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Α. The governmental policy of ND in favour of capital is a continuation of the policy of PASOK


45. The government of New Democracy, both in the first period of governance and in the second, proceeds consistently and with determination towards the elaboration and implementation of the package of interrelated capitalist restructuring measures, particularly concerning the deterioration of labour relations (e.g. contraction of the system of “heavy and unhealthy” occupations, abolition of the Sunday holiday), social security, educational and health-welfare systems.


Adopting all the antidemocratic directives and laws of the EU, it reinforced the reactionary political superstructure, the state mechanisms of repression against trade- union and civil liberties.


As in previous years, no matter whether the government was ND or PASOK, political corruption scandals are revealed (procurement for governmental contracts) involving governmental and other political executives, advisors to the ministries. Some of them are revealed from within the bourgeois political system, after a long time. Their disclosure serves the competition among powerful business groups, but also the needs of the bipartisan confrontation. It misleads and serves as a distraction away from the heightened peoples' problems. The scandals and the muckraking as a method of political confrontation confirm the corruption and decay of the bourgeois political system, though bourgeois parties explain them based on individual ethical criteria.


However, it is clear that they develop on the basis of the merging of state and monopolies, they are linked to the competition of corporate groups for market shares, using the bribing of executives as a means. They are a manifestation of the decay and parasitism of the capitalist system that produces and reproduces the corruption of conscience.  


46. The government of New Democracy, through its economic, social, foreign policy etc, expresses the interests of the bourgeoisie at increasing capitalist exploitation and upgrading its international position.


ND claims that as a government, contrary to PASOK, it is capable of combining the necessary reforms for capital with a social policy in favour of the people, something which is clearly incompatible and which ND does not even achieve at the level of tactical manoeuvres.


It is a fact that ND suffers losses, but they are still behind the real dimensions of the consequences of its policy.


ND drew arguments from the negative consequences of the dominant policy of all previous years, deliberately hiding the class nature of the decisions and blaming PASOK management for all that went wrong. Its main proposal is the management of poverty using solidarity funds, «voluntary work», collections through NGOs in the framework of «social solidarity», sponsorship, through the so-called «charity» of businessmen and the «Corporate Social Responsibility» (CSR).


The main victim of this policy is the working class and the salaried work in general. The small holder farmers, small businessmen, particularly those in retail trade, are also sustaining big blows because of the concentration of trade in large commercial establishments and generally in the commercial business groups that gain an ever increasing share of the market.


The policy of selective benefits does not concern a branch of the economy or an area, but small groups of the population that live below the recognised by bourgeois statistics poverty limit. Continuing the corresponding practice of PASOK, it systematically replaces older bourgeois approaches with modern ones, which are elaborated uniformly by the staff of the EU and international imperialist organisations. For example, they promote the rendering of «equal opportunities» instead of securing rights, while they declare «competitiveness» as a general criterion of performance starting from state schools and hospitals up to the functioning of local authorities. For this purpose ND launched the reform of the administrative structure of the country through the Plan «Kapodistrias II», in order to strengthen the local and intermediate administrative units in the management of capital accumulation.


In the competition among the USA, Russia and the EU, ND positions itself in accordance with the interests of the Greek bourgeoisie, given that the latter’s economic position in the system of imperialism is primarily determined by its position in the EU. Within the framework of these contradictions it presents itself as a political force acting with independence in shaping the country's energy policy and offering resistance to selfish interests. Of course, at the same time, both Greece and the EU maintain their strategic alliance with the USA, particularly through NATO. In parallel, ND continues the policy of PASOK in diversifying its sources of military equipment, trying to balance among the multiple pressures it receives from the leading imperialist forces. It systematically portrayed a supposedly independent stance against the pressures on the issue of Cyprus, staying politically neutral towards the «Annan Plan», refusing to back down to pressure for solving the problem of the name of FYROM, supporting Russia in its reaction to the immediate accession of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO.


The policy of ND has nothing to do with the peoples’ resistance to imperialist pressures and commitments nor does it constitute a policy of independence. It is an expression of the disposition of the bourgeoisie of the country to take part in the antagonisms, aiming to claim a better position in the distribution of markets and not to lose the advantageous position it has gained in the Balkans.


