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Press Conference Regarding the Elections for the European Parliament -30/03/2009

The European Union is the European “gendarme” of the profits of the monopolies

The opening remarks of the GS of the CC of KKE in the press conference on 30/3/2009.

“In our opinion the EU deserves only one name; It is the European gendarme for the profits of the monopolies throughout Europe and in each country separately. EU is nothing but the cooperation between countries in order to co-ordinate the interests of the bourgeoisie, the monopolies that have their headquarters at national basis and extend their activity throughout Europe and beyond it” stressed the GS of the CC of KKE, Aleka Papariga, in a press conference on 30/03/2009 regarding the elections for the European Parliament. Below, the full text of the speech of the GS of KKE:

“I remind you that several months ago the Central Committee published the Declaration for the elections for the European Parliament. However, the text had to be updated because in the meantime the crisis broke out. The final text of the Electoral Declaration was published as a supplement of «Rizospastis» on 29/3/2009. In addition, I remind you that the Electoral Declaration does not include merely our assessments or a review of the developments, or the positions of KKE. It also includes specific goals and fronts of struggle, the Party’s position on general issues that, we could say, affect the specific ones. Thus, those who are going to read the Declaration may have at the same time an overall and specific view of the goals and proposals of KKE for the working class and the other popular strata. I would like to stress some general issues because they determine our position on major and specific issues. The elections for the European Parliament should be regarded as inextricably linked with the crisis in Europe and in Greece. Especially now, that the crisis affects Europe and Greece, KKE must be even more strong in the movement, in the struggle, in the ballot-box. This Party is firm, experienced and it has been tested at national and European level.

The working class must not make any sacrifice due to the crisis

Everyone should take into account that, despite what they’ve been telling us, it was proven that the EU can neither avoid the crisis nor achieve convergence at the level of development and among peoples or ensure a steady upward course concerning the standard of living. Even more so, it cannot guarantee peace, democracy, cultural development -which also improves people’s life-, security for the present and certainty for the future.

There is no possibility for a way out of the crisis at the benefit of the people in a Greece where monopolies and capital in general are dominant or in a Europe of monopolies. The other parties and the governments of the EU member states argue that there is a way out of the crisis serving at the same time the interests of the capitalists and the interests of the workers. This is not realistic. Realistic is the position of KKE: the workers must not make any sacrifice for the crisis; in the framework of the EU there can be no way out in favour of the workers. For such a way out there needs to be a front of struggle in favour of the working class and the people both at national and European level. The peoples must oppose the EU and the governments at national level, either these governments are liberal or social-democratic or the so-called centre–left governments.

In our opinion the EU deserves only one name; it is the European gendarme for the profits of the monopolies throughout Europe and in each country separately. EU is nothing but the cooperation between countries in order to co-ordinate the interests of the bourgeoisie, the monopolies that have their headquarters at national basis and extend their action throughout Europe and beyond it. From this point of view, those who want to fight against the EU, to condemn it and even support that Greece has no future in it and that it should choose the way of rupture and disengagement, should express themselves through KKE. They should punish ND and PASOK and not trust these parties that mildly criticise the EU, such as SYRIZA. When the movement is in decline and the popular discontent has relented it fully supports the EU. When the people rouse up then it launches criticism and restricts merely to a leftist phraseology. Likewise, LAOS that promotes conservative positions among the people. LAOS does not accept any measure not even the taxation of companies. In any case it does not accept any reduction in their profits. It is a racist, nationalist party that represents the past.

The main criterion should be the stance of the parties towards the Treaty of Maastricht.

The main criterion for the parties should be their stance towards the Treaty Maastricht. Workers should neither regard the Treaty of Maastricht as an issue that belongs to the past nor argue that we go back to 1992 when we discuss about it. The current situation throughout Europe is not merely a result of the Treaty of Maastricht, it is the Treaty of Maastricht itself. All the treaties that followed specify its general guidelines. Let me remind you that KKE was the only party which, under hard conditions, did not follow the mainstream in Europe. We are proud of it, we are proud for having voted against the Treaty of Maastricht. In July 1992, the Greek Parliament ratified the Treaty of Maastricht that established the pillar of the common internal market. The internal boundaries of the EU have been abolished in favour of monopolies’ profits. However, they are abolished only in words, only for the capital. The rivalries between German, French and English bourgeoisie continue to exist. The “four freedoms” are established, namely the free movement of persons, services, goods and capital.

