should be debt relief of 20 years, the referendum on 5th July was a massive success for the Greek government and for the Greek people.
It was also a huge success for the European Left who came out en-masse over the preceding week to show support for the “oxi” vote. In most countries across Europe, in hundreds of cities and towns, hundreds of thousands of anti-austerity activists took to the streets to show their solidarity with the Greek people in the face of Troika blackmail.
It seems unimaginable, therefore, that the European Trade Union Confederation put out a statement on Wednesday 1st July calling on the Greek government to withdraw the referendum, thereby denying the Greek people the opportunity to democratically participate in the running of their country and lives.
It is unclear how the ETUC reached the decision to support the Greek General Confederation of Labour’s call to cancel the referendum. The Confederation is well known to be dominated by PASOK, who received less than 5% of the popular vote in the January elections after capitulating to the Troika by imposing harsh austerity on the country for five years, and effectively led the “nai” campaign.
The ETUC has consistently stated opposition against austerity. The labour movement across Europe has worked together to stand against austerity and expose the impacts of this political ideology. But the ETUC’s decision to back the PASOK controlled Confederation in Greece is a blow to that movement.
80% of young people in Greece voted No in the referendum. The majority of Greek solidarity campaigns and demonstrations across Europe are organised and attended by young people. Therefore, whilst the labour movement is struggling to recruit and retain young people we, the undersigned, find the decision taken by the ETUC prior to the referendum to be extremely disappointing and alienating for many.
We call on the ETUC to:-
Apologise for making the opaque decision to call for a withdrawal of the referendum, thereby denying the Greek people their democratic rights; and
Apologise to the labour movement across Europe for attempting to deny us all the "opportunity...for a fundamental re-assessment and revision of EU economic and social policies".
And we urge those attending Congress in September to hold the Secretariat to account for this decision.
Initial signatories of young European trade unionists:
Sanja Leban Trojar, Zala Turšič, Želimir Stanić, Neža Sovinc, Tea Jarc (Slovenia)
Aurea Bastos, Nuno Fonseca (Portugal)
Sabine van Veelen (Netherlands)
Suki Sangha, Cat Boyd, Kezia Kinder (Unite the Union activists), Sarah Rodgers, Sarah Collins, Greig McGlinchey Kelbie, David Fernie, Matt Ellis (Unison activists), Katrina Rankin (Chair of Unison Scotland youth committee, pc) Katie Bonnar (EIS activist), Bryan Simpson (TUC youth executive, pc),(Scotland)
Ronan Burtenshaw (Vice-Chair of ICTU youth committee, pc) (Northern Ireland)
Anthony Curley, Max Shanly (Unite the Union activists), Anna Lavery (Chair of Unite the Union youth committee, pc), Charlotte Upton (Vice-Chair of Unite the Union youth committee, pc), Byron McGinley (member of the ETUC youth committee) (England)
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