This phenomenon of the Greek bourgeoisie and its parties exhibiting a certain degree of resistance or manoeuvreing among various imperialist centres is not a new one, since there were similar phenomena in the post-war period. This trend is related to the sharpening of contradictions within the EU and the emergence of new global imperialist powers.


The basic core of the bourgeoisie, the most dynamic core of capital has the same attitude towards ND that it had towards the PASOK government when K. Simitis was Prime Minister. Although it has been served by both governments, it avoids being fully identified with the ruling party. It criticizes the government of New Democracy, as well as the other bourgeois parties, for hesitating to promote the capitalist restructuring policies in a faster and more decisive way and for delays in the adjustment of state services and of the Civil Administration.


This criticism has a real starting point, since the economic actors are less directly bound by management policy and by the need to integrate the workers. In parallel, it has a preventive character, trying to confront the potential reservations of any government vis-a-vis the risk of reduction of its parliamentary power.


B. The crisis of PASOK


47. PASOK is also a bourgeois party, which suffers a long-term crisis. This is a crisis of Social democracy and of its capability of integrating popular forces, as it has the same strategy with ND under the conditions of the EU market and of the promotion of capitalist restructuring. It has lost its previous ability to manipulate working class and popular strata in the name of the «social state», of a «third way» between capitalism and the socialist system that existed then.


The crisis of PASOK fuels processes that prepare the transition to coalition governments between the two bourgeois parties or to coalition governments of the bourgeois parties with parties that act within the frame of bourgeois management, in the form of centre-right or centre-left coalitions, or for the formation of new parties. Of course, the bourgeoisie of the country is interested in maintaining PASOK as one of the poles of the bipartisan rotation in government, it tries to promote its recovery in order to maintain the atmosphere of bipartisan polarisation, with a view to trap once more popular forces, to prevent processes of radicalisation within them.


The attempt to revive PASOK is favoured by the international economic conjuncture that requires once again some direct governmental interventions to save the financial giants from bankruptcy, as happened in the USA.


C. The support to SYN/SYRIZA as an opportunist barrier


48. SYN/SYRIZA embodies in the most authentic way the essence of opportunism, as a force supporting the bourgeois political system and the political management of the crisis of capitalism, being a barrier to the trend of radicalisation of popular forces.


Regardless of the conjuncture, SYN/SYRIZA is enjoys the support of  the system, as it is estimated that, in cooperation with PASOK,  it can contribute to the reconstruction and the revitalisation of the alternative bourgeois pole of governing.


Irrespective of whether the assistance of SYN/SYRIZA will be required in the immediate future for the formation of coalition governments, it enjoys the support as a barrier force towards the KKE.


It is being utilized as a force for achieving the harmless relief of popular discontent, for inhibiting the policy of alliances of KKE, for pressing KKE to abandon its ideological and political independence.


Its program has a social-democratic character and expresses its desire to acquire a hegemonic position among the supporters of PASOK - SYRIZA. The disagreements and conflicts within SYN and within SYRIZA as a coalition entity, are not different from the typical tactical disagreements among the various fractions of the Social Democratic movement.


SYN, while remaining firm to its fixed programmatic positions of managing the system, at the same time becomes tactically more flexible, attempting to show that it has shifted to the «left», under the pressure of the action of the Party and the movement and trying not to be identified with PASOK. Its main objective is to attract on its side as much of the electoral base of PASOK as possible, in order to claim from a position of strength a share in a governmental cooperation. 


Its programmatic positions target mainly the upper middle strata, the segments of salaried employees who have higher incomes and job stability, while its general positions do not call into question capitalist restructuring.


Its positions circle around the historically outdated Keynesian policies of partial redistribution, state control and regulation, which are inapplicable in the conditions of liberalised markets. The main expression of opportunism, which invalidates any of their claims in favour of workers, is its position in favour of the EU as of a one-way adjustment to the so-called «globalisation». SYN claims that there can not be a radical change at a national or even at the European level, unless there is a change in the global correlation of forces.


