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The KKE and the battle of the local and regional elections

In-depth Article about the 2010 elections

On the 7th of November 2010, local and regional will be held in Greece. In contrast with the last set of local elections which were held 4 years ago, this time the voters will note vote in 57 prefectures and 1300 municipalities, but in 13 regions and 325 municipalities. This was the result of the merger of local government bodies, which was enforced by the “Kallikratis” plan, which was approved by the social democratic parliamentary majority, which aside from the merger of the municipalities into fewer and larger units and the replacement of the prefectures by regions, will lead to new and deep anti-people changes.

Map with the 13 regions of Greece
  1. Attiki
  1. Central Greece
  1. Thessaly
  1. Central Macedonia
  1. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
  1. Western Macedonia
  1. Epirus
  1. Ionian islands
  1. Northern Aegean
  1. Southern Aegean
  1. Peloponnese
  1. Western Greece
  1. Crete

    • The “Kallikratis” plan, which was devised by the social democratic PASOK with agreement on its strategic aims from ND and the opportunist SYN/SYRIZA, provides for the following:
    • The further commercialization of public and municipal social services (Welfare-Health-Education) through “decentralization” and dependent on local taxation.
    • The more effective implementation of the anti-people policies through a new reactionary institutional framework of the local government bodies
    • Implementation of the anti-worker, anti-people and “development” policies in the regions, with the competitiveness of capital at their centre, which will lead to further inequalities between the regions and of course further class inequality.
    • Hypocritical “charitable” management of some extreme social problems by local government, instead of meeting social needs through a unified state system.

Two Political lines in conflict

In the upcoming local elections there are two political lines in conflict:

The Industrialists, the bankers, the ship-owners, the retailers and their parties are calling on the people to vote their representatives onto the local and regional councils, who will not impede their plans for even greater profitability, for even greater concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, for the even greater commercialization of the remaining social services, in all the new regions and municipalities. So that the capitalist expropriation of the social wealth produced by the working class and the popular strata can be made easier, as well as the total commercialization of the pre-requisites of the working class for its social reproduction as a class and its rights to education, health and welfare, leisure time with access to culture and sport, the free travel on the roads of our country.

This political line, which is put forward by the pro-EU parties, is expressed by the various shades and the variously named lists, which the social democratic PASOK, the conservative ND, the nationalist LAOS, the opportunist SYN/SYRIZA, and the incorporated into the capitalist system “Ecologists”.

On the opposite side are the social forces of the working class, of the self-employed, the small shopkeepers, craftsmen, professionals, the poor and medium farmers, pensioners and young people and women the working class-popular strata. Today, hundreds of thousands of militants who participate in the struggles through The All-workers Militant Front (PAME), The All Farmers’ Militant Rally (PASY), The Greek Anti-monopoly Rally of the Self-employed (PASEBE), the Students’ Struggle Front (MAS), The Women’s Organization of Greece (OGE), the various ant-imperialist and pro-peace fronts and movements, cultural and athletic organizations, organizations which fight against drugs, for democratic rights and popular liberties, local environmental initiatives. The basic political force in these movements is the KKE, which fights so that the people’s anger at the anti-people measures is expressed in the regional and local elections. To this end, the KKE supports the lists of “People’s Rally”, in all the 13 regions as well as in the Municipalities in all the major urban centres and in the majority of the country (…..). There are thousands of candidates on the lists of “People’s Rally”, which are headed up by well-known cadre of the popular movement and the KKE.

The forces of resistance are represented throughout the whole country by the lists of “People’s Rally”, the forces of submission appear in different guises according to the situation, so that they can “steal” the vote of the workers. It is characteristic that in the largest region (Attiki), which includes the major cities of Athens and Piraeus, PASOK is participating in the elections with 3 lists. 1 which is “official”, another headed up a former PASOK MP, and the third list is headed up by a member of the National Council of PASOK in cooperation with the opportunist party SYN/SYRIZA. Forces from SYN/SYRIZA who disagreed with this choice are participating in the elections with another list. Of course the 2 “unofficial” PASOK lists make some partial criticisms of the government, with the aim of incorporating protest votes, particularly of disillusioned PASOK voters.

