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Interview of Al. Papariga, General Secretary of the CC to the Serbian Magazine ‘PECAT’

1. How do you assess the role of the left and more specifically the influence of the KKE in Greece?

Answer: The activity of KKE is integrally linked to the important struggles, gains of the working class and popular strata in Greece, concerning socio-economic questions, as well as concerning democratic and trade union rights. The vanguard role of KKE during the Second World War, and later the heroic struggle of the Democratic Army of Greece, against the Anglo-American military intervention, is deeply embedded in the memory of our people. The same is true for the other struggles of our party up until the present day. Of course, through a platform of demands, which our party promotes and responds to the contemporary problems, which the workers face. What sets KKE apart is the serious ideological-political pressure which it exerts on the other parties, which support Greece’s membership in the imperialist organizations (NATO, EU) and proclaim the humanization of capitalism. Our party reveals to the Greek people that another just, socialist-communist society, is the only realistic and indeed necessary solution.

2. What is your opinion concerning the “fiasco” of the New World Order which is based on the interests of international capital and globalization?

Answer: After the overthrow of socialism in Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, certain views held sway for a period, which considered that the creation of a new world order, would open up avenues of prosperity and peace and that all issues could be dealt with in the framework of cooperation and globalization.

Our party from the first moment revealed that these views did not take into account the inter-imperialist rivalries. Today we know that a series of regions have been transformed into hotbeds of conflict and war (Balkans, Caucasus, central Asia, Middle East, Africa etc) in the battle for the acquisition of energy sources, fossil fuel transport routes, and for the seizing of a larger share of the markets. Today, new imperialist powers seek a larger share of world markets and decisions and these rivalries, will sharpen, creating dangers for the peoples.

3. We can see from recent developments that liberal capitalism is incompatible with freedom and that one of the best social systems is Socialism or Communism. What is your assessment?

Answer: Socialism is a qualitatively superior system to capitalism. Capitalism, either under the management of so-called neoliberal governments or under the management of Social Democrats does not have anything further to offer the peoples apart from economic crises, wars, unemployment, poverty, wretchedness, oppression. Today in the face of the non-solutions of the capitalist system the necessity of the socialist-communist society comes to the fore.

The recent 18th congress of KKE which was held in Athens from the 18th to the 22nd of February 2009 was concerned with the enrichment of our party’s conception of socialism. It came to crucial conclusions concerning socialist construction in the Soviet Union, recognizing the positive contribution which the socialism we knew in the 20th century made to humanity, as well as the negative aspects of this period.

4. What do you consider to be the cause of the economic crisis?

Answer: Its root is to be found in the capitalist system, it is the product of anarchic capitalist development, the reduction of the buying power of the workers, imbalance between productive sectors, parasitism in the economy which is caused by private-shareholder ownership of the concentrated means of production, the root of the daily buying and selling of shares-paper of future profits without basis which is carried out through banks, insurance companies, stock-exchanges etc. The crisis is the inevitable fate of all capitalist economies, which shows that capitalism is not all-powerful.

No policy of managing the system can free it of its internal decay. The workers need to reject the deceitful views concerning the reform and humanization of capitalism.

5. How do you assess the recent mobilizations in Greece and the way in which the Government treated the students and workers who took part in them? Are these demonstrations the beginning of a popular uprising against the New World Order which places Greece under the influence of the USA?

Answer: The governments, which support the choices of capital and the imperialist organizations (NATO, EU) either of the traditional right (ND), or of Social-Democracy (PASOK), have shown their “teeth”, their authoritarianism, the repression of the youth, which struggles for a better tomorrow and displays and appetite for serious changes in general.

The struggles which are developing in Greece, in the working class, in the youth, in the peasantry, in order to have prospects, must acquire a clear orientation, not just against the government of the day, but to aim at the heart of the problems. Unfortunately, some forces, anarchists and so-called “anti-authoritarians” play the role of the Trojan horse inside the people’s movement, providing a pretext for new repressive state measures to break the front of the workers-peasants-self-employed.

6. Do you expect equivalent changes in other countries?

Answer: The people’s movement, which will strengthen in our country and internationally, must resist the new anti-people, anti-worker measures, which the governments will seek to enforce in order to “overcome” the crisis. The movement must move into an organized counterattack, and as far as is possible in a coordinated way at a European and international level.

7. What are the plans of KKE for the future?

Answer: Our party proposes to the people the creation of a socio-political front, which will not only come into conflict with the interests of the monopolies and imperialism, but will seek the acquisition of state power in Greece. Of course, the precondition for this is the strengthening of our party. We do not mean of course only, electorally, but chiefly the organizational and ideological-political strengthening of our party forces, party building, above all where the working class lives and works.

8. What is the future of the left movement in Europe, taking into account the deepening socio-economic crisis?

Answer: As opposed to so-called left and progressive forces, KKE is not interested in participating in the management of the crisis of the capitalist system. Unfortunately some parties today, especially in Western Europe, have transformed into Social democratic parties and the term “Left” is used to whitewash compromise and incorporation.

9. How do you assess the course of the classic Social Democratic parties of the Socialist International?

Answer: These parties have been fully incorporated into the capitalist system. They are not a solution for the workers. They support the interest of big capital and have a heavy responsibility for the abolition of historic social gains of the working class, and for the imperialist wars.