In critical junctures it supports the dominant policy, while in periods when it senses positive processes it supports harmless reforms, it adopts anticapitalist phraseology, with no corresponding reflection to its positions, demands and proposals. SYN’s position concerning the problems of youth and its movement, where it adopts positions and practices of an anarchist-autonomist direction, disruptive for the movement, are particularly damaging. Its political practice is characterised by untrustworthiness and opportunism.


D. Other forces


49. LAOS is a classical nationalist and racist bourgeois party, which aims to shape its electoral and political power among the most impoverished popular strata that lack trade union struggle experience. It influences more traditionally conservative petty-bourgeois strata which used to support ND. In parliament it votes for the key legislation bills of ND, describes itself as the second party of the «camp» and expresses its readiness for governmental cooperation with ND. In the European Parliament it votes together with ND on issues of strategic importance for the development of the EU.


Its tactic aims at obscuring, through verbal rhetoric and disorientating slogans, its ideological identity, whose core is the servicing of the capitalist system and the dominant policy.


It supports the domestic bourgeoisie in its attempt to claim a larger share in the imperialist system, using racist, nationalist slogans and arguments, with a hollow anti-Americanism and an aggresive jingoism.


LAOS has repeatedly played a leading role in the attacks against KKE, applying Goebels-type methods of propaganda, in tandem with the leadership of PASOK and the tolerance of SYN on several occasions.


50. Some ecological Movements that form political entities support positions and proposals, which are integrated in the choices of the EU and monopolies. They detach the management of the environment from the economy - politics relation, from the type of ownership on the concentrated means of production. That is why they cannot objectively formulate a policy that will show the way out for the people.


Ε. The weakening trend of the bipartisan rotation. Processes of reconstruction of the bourgeois political system


51. The national elections of 2007, as well as the general developments, show that the bipartisan rotation of single-party governments of the bourgeois parties is not guaranteed. This weakening is the result of the positive processes that have taken place in the popular consciousness in recent years, which are first and foremost a consequence of the totally identical position of both parties concerning the strategy of capitalist restructuring. This result is related to the action of the Party, which revealed the nature and the identity of their policy, as well as the scenarios for the reconstruction of the bourgeois political system.


In today’s conditions, the bourgeoisie and its parties have not resigned from bipartisan rotation. In this context, the government of ND has changed the electoral law to ensure an adequate premium to the strongest electorally bourgeois party. At the same time, changes are being planned in relation to the vote of emigrants, which are estimated to strengthen the two bourgeois parties and the bipartisan rotation.


ND and PASOK still argue that a single-party bourgeois government is needed, because - as they state- on the one hand, coalition governments always have problems of cohesion and unity and, on the other hand, such a governmental possibility, capable of achieving popular consent and eliminating competition between ND and PASOK, has not yet matured.


At the same time, there is a problematic being expressed and discussed regarding the paving of the way and the preparation for the formation, in case of the inability to form a single-party government, of a government that will be firmly committed to serving the system and, simultaneously, capable of hindering and undermining the rise of the class struggle and of the policy of the anti-monopoly alliance. One of the basic conditions in order for the experiment of cooperation between ND and PASOK or ND and LAOS or PASOK and SYN to succeed is to prevent the rise of influence and power of the KKE.


52. The bourgeoisie, its hardest-core, wants the decisions on reactionary measures and modernisation to be taken quickly. It is on this basis that it judges the political actor that handles the restructuring, taking into account popular discontent as well. The employers’ associations, first of all executives of the Hellenic Federation of enterprises (HFE), «dare» to raise the issue of a more radical change in the political landscape, through the creation of new modern bourgeois parties, criticising the existing bourgeois and ruling parties, accusing them of not monitoring developments and not meeting contemporary needs. In essence their criticism concerns:

  • The failure of both parties to silence the development of class struggle, whatever its present level. They have not achieved the full sovereignty of «social partnership», although the majority of the bodies of the trade union movement is dominated by forces which are assimilated and subservient to bourgeois policies. Their main criticism is focused on the fact that PASOK –less so ND, which is afraid of PASOK- does not collide with narrow “guild” interests. This assessment also reflects the serious efforts of the Party to contribute to the development of the popular struggle.

  • The fact that the antagonism between ND and PASOK for the governmental helm- on the basis of “right versus anti-right”, “modernisation versus conservatism”- inhibits consensus, leads to resistance in the name of the opposition, while there are no strategic differences between them.

