In the name of the so-called “geostrategic enhancement” doctrine of the country and following the path of the previous governments of New Democracy and PASOK, the SYRIZA-ANEL government has been proved NATO's "best student". Since its formation on January 2015, the governmental alliance between the social democratic SYRIZA and the nationalist ANEL party has aligned itself with the dangerous plans and goals of the imperialists.
The criminal decisions made in the recent NATO Summits in Brussels, as well as in the one in Warsaw a year ago, bear the signature of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. In an effort to serve the interests of the Greek capital, the SYRIZA-ANEL government works towards a more intense involvement of Greece in the interventions and imperialist wars in the Middle East and North Africa. That includes the expansion of the activities of the NATO-US forces in the Souda naval base (with the Greek side covering the enormous NATO's expenditures) and the more planned utilization of other military bases and command centres in order to promote the euro-atlantic plans, within the framework of the US-EU competition with Russia over natural gas and oil, energy pipelines, the control of markets and strategically significant regions.
It is characteristic that just a few months after it rise to power, the government of Mr.Tsipras signed a 500 million dollar deal with the US company Lockheed for the maintenance of old airplanes for the needs of NATO. While it crushes the people, the working class with more and more austerity measures, the government of SYRIZA finds both money and time in order to correspond to the demands of the NATO imperialists.
We must remind that, among other things, the SYRIZA-ANEL government under Prime Minister Tsipras:
- Has provided- and provides- military bases (Souda, Aktion) for the facilitation of the USA and NATO forces in the wars in Syria, Libya and Iraq.
- Maintains Greek military forces in imperialist missions abroad (from Afghanistan to Bosnia and from Libya to Mali), thus engaging Greece deeper into the dangerous inter-imperialist plans in the broader region.
- Under the pretext of the refugee issue, the government agreed to the enhancement of NATO's naval presence in the Aegean Sea. Such an action is connected to the sharpening competition in the wider region of the Middle East. The SYRIZA-ANEL government, like the previous bourgeois Greek governments, argue that NATO consists a force of “peace” and “stability” in the Aegean Sea and the Greek-Turkish relations. However, it is the opposite that happens: NATO not only does not recognize any borders between its member-states but, furthermore, it reinforces the aggressive plans of the Turkish bourgeoisie for the "greying" of the Aegean and the promotion of “disputes” over islands, sea borders etc. What does NATO, or the EU, say about the systematic violations of Greece's airspace by Turkish fighters?
- Actively participates in joined military exercises of NATO, as well as other bilateral and trilateral exercises with the USA and Israel, while it provides any facilitation (ports, airports, camps, military and other infrastructure) for multiple NATO military training in the Balkans (e.g. the recent “Noble Jump” military exercise in Romania). Within this framework, the government uses Greek soldiers as “assistant staff” to NATO's forces.
- Following the policy of its predecessors (New Democracy, PASOK), the government spends 2.4% of the GDP in military expenditures. At the same time, their policy has increased youth unemployment up to 50%! The “left” government of Mr. Tsipras cuts wages and pensions but when it comes to military expenditures, demanded by NATO, it shows remarkable obedience.
|Defense Minister P. Kammenos- the nationalist|
governmental partner of Tsipras- with NATO's Gen.
Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
The U.S. ambassador in Athens Geoff Pyatt also expressed his pleasure for the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and underlined: “With her unique geostrategic position and her Armed Forces, Greece supports our missions, especially throught Souda, which gives us a strategic advantage and the capability to confront challenges with flexibility and efficiency in the broader region”.
Lies, deception and illusions.
For those who have followed the rapid political transformation of SYRIZA, from a small opportunist leftist coalition into Greece's major social democratic party, the above stance consists no surprise. After all, during the last seven years, SYRIZA has been proved an extraordinary case of political deception and ideological manipulation. Foreign policy is another field where SYRIZA and its leadership has turned black into white.
The supposed “radical anti-imperialism” of SYRIZA as an opposition party has been fully transformed, thus proving the real illusionary political character of social democracy. More specifically:
On May 2012, in its electoral program, the party of Alexis Tripras was stating among other things:
“Our policy includes...The closure of all the foreign military bases in Greece. Immediate abolition of the bases of Souda and Aktio. We want neither Greece is NATO, nor NATO in Greece and we are fighting for its (NATO's) dissolution”.
After its electoral victory on January 2015, SYRIZA did exactly the opposite from what it had promised: Not only the US and NATO military bases remained, but the SYRIZA-ANEL government (through Defence Minister P.Kammenos) proposed the opening of a new NATO military airbase in the island of Karpathos (21/5/2015)!
On July 2013, the “Political Declaration” of SYRIZA's congress was stating: “...the disengagement from NATO, the abolition of the foreign military bases, the prevention of the military collaboration with Israel and the application of the doctrine “no Greek soldier in war-zones abroad” consist the axes of our Foreign Policy”.
The convenience and rapidity with which SYRIZA changed its positions would be a a ridiculously entertaining issue, if it wasn't so seriously dangerous for the country's people. After its electoral victory SYRIZA “forgot” all the above statements and became an obedient ally of the imperialists. Under Alexis Tsipras, Greece becomes more and more involved in NATO's dangerous imperialist plans, the Greek-Israeli military co-operation has been strengthened and the government is determined to participate actively in future NATO missions.
The supposed “radical leftist” Mr.Tsipras – the one who has signed NATO Summit's decisions in Warsaw and Brussels and who emerges as the “best student” of the murderous alliance – is the same person who, during a nationwide televised press conference in Thessaloniki on September 2014, was stating: “Our assessment was and still remains that in the new international balances of a multipolar world, this military formation (NATO) which reflects the Cold War era has no reason of existence”.
The KKE had exposed the “multidimensional foreign policy” of SYRIZA as an instrument of serving the bourgeois interests a long time ago, when Tsipras' party was rising as Greece's “radical” opposition. Here is a characteristic part of an article published in 'Rizospastis' daily on December 18th, 2012 under the title “What SYRIZA says about foreign policy”:
“When SYRIZA talks about a “multidimensional foreign policy” it means friendships with imperialist powers, according to their contradictions and what interests the domestic bourgeoisie or some powerful portions of her. SYRIZA also says that the aim of its foreign policy is to “politically enchance both Greece's participation in the european institutions as well as her geopolitical value”. Even if we skip the unevenness in capitalist development, which makes impossible the equal participation of capitalist states in inter-state Unions, who is benefited by Greece's strengthening in european institutions? And on behalf of whom (the government) will be negotiating a supposedly “more powerful” Greece in the bodies of the imperialist Union? Apparently, not on behalf of the people […] Therefore, SYRIZA's agony is for the interests of the domestic bourgeois class and on behalf of her it promises a stronger Greece, like the previous governments did, either “liberal” or social democratic ones”.
What has been demonstrated in practice is that the SYRIZA-ANEL government is another anti-people government, which under “left” slogans served in an equally faithful way the bourgeoisie, the imperialist unions of EU and NATO as the previous governments had done. Foreign policy consists another field where SYRIZA has been totally and irreversibly exposed as the “left” servant of the bourgeois interests.
The working class, the popular strata of Greece, shall not forget nor tolerate the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Together with the workers of all countries, Greece's workers-people's movement must organise its counterattack and intensify the common struggle against the wolf-pack alliances of NATO and EU, the imperialist wars, the bourgeois classes and their warmongering policies for their own profits.
* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of 'In Defense of Communism', a PhD candidate in Political Science, International Relations and Political History.