10. How do you evaluate the international action and cooperation of KKE?

Answer: Our Party, as much as it depends on us, is in favour of cooperation between communist and workers’ parties, at a bilateral, regional and international level. The annual International Meetings of CPs, that began 10 years ago were hosted by our Party for 7 years in Athens, and then in continuation were held in Lisbon, Portugal, Minsk in Belarus, Sao Paolo, Brazil and this year it will be held in Kerala, India.

11. Are you in cooperation with the Serbian Left? Is there a real left party in Serbia?

Answer: Our Party is in cooperation with communist, anti-imperialist forces, parties, organizations and personalities from Serbia.

12. What do you believe is to blame for the crisis over natural gas in Europe? According to you, who is really at fault?

Answer: This crisis that was expressed as yet another “commercial war” between Russia and the Ukraine has many aspects which cannot be analyzed here. Beyond the obvious economic “base” of the crisis, there were political issues going on behind the scenes that concern internal political developments in the Ukraine as well as aspects that have to do with the control of energy resources in the Caspian region, Central Asia and Russia itself. In this conflict other imperialist forces beyond Russia are also involved, such as the USA, the EU, who both have specific plans and interests.

13. In your opinion, did Ukrainian authorities, along with Mr. Juschenko, prove themselves to be agents of the USA such as was the case with Georgian President Sakkashivili?

Answer: Politicians and the political line they follow should not be judged independently from the level of the economy and the socio-economic interests that they are promoting. These specific politicians that you refer to by name, with more or less success, along with the leading social layers of their country at this point in time represent interests that are more closely associated with those of the USA.

14. What is the role of NATO in your opinion? What has Greece gained by being a NATO member?

Answer: NATO was and continues to be a powerful political-military arm of the imperialist forces which turn against other countries and peoples. Greece “gained” from NATO the Junta of military Colonels, the Cyprus tragedy, the denial of its sovereign rights in the Aegean Sea, with the so-called “grey zones” of its “ally” Turkey, its participation in imperialist wars (Korea, Afghanistan), and its oversized military expenditure at the expense of its defense.

15. In March of this year, 10 years has passed since the attack of the USA/NATO against Serbia/Yugoslavia. What can you tell us about the real aims of this attack and the consequences? How do you comment on the role played by Greece?

Answer: The war in Yugoslavia constitutes a “piece” of a more general “puzzle” of rivalries between imperialist forces that is unfolding in the Balkans, in the Middle East, in the Mediterranean, in Africa, etc.

The aim is the creation of state-protectorates, such as Kosovo, that wipes out what is left of international law, demonstrating to the peoples that they can have no faith whatsoever in the “peace” and “justice” that is imposed by imperialists with their strength and their weapons.

Greece and the PASOK government gave significant help in order for these aims to be realized as NATO and EU members. However, the government is one thing and the people are something entirely different. During these events, a great section of the Greek people joined with the communists against the murder of the Serbian people by NATO.

16. Which are the characteristics of today’s situation in the Balkans and how do you see the future of the Balkans?

Answer: The Balkans, following the restoration of capitalism, are characterized by a significant retreat in the gains made by workers all these years. They are also characterized by a conflict between imperialist forces. Along with all this, they are experiencing the consequences of the global economic crisis. Working people in the Balkans must reject all forms of nationalism, “grand ideas”, that are cultivated by bourgeois political forces, to strengthen their struggle against anti-workers measures, to join forces against the EU and NATO. If they follow this course, then there is a hope for a better future.

17. How do you comment on the recent developments in Gaza, what are the goals of Israel and the USA?

Answer: The recent bloodshed of the Palestinian people of Gaza was to brake whatever resistance to the plans that had been laid by imperialists in the Middle East, among others to “bury” every hope for an independent Palestinian State, to promote other plans of controlled protectorates.

18. What do you expect from the Greek Presidency of the OSCE? Among the declared priorities are the unresolved conflicts, especially the situation in the Caucasus after the clash between Russia and Georgia.

Answer: The “agenda” of the Greek Presidency will be determined in reality by the behind-the-scenes contacts and bargains between the USA-Russia, the EU-Russian and the USA-EU. Working people should not expect anything positive from the processes taking place within the framework of the OSCE. Regardless of individual agreements, in the future inter-imperialist contradictions and conflicts will objectively continue to sharpen.

19. What is Serbia’s position, where does it belong? In the EU or should it constitute the eastern piece of the West and the Western part of the East, or should it attempt cooperation with Russia, EU and USA?

Answer: Serbia, just like Greece is a country of both Europe and the Balkans. The attempt of some to identify the meaning of Europe with the union of European monopoly capital, the EU, is intentionally misleading.

We communists are struggling for a Greece liberated from the bonds and obligations of NATO and the EU and we wish the same for Serbia, just like any other country, to not find itself trapped within these imperialist unions.

Cooperation with one or the other imperialist force, that you are asking, does not constitute a guarantee for the security and well-being of every country. We, at least, as KKE refuse to choose the “nicer” imperialist. There is no such thing as a good imperialist!

20. How do you evaluate todays and future relations between Serbia and Greece?

Answer: Greece’s external policy, independently of who is in government is determined by the fact that Greece is a member of the EU and of NATO. In this direction the Greek government promotes the joining of Serbia in these imperialist organizations.

We do not believe that it is a good future for the people in this area, the future that is set out by the industrialists, the ship-owners, the bankers, big capital, and imperialists based on their own interests.

We are struggling for Greece to become free from NATO and the EU, for American bases to leave our country. We support all forces that struggle for corresponding goals in their own countries and we believe that the road for cooperation of the peoples of Greece and Serbia is found only in this direction.

5th March 2009


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