  • The fact that the antagonism between the two parties is also conducted at the level of shaping, through clientelism, party mechanisms within the mechanisms of central and local governments, as far down as the movement, resulting in the malfunctioning of the modern meritocratic bourgeois criteria.


53.  The mass media and the mechanisms of communication and propaganda in general, the overwhelming majority of which are in the hands of business groups and concentrate a large number of workers who have different labour relations, show considerable flexibility in manipulations and stability towards the general strategy of the capital. State and private Media reflect the general interests of capital, of monopolies and more specifically the particular interests of the owner. They seek to maintain bipartisan rotation and at the same time to prepare the ground for the recasting of the bourgeois political landscape. Regardless of the extent to which they serve one pole or the other, eventually, they exert pressure in order to advance the restructuring policies, to hit and assimilate the movement. They intervene so as to elevate and establish political executives who in their opinion can play a more useful role for the system, either as new, supposedly uncorrupted or more capable persons. They disclose, or on the contrary they suppress, scandals and conflicts within parties, in order to exert influence on the parties in power and generally on the parties that may contribute to the management or to the appeasement of popular discontent.


Most of the media systematically suppress and distort the positions of the KKE. They do not even comply with the standard regulations concerning the proportional allocation of broadcasting time. They present the KKE as a party with an outdated or unrealistic proposal, as a party dangerous for the people because of its policy of rupture with the system. The number of anti-communist and anti-socialist TV programmes is increasing continuously, aiming at the falsification of historical reality, the slandering and defamation of the construction of socialism in the 20th century.


The business groups in the sphere of the Mass Media also extend their political intervention in the movement, at times supporting corporatist conflicts and mass activities aimed at assimilation, or they use the movement to support PASOK and SYN.


The developments in social struggles and in the movements


54. Positive processes regarding the level of conciousness or even mere occasions for positive reflection on the part of workers, caused by developments in the economy, the social sector, by international developments and by the militant action of the Party, are being inhibited by the poor state of the labour movement and the overall movement, by the fact that the consequences of the decline of the revolutionary movement, which fuelled a deep decline of revolutionary consciousness, remain strong. The consequences of counter-revolution have not been completed both in and beyond Europe. Therefore, in conditions of rising popular dissatisfaction, the ground for the development of reformism and opportunism is strengthening as well. The strengthening of reformism and opportunism in Greece is also based on the fact that in the periphery of the bourgeoisie, of the monopolies, middle strata are being reproduced, while, additionally, new segments of salaried employees are being “bribed” by capital, factors on which the political alliances of capital rest. It is characteristic that through the public-private partnerships (PPP), through the contractors penetrating into almost all sectors and projects of strategic importance, but also by means of the EU mechanisms, the various research committees and offices, as well as through the participation of workers’ representatives in the enterprises’ administrative boards etc. , a special layer with strong interests is being formed, as a “garland” of the monopolies and of the privatised services.


In addition, new differentiations appear within the rangs of the working class, based on labour relations and the level of wages. Youth, women and immigrants feel the direct impact of the new labour relations, they have lower incomes and, primarily, job insecurity, have no experience, they face strong pressure and blackmailing from the results of the anti-popular policies and employers’ terrorism. Such differences can exist within a single workplace and sector and, under conditions when the employer or government-led trade unionism and reformism dominate, they lead to confrontations, to a fragmented and limited action.


55. In the period following the 17th Congress important struggles have developed through the pioneer action of class oriented forces. Most of the struggles were at the sectoral and enterprise level and they were conducted against privatisation and dismissals, concerning industrial relations issues, against delays in payment and compensation.


PAME (All Workers Militant Front), a coalition of class-oriented trade union forces, became a vanguard force. It has expanded its spheres of intervention and influence, contributed to the wider spreading of the militant class goals of struggle. PAME exercised severe pressure within the ranks of the trade union movement on all the main fronts of struggle, like Social Security, in the struggle for collective agreements, Education and Healthcare, concerning labour «accidents» and occupational diseases, on the problems of working women. It has played an irreplaceable role in organising nationwide strikes, in undertaking strikes in sectors that were in the process of negotiating a collective agreement, especially following a shameful agreement of GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers) and HFE.