Another telling example, where the political forces that support the EU use other tactics is that of Ikaria. An island, which in the past was an exile colony for communists and in which the KKE maintains a serious electoral base. In the most recent parliamentary elections KKE received 35% of the vote, while in the previous local elections candidates supported by KKE were elected as mayors in all the 3 municipalities of the Island. This time, due to the merger of the municipalities, the island of Ikaria has become one municipality and there will be only 1 mayor elected. The other political forces (PASOK,ND,,SYN/SYRIZA, LAOS) have decided to join together in one list, in order to stop the election of a communist mayor.

These examples show that the forces of the capitalist system will do whatever they can, so that the people’s anger at the anti-people measures is not expressed in the elections, and at the same time they desire the reduction of the forces of the KKE.

The Bearers of the anti-people measures must be condemned

“Self-determination” and “de-centralisation” in Greece have become propagandistic slogans in the mouths of the representatives of the dictatorship of the monopolies and their state, in order to hide the essence of the “reforms” which are the kiss of death for the rights of the people in every aspect of their daily lives.

The KKE demands that a roadblock be erected in front of these policies, that the political forces which struggle be strengthened:

  • Against the facilitation and strengthening of business activity, the concentration and accumulation of capital(privatizations, changes in land-use under the cover of “green” development etc) in local government.
  • Against the further extension of the capitalist restructurings in labour relations, education, health-welfare, sports and culture.
  • Against the manipulation of the people by the policies of the ruling class.

The KKE warns the people that if the people do not condemn the anti-people plans:

  • Indirect taxation and local taxation will be increased
  • Forms of flexible labour will be reinforced and multiplied
  • The working conditions of thousands of employees will change
  • Many will lose their jobs
  • The imposition of the 65 hour working week will be facilitated
  • The implementation of the increase of the retirement age to 65 and 68 years, the unjust equalization of the retirement ages of men and women, the starvations pensions after 40 years of continuous work.
  • Education, Health, Welfare, Culture, Sport will become pipe dreams, even worse than today, for the popular strata.

In its call concerning the elections the KKE stresses that “ The popular strata have a choice- to condemn the policies of PASOK and ND, which are the political personnel of the monopolies and have served them faithfully for years, at the expense of the people in the years when the GDP was increasing and now in the period of crisis. The people must condemn those parties and whoever supported them or compromised with them, because utilizing local government they pushed forward the new anti-worker measures, they weighed the people down with new taxes and burdens, because they did not organize infrastructure works which would have benefited the people. These political forces, through the local government bodies, gave businesses opportunities to profit at the expense of the people, to seize public spaces, the forests and the beaches, to damage the environment, to pollute the water and the atmosphere, to take over and manage culture and sport for their own benefit . In the conditions of these barbaric anti-people measures under the pretext of the crisis, the public debt and deficit , “Kallikratis” will make things worse”.

KKE struggles and fights for another path of development

The KKE sees the local and regional elections as an opportunity to explain its political proposal to the workers. As is stressed in the decision of the CC of the KKE concerning the elections:

The question as to whether the development should serve monopolies or the people, is at the top of the agenda; it is a matter of life and death.

The interests of the working class, the self-employed, and the small and medium farmers requires a radically different path of development free from the yoke of the monopolies and generally from the driving force of the capitalist profit.

Only this path can ensure nowadays that the workers, the poor farmers and the self-employed have full and stable job and a future without uncertainty and concern for their survival.

Only people’s power can meet people’s needs related to nutrition, housing, integrated education, health protection; to ensure the leisure and creative entertainment.

Only this path can lead to the even and all sided development of regions and sectors, to the development of domestic production and of the necessary infrastructure for people’s welfare.

Only this path can ensure domestic agricultural production that will satisfy the nutritional needs of the people and the development of related sectors of the domestic manufacturing industry.

Only this path can transform water, telecommunications, energy and transport into social benefits establishing the social state ownership in strategic sectors of the economy.

Only this way can extend and ensure people’s liberties and workers’ rights.

There is no other alternative. The producers of the wealth through their revolutionary activity must turn the concentrated means of production into popular ownership that will serve the planned production for people’s welfare.

The working class bears the responsibility for the construction of
people’s alliance.

It will be shaped through the strengthening of the political struggle for a different path of development, for people’s power.

It will be forged by the promotion of a radical framework of common goals of struggle in an anti-imperialist - antimonopoly direction in all sectors of the economy.

