- Created: Friday, 04 September 2015 09:51
- Written by Michael MacGregor
On 14 July, the Greek parliament agreed to the bail-out austerity terms imposed by the Troika (European Central Bank, European Union and the IMF) which are even more oppressive than those which Syriza had opposed when it won the January 2015 general election. 32 Syriza MPs voted against the deal and seven abstained, forcing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to rely on the votes of open supporters of austerity: the former governing party of New Democracy, Pasok and To Potami. This capitulation was the more abject because in a referendum just over a week earlier on 5 July the Greek people by an overwhelming majority – 61% to 39% – had signalled their complete opposition to the terms on offer.
In the days that followed, 25 Syriza MPs, together with a large number of members and officials opposed to the Party’s capitulation, broke away to form a new organisation, Popular Unity. With his parliamentary majority gone, Tsipras announced his resignation on 21 August, triggering a new general election on 20 September. This election will be a test of the extent of Popular Unity’s base within the Greek working class, and whether it can mobilise the sort of real opposition to austerity that Tsipras and his government signally failed to do during all the negotiations with the Troika.