In the mobilisations of PAME there was an expanded participation from factories, particularly of unorganised workers who participated in such actions for the first time.


One of the most important struggles was that of the shipping workers, who gave a militant response to their conscription. The struggles of workers in the field of Local Government, and the struggle for decasualisation of casual workers hold a special position. The struggles of factory workers in factories that had closed-down or in places where employers delayed the payment of salaries and allowances, as in Naoussa, can also be distinguished. There were major systematic and repetitive demonstrations in the ship repair zone at Perama.


The interventions against dismissals that achieved the re-hiring of those dismissed for trade union action, etc are of particular importance.


A serious event, offering dynamic and rich experience, is the struggle of migrant farm workers in Ilia, which is the first major attempt at organising their struggle for equal wages and a change of their dismal living conditions.


The struggles that have developed in the former Public Corporations and Organizations (PCO), which are sectors with higher salaries and more job security, do not inspire the workers, young workers, since they do not challenge the dominant policy. These struggles are characterised by corporatism, while they consciously disregard workers under new labour relations and the employees working for contractors. The trade union leaders who have such an orientation refuse to register the latter to their trade unions.


The possibilities that exist became apparent when the class-based forces made efforts to create the pre-conditions for organising the action of workers working under new labour relations, in sectors where they are highly concentrated.


There were significant and sustained demonstrations of pensioners against the poverty-level pensions they receive, against the cost and quality of healthcare. The number of pensioners is increasing rapidly, due also to the early retirement plans in former PCOs. The movement of pensioners can and must obtain a more mass character through the active participation of new pensioners. It is an important component of the overall labour and popular movement.


The struggles were also linked to the problem of rising prices, of the growing inflation in food, electricity and more generally the revaluation wave affecting the overall standard of living, because of the relative and absolute decline in real income due to low salaries and poverty-level pensions.


56. The struggles in the sphere of Education, particularly those of university and higher technical education students, students in High and Middle schools and teachers, were of significant scope and duration. Thanks to these struggles, the issues of the privatisation of education, of the promotion of the decisions of Bologna and of the Lisbon strategy of 2000 became widely known. These struggles encountered greater solidarity and sympathy in recent years compared to the past.


57. In the same period of time, PASY (Peasant’s Militant Rally) made its presence more distinct. It positively influenced the development of certain struggles, it spread its militant goals of action wider than in the past.


Many farmers' sectors, particularly those who received a strong blow from the revision of the new CAP, have proceeded to local mobilisations. The mobilisations of the peasantry were centered around defensive demands, aiming at preserving a tolerable minimum income. They were inferior to those of previous years. This is explained by the fact that the CAP was promoted and a significant part of the peasantry was displaced from production.


58. There were mobilisations of some sectors of the self-employed that are affected by the measures of governmental policy which accelerate the concentration of the capital. The efforts of coordinating the action of the militant forces among the self-employed are positive, but still behind the needs.


59. During this period there has been a wider development of mobilisations on environmental protection, on forests and forest fires, on contaminated water, on the consequences from the lack of earthquake protection systems, on the problem of free access to the coasts, on the seizure of coasts by enterprises and the subsequent imposition of entrance fees, etc.


60. The intervention of the nationwide organised militant women's movement was positive. It promoted positions and demands – goals of struggle, the subject of a deeper elaboration, aiming mainly at the multifaceted consequences of the capitalist restructuring policies on female employment and unemployment, on the daily life of the working family, on the life of the woman who experiences more acute discriminations, while she bears multiple obligations. The effectiveness of this movement would have been greater if it had been supported by the whole Party and the class oriented movement, if it had been enriched with concrete action from the base, closer to the women of the working class and the popular strata who suffer, but are encountering difficulties to be active, even when they wish to, due to the suffocating lack of free time.


