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European Communist Meeting: Introductory speech by the General Secretary of the CC, Al. Papariga

Dear comrades,

The outbreak of the capitalist economic crisis found the KKE ideologically and politically prepared, as we had proceeded in good time, based on scientific research, in our elaborations and predictions in relation to the course of the development of capitalism in Greece in the conditions of assimilation in the EU. At the same time, we took seriously into account the intra-EU and international inter-imperialist contradictions in the framework of uneven development; the dynamic entrance into the global market and inter-imperialist competition of new capitalist powers like China, India and Brazil; the role of Russia in the conflict etc. We have followed quite closely the regional role which Turkey is trying to play particularly through its participation in the well-known G20.

Once the first signs of the crisis appeared on the horizon we made a very specific assessment of the situation, we posed the question of the regroupment of the labour movement even more urgently. By means of collective party discussions, which culminated in a national conference, we elaborated a common framework of action for the labour movement and its alliance with the poor petty bourgeois strata, the self-employed, craftsmen, traders and poor farmers. In this framework we better elaborated the problems of the youth and women, of young couples, and the role of the student and women’s movement. We took additional measures in order to establish party and mass work in the factories, in industry generally because it is here where the course of the class struggle and the prospect of the social alliance will be judged. In this framework, we proceeded to internal restructuring in the arrangement of the party members and the unification of party organizations that have a unified field of activity. It is not a coincidence that all the parties in Greece, whether bourgeois, petty bourgeois or opportunist, irrespective of whether they voted for the package of anti-people measures, focus their proposals on how the debt can be reduced, on how capital will be concentrated for investments, and how the mass of profits will be increased so that they can be better distributed and divided. Their proposals constitute a vicious circle. They support, with certain secondary differences, all those factors which inevitably lead to the outbreak of crises after a period of increased rates of development of the GDP and profitability.

It is one thing to struggle for the temporary relief of the workers and quite another to transform this into a theory and to consider that the alternative solution is a so-called fairer redistribution and division taking no account of the relation of economics and politics in the capitalist system.

Today there is a historic opportunity on the basis of the unrelenting class struggle: the thoughts and activities of the peoples in struggle – with the working class in the leading position- to be directed towards working class power. It must be understood that even if in a particular country a pro-people majority in parliament is elected by the people and a government is formed on the basis of this, it will not be able to overcome the limits of the basic laws of capitalism if it does not resolve the central issue of the socialisation of the basic means of production, withdrawal from the EU and NATO, nationwide planning and workers’ control from the bottom up.

From the very first moment and even more so today we note what is obvious, that the sudden sharpening of all the economic and social problems, rising unemployment and poverty are not enough in themselves for the development of class struggle if activity is not combined with the ideological-political struggle conducted by the party, the class-oriented labour movement, and the radical organizations in general.

The various attempts to conceal the cause of the crisis, which they deliberately present as a debt and deficit crisis, as a crisis due to bad management, a bloated state sector, party-patronage politics etc must be answered.

Of course we did not limit ourselves only to a propaganda counterattack. We gave a boost to the formation of a nationwide social alliance (we have prepared the ground in cooperation with wider radical forces) with a common framework of demands for struggle. This is happening for the first time in Greece in such a direction. This initiative was taken by PAME and the Nationwide Farmers’ Rally and the Nationwide rally of self-employed small businessmen responded positively. This rally was expanded through the participation of the Students’ Front of Struggle(MAS) and the Federation of Greek Women(OGE). This is not a narrow fractional rally, but a social alliance which is based on class-oriented and radical organizations as well as of militant forces that act as a minority within the structures of the trade union movement. Emphasis was given from the very first moment to the formation of the people’s committees of the alliance in neighbourhoods, of struggle committees in workplaces, committees of sectoral unions.

We have specialised the organization of the class-oriented, popular struggle, with the main emphasis at the base and with a planned effort so that it takes on a regional and nationwide character.

At the same time, we submitted certain immediate proposals and struggle goals in the parliament and movement concerning unemployment and the protection of the unemployed, workers with flexible labour relations, poor businessmen and farmers, pensions and the social security system, Health and Education; concerning the problems of workers’ housing, the serious delays in anti-earthquake protection, for the people’s debts to the banks etc.

The people’s committees must be formed in a well-prepared way, through the broadest mass processes, so that it is not a label, it must be addressed to wider popular masses which are mobilised around a specific problem, or a group of problems. Every constituent part of this alliance continues its activity in its field in the sectors, workplaces, industrial zones, neighbourhoods, universities and schools. It is not a temporary grouping together but a force to draw workers and other poor popular strata into an organized struggle in an anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist direction, against the power of the monopolies.

