On 20 August Alexis Tsipras announced the resignation of the Gree government, triggering fresh elections.
Tsipras has ruled out having a Syriza party congress before the elections, and looks set to exclude the left from party lists. The Left Platform released a statement declaring it will stand in elections against Syriza as part of a “broad anti-memorandum alliance” under the name “Popular Unity”.
Sotiris Martalis from DEA (Internationalist Workers Left) gave an interview to Socialist Worker (USA) about the project. We publish an extract here.
The main forces [in Popular Unity] are from Syriza. But the process is not finished.
We don’t know exactly what parts of Syriza will participate. We also don’t know if it will be a new party, a front or a federation of organisations.
The foundation of Popular Unity will be all of the Left Platform — meaning the Left Current [led by Lafazanis and others] and the Red Network [initiated by DEA] — and, I hope, part of the so-called “53-Plus Group” [dissidents within the majority current of Syriza that disagrees with the decision of the party leadership.
There were two meetings to discuss left-wing groups outside Syriza participating. This involved 13 organizations, groups and initiatives. They signed a common declaration and will prepare a bigger text with their political position.
Most or all of these 13 groups will participate in Popular Unity. They will include two or three groups from the anti-capitalist coalition Antarsya. One is ARAN, or Left Recomposition, the second-largest group in Antarsya. Another is ARAS, or Left Regroupment.
Other groups involved in the meetings to discuss Popular Unity include Xekinima, a section of the Committee for a Workers’ International, and Paremvasi [which means “Intervention” in English]. The Initiative of the 1,000 also participated. Some ex-social democrats, such as DIKKI [the Democratic Socialist Movement], were involved.
The groups in Antarsya that have not yet decided to participate in Popular Unity include NAR [the New Left Current]; SEK, the UK Socialist Workers Party affiliate; and OKDE-Spartakos, the Greek section of the Fourth International. But the participation of important ANTARSYA groups in Popular Unity will put pressure on them.
There has already been four elections in about a year. The first was for European Parliament; then there were local and regional elections in May 2014; then came the national elections in January 2015; and in July, we had the referendum vote on austerity.
So this is the fifth election. And the people feel disappointed. They voted “no” in the referendum in the hope of stopping austerity. Now, some people are saying that Tsipras did the best he could. Others say the Left Platform was honest about this, and they mean what they say. You can find both those two basic opinions in workplaces.
But now begins a fight in the local branches of Syriza. We will see how many come with us, how many will stay with the leadership, and how many will just go home.
We will call for meetings and assemblies, but the outcome depends on the balance of forces in every local branch
• Full interview here