It will emerge through the coordinated struggles of the All Workers’ Militant Front (PAME), the All Farmers’ Militant Rally (PASY), the Nationwide Antimonopoly Rally of the Self-employed and the small Tradesmen (PASEVE) on the basis of the acute social problems, in a line of rupture with the monopolies and their power.

The effort to build the people’s alliance requires to take into consideration the inner differences and contradictions in order to establish an anti-imperialist, antimonopoly orientation. The building of the social alliance can not lose sight of the stratification of the social allies, of the contradictions as regards their immediate interests. Instead, it is strengthened and reinforced through the awareness and assertion of their long term interests, recognising the leading role of the working class in order to eliminate social inequalities.

This promising prospect requires the strengthening of the struggle with common demands and goals for the satisfaction of people’s modern needs; it requires struggles that reinforce the people’s alliance, coordinate the struggle, increase their will to counterattack and inspire militant optimism. At the same time the people must use their vote to strengthen this political line, the strategy of rupture and overthrow, of the people’s counterattack against the full-scale assault of capital and the imperialist organisations.

In relation to the regional and local organs of state power, the KKE struggles unwaveringly struggles to rally the people and fight for, on all fronts, and as its basis shared goals of struggle, the overthrow of ruling class policies and for the battle for peoples power and the people’s economy.

Some of our struggle goals are:

Wealth exists! The people must not pay even one Euro!

  • Abolition of every form of local taxation. Abolition of indirect taxation (VAT on products essential for the people, health services, medicines, and on household utility bills) which attacks the people’s income
  • Abolition of all the road tolls nationwide
  • The increase of taxation on the profits of businesses and church assets to 45%, the increase of VAT on luxury products.
  • Full and adequate state funding of all local government bodies from the state budget
  • We fight for the return to the people of all taxes which have been levied by central government for local government but have not been handed over to the authorities by central government. This money belongs to the workers. They are removed, directly and indirectly, from their income by additional taxes.

Necessary Measures for the environment and infrastructure

  • Central planning by the relevant state bodies, who will plan, construct and manage the works guided by the problems and needs of the workers (eg. Housing for the people, modern schools, pre-school centres, cultural centres, health centres, flooding from flooding, fires, earthquakes, extreme weather conditions, rockfalls, avalanches etc air pollution, water pollution, irrigation, sewage, non-privatised recycling, against the Improvement of the social living conditions in working class neighbourhoods and in countryside by means of establishing and reinforcing public and free services for healthcare, education, sports and cultural centres).
  • Policies for the development of people’s housing by means of housing programmes that will cover the basic needs of the people. Special provision for young couples through specialised and economic programmes. Thorough planning for the prevention of earthquake consequences and measures to address immediately situations created after earthquakes.
  • Struggle for the establishment of communication-energy and transportation as social services. Exclusively public unified bodies in sectors of strategic importance that will belong to the people and serve the people’s needs.
  • Reforestation of burnt areas, protection and maintenance of forest ecosystems that contribute to water retention and to the enrichment of aquifers as well as to the production of wood and wood products. Free access for the people to the coasts and beaches
  • Environmental planning for anti-flood protection. Exclusively state and comprehensive management of water resources as regards research, their protection and utilisation throughout the country but also in the various water compartments.
  • Protection of free spaces from the uncontrolled building, of the semi-urban green areas in the mountains, restriction of building activity, expropriations of land for the development of green spaces in densely populated areas ,protection of rivers, lakes, seas from industrial pollution, protection of beaches from wastes. Construction and maintenance of infrastructure for the management of pluvial waters. The tackling of atmospheric pollution in large cities, as well as noise pollution and electro-magnetic radiation.
  • Raising the profile of the environmental problems of our country and the world. Exposure of the causes and the responsibility of the international monopolies and the imperialist countries of the EU, against the imperialist military interventions and wars.