What were the representatives of ND, PASOK and SYNASPISMOS saying then? Kostas Mitsotakis, who was Prime Minister then, said :”I come back happy and proud. In Maastricht we achieved what we wanted. First, the security guaranteed by the politically united Europe and our participation in the EU, which we achieved despite a lot of reactions”.

The People of Yugoslavia can answer! Because, when we say security, we don't mean the security of several countries, we mean security of all in general. Of course, when we say security, we mean the security of the people, which means that people should not feel threatened by unemployment, and poverty, by the deterioration of their rights and their standard of living.

Andreas Papandreou, who was president of PASOK and the opposition, said: ”PASOK will vote for the ratification of The Treaty of Maastricht. Of course these goals-rates constitute the vision of a European Bank owner. However, we should still vote for the Treaty Maastricht”. In other words, we launch criticism in order to throw dust to people’s eyes and then we vote for the treaty!

The position of SYNASPISMOS was similar too. But let's see what the President of SYNASPISMOS who is supposed to be more consenting says today: “the important thing for us then”, in other words when SYNASPISMOS voted for the Treaty of Maastricht,”was if we would be totally negative to the unification, the integration of Europe, or if we would be tolerant towards the integration of Europe, criticising the way it would come. We chose the second way”.

The easy way! I vote for and then I launch criticism and I think that in that way I can get indulgence. The conclusion is that ND and PASOK contributed and participated actively to all the decisions of the EU.

We should make things clear here. We don't say that this EU imposes this policy on its own. It is a matter of mutual decisions and that is the most important. In the end, no one can impose something on its own if you don't want it. These are mutual decisions.

We would like to add something else. The EU is not merely a common market, there's also the Euro-Army, which is the European pillar of NATO. That's a critical issue. ND and PASOK agreed in the foundation and reinforcement of the Euro-Army either as governments or as opposition. SYN has offered substantial support to the Euro-Army from the first moment. According to SYNASPISMOS “the foundation of Euro-Army is important provided that is linked with the prospect of the political integration and independence of Europe”.

And what is more, it wants a Euro-Army that promotes the integration and independence of Europe. Independence from what? From the United States. But the EU is independent from the United States! However, it is not ideologically and politically independent from imperialism. That's another issue. In other words, what do you want the Euro-Army for? To threaten the US in the conflict over markets? In addition it includes the Euro-Army in the integration policy. The Euro-Army is imperialist, that's clear. And it really remains the European pillar for the NATO. The EU itself states that:”it's not necessary for the NATO to go everywhere, we can go instead”. We have all experienced this role; I don't want to go into details.

Additionally, we believe that the battle of the elections for the European Parliament should have the same content with the battle of the National Elections. Is there a difference between the two battles? Yes, there is a difference, in our opinion it is not determinative. The first battle leads to the election of the National Parliament and the second to the election of the European Parliament. In both cases, there's a need to condemn the EU policy. Also in the National elections there's a need to condemn the policy of the EU. It's important to condemn ND and PASOK. In addition, the Parties which either try to make the popular conscience more conservative or prevent its radicalisation, should not be regarded as an alternative.

The EU is predatory alliance.

The condemnation of the EU is a “one way road”. And I would like to stress the following issue: the myths that have been revealed over the last years. Few years ago, one could explain the faith in some promises-lies and myths. Nowadfays, there's no such excuse. Actually, the EU is a “one-way road” but only for the interests of the plutocracy of the members-states and the parties that serve them. In fact, the disengagement of Greece from the EU would create problems for the Greek capital, because it wouldn't have all this armament, namely the legalisation and the support of the EU. Thus, they identify their own “one-way road” of interests, an “one-way road” for the people.

