Athens saw International conference of Youth left organised by Youth of Syriza, political organization of dominant Greek party Syriza, this past weekend. Several members of other European Network of Democratic Young Left (ENDYL) also attended the meeting.
Among foreigners, there were speakers from Turkey, Finland, Italy, Ireland and Spain. Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras briefly had a cameo.
“We were blackmailed and forced to sign a deal with which we did not agree. It’s us still fighting together with European left movements for the changes in European society. Our place is well known from heroic fights but this is not enough. We also need heroic victories,” he said to young supporters: “The hope didn’t disappear,” referring to his earlier election motto from January: “The hope is coming.”
After that, Tsipras stayed to listen only a representative of Turkish HDP Cihan Erdal and then left. Erdal however in his speech focused on terrorist attack and fight against ISIS.
The member of Left youth of Finland Pinja Vuorinen was talking about austerity measures implemented in her country and emphasized the importance of people “to stay angry”. There were representative of Irish Sinn Fein, without any hint of irony in his voice, thundered: “We are nationalist and republicans, fighting for socialism.”
When Eduardo Fernandez Rubino from Spanish Podemos came on stage he received a huge applause and Greek members of Youth Syriza did not forget on the slogan which we heard many times when those two political parties met: “Syriza Podemos venceremos!” Rubino was full of grateful words towards Syriza: “We admire you, we breath with you, we learn from you. Thank you Greece, thank you Syriza!” Interesting enough also he mentioned fight against austerity measures.
The irony could not be bigger: the Greek parliament just the night before confirmed new package of harsh austerity measures – supported by Syriza. Tsipras erased the terms “fight against austerity, memorandum, and troika” from his speeches right after his cabinet made an agreement with international lenders in July. If readers remember, exactly because of those anti – austerity promises Syriza came to power on 25th of January this year.
That’s why Greek fight against austerity has really nothing to do with Syriza anymore. Anti – austerity fight of Syriza is by many Greeks marked with failure, disappointment, and betrayal. On second elections: 20th of September Syriza lost 320,074 votes.
The agreement with international lenders was also criticized by Youth of Syriza that time. On September 1th 38 out of 71 it’s members of central council resigned withdrawing their support for Syriza. Syriza, the biggest political party still in parliament, did not just disappoint only it’s voters but even its own part of youth members.
On conference of Youth left there were ofcourse, no mention of the austerity policies, which were implemented, and continued…by Syriza. Young supporters and politicians were still promising “the fight against imperialism, for socialist state”.
The fight that Aleksis Tsipras and Syriza already lost.