The People’s Health is a priority

  • A comprehensive, common, exclusively public and free modern healthcare – welfare system, preventive and emergency medical services for all, fully funded by the state.
  • All funding to be provided for by the state, the abolition of all business activity in Health-Welfare. The ending of all forms of payment in health services and medicines for everyone. Abolition of the contributions of the social-security funds in the health system.
  • Planned development of public, free access hospitals and health centres in the cities and countryside. That they be fully staffed by professionals on permanent contracts, with adequate and modern equipment, so that every need can be adequately met, quickly and close to the patient’s place of residence.
  • A state network of social facilities with free and complete services for the family, children, the elderly, disabled, without pre-conditions and exceptions.
  • Free state-owned camping sites for the children of workers and the unemployed, and of the popular strata.
  • We reject the operation of social services via the obsolete EU programmes for the very few, with downgraded and inadequate provisions. For as long as they operate, we demand that they provide full services for all, with adequate and full staffing of the infrastructure.
  • Incorporation of the Health-Welfare units of the private sector, of NGO’s which meet the conditions, and all their personnel into the public system of Health-Welfare.

The Education of the people and the youth cannot be an exercise for profit.

  • We fight against every measure for the decentralization-differentiation of school programmes and schools (the flexible zones, EU programmes, assessment of teachers and schools, hiring of teachers via local government) which extend the class distinctions, economically burden families from the popular strata, increase the profitability of capital. We reject the ”educational priority zones” which cover up and intensify educational inequalities.
  • We struggle against the promotion of “life-long learning” which has as its aim the preparation of an even cheaper, more flexible and semi-educated labour force through the direct intervention of businesses in the educational process.
  • We fight against “certification” in schools, against the “all-day” schools which are being promoted and so-called assessment which aims at transferring the economic costs onto the families from the popular strata.
  • No access for the business interests, under the cloak of the local community or of NGO’s, in the administration and management of schools . No increase in local taxation for the functioning of schools or the establishment of municipal “universities” and faculties, no more taxes on the parents, no ”sponsors” in education.
  • Mass hiring of educational personnel, with the only pre-condition being their degree. All staff on short-term contracts to be made permanent. The hiring of teachers and every kind of auxiliary staff to be carried out centrally.
  • The abolition of the laws (2218,2240/94) of PASOK which shaped the institutional framework for “decentralization” in education.
  • The abolition of private nursery centres as well as the respective municipal services which function on a profit basis. The immediate abolition of fees.
  • Infrastructure for medical services and health provision in schools, modern and safe school buildings, adequately equipped with laboratories, gymnasia, musical instruments, libraries, dining rooms, and designed according to their educational function.

  • Exclusively free public education system. Prohibition of any business activity in education. Mandatory two-year preschool education. A 12-year secondary school for all, without class and racial discrimination. Vocational education, included in the free state education system following the 12-year school programme. We say no to the “Framework of Qualifications” and we struggle so that the degree is the only pre-condition for one’s profession.

The situation where short-term workers are like hostages and all forms of flexible employment must end.

Permanent and stable work for everyone, full labour and social-security rights.

  • Stable and permanent work for all. All those who work with flexible contracts must be made permanent without conditions. These forms of employment must be abolished by law. The abolition of “Stage’ in the public and private sector and every form uninsured labour.
  • We struggle against the generalization of the overthrow of labour relations and the extension of “flexible labour relations” in local government via short-term programmes, local employment initiatives, training programmes, or other unemployment programmes etc and of course in any form o business or enterprise.
  • Incorporation of all workers in municipal enterprises which have closed into other municipal services, with permanent contracts, full labour and social security rights
  • The classification of other trades and industries as “Hazardous and Unhealthy Professions”. Abolition of the negative pre-conditions required by the current law
  • Health and safety measures in work places with the creation the relevant infrastructure of health care units and a national body of doctors who specialise in labour-related illnesses, safety technicians and nurses. The prohibition of all business activity in this sector.
  • .
  • Measures for the working women: ban of overnight shift for industrial workers as well as for other professions from the beginning of pregnancy till children reach pre-school age. Pregnancy, child-birth and breastfeeding leave, 2 months before and six months after birth, on full earnings, social security rights and additional parental leave for one year, equal for all working women both in public and private sectors. Reduced working time by one or two hours for the mother or the father till children go to nursery school.
  • Increase of parental leave in case children are ill or for their assistance at school. The members of the single parent families should work only at mornings till children reach the age of ten. More beneficial regulations for working women.
  • 30 days leave per year and holiday allowance equal to one wage.
  • Minimum wage at1400 euro, minimum pension at1120 euro.
  • Retirement at the age of 60 for men and 55 for women and at 55 and 50 for heavy and arduous professions. Retirement with full rights after 30 years of work.
  • Abolition of all laws, mechanisms and methods that criminalise the workers’ and people’s struggles and support the employers’ intimidation.