61. There have been noteworthy militant actions for the defense of democratic rights and freedoms of the people.  However, they were incommensurate to the severity of the attack on workers at workplaces, on the organisation of strikes and other forms of mobilisation, on demonstrations, and the persecution of Greek and migrant workers. The resistance and activities were directed against the growing state repressions and against employers’ terrorism. They have highlighted the class character of laws and institutions, of bourgeois legality and justice, of the state and the bourgeois parliamentary democracy. Through the intervention of the class-oriented trade unions the lack of democracy at workplaces was highlighted better than before. There were victorious battles against terroristic dismissals of trade unionists.


62. The peace movement in our country has to contribute even more to informing and mobilising the people, especially the youth, around developments in NATO, the militarization of the EU, the negative developments in the Balkans and elsewhere, the systematic involvement of Greece, the development of new fronts of struggle, the rooting of the movement at workplaces and places of residence, through diverse action. It should also further intensify the international side of its action, in particular its cooperation with the movements in Europe and the Middle East.


The assessment of the correlation of forces at a social level


63. The struggles that developed reflect the popular discontent, the workers’ intention to defend whatever conquests have remained following the successive governments of PASOK and ND. However, they were inferior, both in forms, as well as in direction and demands, compared to the wave of the attack being sustained by the salaried employees, small holders, farmers and self-employed.


Several objective factors that had been pinpointed by the Party, both at the 17th Congress and later on in some of its fundamental documents, are still applicable. These factors are:


a) The negative correlation of forces in the labour trade union movement and generally in the popular movement. The role of the GSEE and the Confederation of Public Servants (ADEDY) proves itself to be harmful and is an important obstacle to the mass growth of the class struggle and of the labour movement. SYN/SYRIZA plays a subversive role, by supporting the trade union leaderships, by cooperating with them in return for the election of its representatives in union bodies or as representatives in congresses.


A change in the correlation of forces against employer or government-led and reformist trade unions is being made more difficult, to a certain degree, by structural problems, by the multiplicity of labour relations that are accompanied by a methodical effort to establish several trade unions at the same workplace, in order to inhibit the formation of a uniform class consciousness and action. The action of class-oriented forces to change the correlation of force is becoming more difficult today. It requires a special effort in primary trade unions with a view to the creation of single branch organisations in each prefecture, regardless of labour relations. The organisation of the forces of PAME by sector may give new impetus to the emergence of class-oriented forces and to the improvement of the correlation of forces.


A decisive improvement is needed in the party guidance of the forces in the primary and secondary trade unions, in conjunction with the planned attempt to bring together forces.

b) The impact that the victory of the counterrevolution had and will continue to have in the immediate future, causing an overall retreat in revolutionary consciousness.


c) The frustration which the advancement of the restructuring policies breeds and the consequences they bring to the work and life conditions for a large part of workers.


64. The new conditions that capitalist restructuring shape require a counter-attack strategy with the popular victory at the level of power as its perspective. This, in turn, requires willingness to proceed to a breach, endurance in the face of difficulties, readiness for sacrifice.


The movement of the working class and of the popular strata must acquire a deep anti-monopoly anti-imperialist orientation, based on the class struggle and the social alliance, otherwise the struggles will not lead to results and re-groupements.


On the one hand, the circumstances and developments create new difficulties, but on the other hand, they prepare the ground for the seed of radicalism to grow.


The objective factors that lead to assimilation play their concrete role in conjunction with the fact that the terms of reproduction of labour power have not yet been disturbed to a considerable extent for a part of the working class and the petit bourgeois strata. This trend, however, will be strengthened in the process and that imposes heightened requirements on the Party’s actions.


65. The role of the Party grows, as it is currently the only factor that can contribute to addressing these objective factors and to the development of class consciousness. The obligations and responsibilities of the Party grow, as the attack on popular rights, on the income and living standard of workers will be intensified, as state terrorism and repressions will grow stronger.


The ruling class, the parties in power and all the mechanisms of the system intervene elaborately in order to suppress the movement and to assimilate the reactions. However, the strength of the class struggle, the popular counterattack and the force of social alliance have not yet been put to the test. Obviously, no matter how much the popular movement’s strength and militancy rises, it cannot reverse the overall general strategy, without having achieved the overthrow of the correlation of forces at the level of power. It has the ability, given that it succeeds to face its acute problems, to inhibit anti-popular measures, to obtain even some temporary concessions, to gain time, in order to regroup and proceed to a counterattack until the victory.

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