Our position that Greece and Greek people can find their own way through the struggle that starts at least from disobedience and indiscipline, and goes up to the substantial rupture with the EU itself, is realistic. We believe that cooperation in Europe will be beneficial only when there's no plutocracy in as many EU countries as possible, and of course in the end everywhere in Europe. And when Europe becomes socialist, then we can talk about the Europe of cooperation, about the Europe which the peoples will voluntarily join and not by the power of weapons and the myths of the municipal funds. They will enter voluntarily, because a Europe like that will serve their interests and not in the name of some finance packages.

The EU is not a fraternity, but a predatory alliance. When the European Economical Community was founded, these forces were brought together by the contrast, the struggle, their hatred against the socialistic system. Today they stick together in order to increase the exploitation of the peoples and strengthen the EU at the expense of the peoples; in order to claim shares beyond Europe, in Latin America and elsewhere, against the US but also in regional capitalist growing powers.

The EU is a fraternity only when it takes common decisions against the peoples. For instance now, in the framework of the crisis, France quarrels with Germany, Germany goes along with Russia and Great Britain “winks” to the US. Although at the beginning the former socialist countries, now EU-members, begged for their accession to the EU, now they seek the support of the US in order to get more community funds for their own businessmen, for their own class.

It is a myth that the community funds saved Greece. If Greece was not engaged in the EU commitments, if it was a Greece of People’s power, of workers’ power, organising the economy and the society according to the human needs and not according to the profits, wouldn’t it have revenues? Wouldn’t it have money? It would concentrate wealth that would belong to the people.

Indiscipline and disobedience

Of course, one could ask: “is it possible for Greece to be self-sufficient and live on its own?”. We believe that this is not possible, not in this world. In any case, Greece could struggle for equal and mutually beneficial relations with other countries, taking advantage of the contradictions between the capitalist countries and utilising the positive results which will, progressively and gradually, come about in Europe and throughout the world, since Greece will not be the only country to clash with the EU. Such clashes, more or less deep, will develop during the next years in Europe and elsewhere. Outside the EU it would be much worse for the capital though much better for the Greek people.

This is the main point we will try to make clear during the electoral campaign. Let us illustrate it with two examples.

First: the subsidies to the farmers, which where short lived, and given to them in order to sell their products at low prices to manufacture industries and other industrialists.

The second example. All those famous social programs: the social programs for “house-care services”, “school wardens”, or the programs employing women as traffic policemen. People were employed in these programs with the European Union’s funds, and when the funds were over the responsibility was undertaken by the municipalities. The municipalities claimed that they don’t have the funds and therefore they didn’t pay the wages, and so on.

Therefore, we address our call, even to those who do not agree with us on people’s power and people’s economy, on disengagement, to join us. It is necessary that they show their wish to counterattack, that they wish a reorganisation of the movement; that they wish to punish

Let me state that, clearly, one more time. It is not necessary that they agree with us on everything. Besides, we cannot manipulate people. We can agree though on indiscipline and disobedience.

One more example: what will happen with the raise of wome’s retirement age to 65 years? What takes place is repulsive. PASOK and ND, their mouthpieces GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers) and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) and others’ look for legal ways to escape. This issue is related to politics, the class struggle, and the society. The general trend is for the pension to reach the age limit of 65, 67, 71 years. That has nothing to do with equality between the two sexes. On the contrary, this equalization between the two sexes constitutes an indication of inequality. There are biological and social reasons that forbid it. Dropping the retirement age for both men and women is a different thing. There will be, and there should be, in socialism a 5 years age variation between men and women.

Much more, they promote the Occupational funds, the second most privatised pillar of insurance, that next to the poor State one, is the one in which the workers will find resources and will share pensions accordingly. Therefore, it is about a second pillar that abolishes the Auxiliary funds. Thus, the ones that are able turn to the third pillar, that of private insurance, will do so. Let us not moch the people. Indiscipline and disobedience, so that these measures will not be implemented. This is what we say. And this is more realistic than saying that one must abide and find transitional ways in order to gain time. And finally, this is what PASOK claims too, that people’s rights, especially those who are close to retirement, should not be affected. Of course PASOK, by saying so, tries to evade the confession that the general age limit for everyone is 65, from now on. By saying this I believe we have taken a clear-cut position. We believe our Theses attract the interest of the people. Our positions, that constitute our weapons, will be broadly discussed until the elections.


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