    Culture, Sports and creative free time

    • Guarantee of educational and material conditions for the unimpeded access of the people to Art and culture, for the development of the people’s artistic creativity as a remedy to the stereotypes of the market of the monopoly cultural industry, against the monopolies of the media.
    • Unified and exclusively public mechanism for the production and distribution of cultural and artistic products, consisting of public bodies (for theatre, cinema, radio-TV) that will function on the basis of planning and social control.
    • Development of local cultural activity which will be scientifically planned and organised - in cooperation with the central cultural bodies- so as to serve the cultural-educational development of the people and not the profits of monopolies in tourism and entertainment.
    • State theatres and orchestras in every district capital with free access for the people. We condemn the policy of rapid commercialisation and the speculative operation of the cultural institutions in local authorities (Cultural Organisations, Municipal Cultural Enterprises, Festivals, Municipal Regional Theatres, Municipal Ensembles, Municipal Galleries etc.) that constantly downgrade the level of artistic product, abolish its free distribution to the people and hands it over to the businesses in the sector of culture.
    • Nationwide network of public cultural centres in every neighbourhood, municipal district as well as in countryside, consisting of libraries, theatres, halls for lectures, cinemas, concerts etc. that will promote cultural development and people’s creativity.
    • Free access of the people to archaeological sites and to all museums, galleries, libraries which must be exclusively under public ownership. Free access of school students and students to municipal theatres, cinemas etc. Free utilisation of municipal infrastructures (municipal galleries, municipal theatres, cultural centres etc) for the promotion of the creativity of the people and the artists.
    • Preservation and promotion of our cultural inheritance (buildings, monuments, people’s tradition etc.), abolition of the involvement of the various “sponsors” who, under the pretext of the “civil society” and voluntarism, ask the people to pay for its preservation.
    • Development of public aesthetics and protection of the natural and aesthetic environment by banning its utilisation by enterprises.
    • The state must guarantee the youth all the pre-requisites for physical education and sports.
    • Formulation of the corresponding legal framework that will establish the right to physical education and sports in all its forms.
    • Development of sport for the people
    • Social tourism, free holidays for the poor popular strata, the youth and the unemployed.

    • The Struggle against drugs concerns everybody

    • No tolerance of drugs and their substitutes. Creation of a front against the drugs by the mass organisations of the people’s movement.
    • Free and public infrastructure for prevention-treatment-rehabilitation throughout the country. Exclusively free services for prevention-rehabilitation-social reintegration by a nationwide public body. Special provision for reformed drug addicted persons who are charged with crimes of the past.
    • Programmes for primary prevention in education, workplaces, family, culture, media, army, free time etc. that will deal with the causes and not at the effects of drug addiction.

    Defence of the rights and the democratic freedoms of the Greek people, immigrants and refugees

    No to the local organs of manipulation and repression

  • Unimpeded trade union activity and political action of the working people, respect of right to strike. Stop the dismissals and persecutions for political and trade union activity. Stop the electronic surveillance of the working people
  • Legalisation of all immigrants who live and work in our country. Establishment of their labour and social rights. Abolition of all reactionary laws that penalise immigration or set obstacles to the life of the immigrants and their children who were born or grow up in thiscountry. Special infrastructure/services in the municipalities and the regional authorities providing interpreters and lawyers for immigrants.
  • Abolition of all the institutions for the participation of the people in local surveillance and repression mechanisms e.g. the “Local councils against delinquent behaviour”, “the policeman of the neighbourhood” etc. Abolition of the role of “municipal police” as a repression mechanism, complementary to the Greek Police.
  • Abolition and removal of the cameras of surveillance. Against their extension to playgrounds, schools etc.
  • Against the distortion of history and the unscientific equation of communism and Nazism promoted by the EU and the reactionary bourgeois forces in the country. The limits of legitimacy are set by the people’s activity and not by the representatives of the capitalist barbarity, the IMF and the EU.
  • Proportional Representation for the election of the organs in local and regional administration.
  • Abolition of all the regulations that restrict the representation at local and regional level.
  • Immediate election of the mayor and district administrator, providing the possibility to recall them through he councils that elect them.


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