The strength of this alliance is judged in the factory, in the workplace where the contradiction between capital and labour is expressed clearly and directly. There have already been some positive results concerning the rehiring of dismissed workers, the payment of wages and compensation and the reconnection of electricity to families who have not paid the bills due to poverty. There have taken place and continue to take place important mobilizations for the abolition of tolls on the national highways, against the payment of “tickets” in state hospitals, against the increases of the price of medical exams, against the closure of schools and the abolition of hospital beds.

After studying the decisions of the European Left Party summit which took place in Athens, we can see clearly that behind the sharp phraseology it projects an entire view of managing the crisis without touching on the essence of the bourgeois political line. Their proposals dissociate politics from economy, divide capitalists into lenders and borrowers, separate the causes of the crisis from its consequences. The so-called radical proposal for the socialisation of the banking groups and the financial sector operates within this capitalist framework as does the proposal for changing the nature of credit. If this utopia does not stem from ignorance concerning the role of credit in the capitalist system, then it is aimed at deceiving the peoples. Unfortunately the latter is true.

Transforming the debt from a consequence to a cause, they are shaping an atmosphere amongst the people that they must accept some sacrifices because the debt is a national problem, and above all that there is the question of the national economy.



A. We are of the assessment that the communist parties in Europe whether we operate in EU member-states or not are obliged to carry out systematic and if we agree, joint work so as to highlight that the source of the crisis lies in production and that in the circulation of money there appear the contradictions and paradoxes as well as malfunctions in the capitalist mode of production. And from this arises the basic truth that the working class, the labour movement is the most advanced and revolutionary force in society; the force that can unite the other popular strata in a dynamic mass alliance.

The development of a real ideological counterattack in the struggle concerning the sharpening problems is absolutely necessary so that it is understood as much as possible, especially among the working class, the issue of the relationship between economics and politics.

Our positions on the capitalist economy, its central law, the development of the internal contradictions of the system, the law of the average rate of profit to fall, the production and distribution relations, the role of credit in capitalist production must be disseminated more widely.

It will be difficult for the labour movement and its allies to make a forward step, not to be assimilated into the logic of managing the system, if these issues are not understood.

It is of vital necessity to reveal, on the basis of arguments and facts, issues concerning inter-imperialist competition, concerning what is going on in the regional and global imperialist interstate unions. The experience of the masses is not shaped spontaneously, however much the problems sharpen, without the intensification of ideological and political struggle.

It is a serious opportunity, for the historical boundaries of the capitalist system to be understood; likewise the anarchy of production, uneven development, the massive reduction of industrial capital in relation to banking capital, the extent and speed of the transactions of titles and the circulation of financial capital. The political instability which will objectively appear must be utilised by the movement in its interests. It should not be utilised for the implementation of scenarios of coalition governments that will strengthen the attack against the people with various “left”, “renewed” or “centrist” alibis.

The fact that the socialist social revolution is not on the agenda does not mean that there does not exist an objective necessity for the labour movement to pose socialism as a response to the obsolete capitalist path of development.

B. The way in which a bourgeois government deals with the crisis, regardless of its composition, has a given orientation and character. It takes measures that lead to the intensification of class exploitation while labour power becomes even cheaper. Crisis means the depreciation–destruction of a section of capital either finance capital or real capital. Nevertheless, the bourgeois state, the power of capital takes measures so as this depreciation to be as low as possible in terms of the reduction of the mass of profits or to bring their replenishment as soon as possible.

C. The bourgeois management will be accompanied by political instability, local military conflicts and interventions that reflect the conflict between the powers of the international imperialist system.

The war against Libya, the imperialist interventions in Egypt and Tunisia, in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, are the continuation of the imperialist interventions and the wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan that have one goal: to control even more decisively oil and natural gas, the mineral resources; to impede popular uprisings and particularly the awakening of the working class, to change governments and impose other ones that will be more friendly to the one or the other imperialist.

Therefore the struggle of the movement against imperialist war must acquire anti-capitalist characteristics. This is true for the movement that develops in the aggressor country but also for the capitalist country which is the target of the attack. The struggle against foreign occupation must not lose its class characteristics as the bourgeois class, no matter whether it loses or wins, does not abandon its main goal, which is the breaking and the defeat of the people’s movement in general.

2 Joint Strategy in relation to the EU

Irrespective of the form that the EU will take on, there will be one field with a commonly decided policy without contradictions and disagreements: the barbaric strategy against the working class, the working people in all the member states, the participation in imperialist wars, the “imperialist peace”. This policy against the peoples will be served by any form of EU mechanism and any joint policy that will be achieved. This is the class content of the European federalisation which is being proposed by several member-states and political forces. The nation-state as an organ that ensures the concentration and centralisation of capital in the hard competition between the member states will not be surpassed or erased.

The political line of rupture and disengagement from the EU is a prerequisite so that the outcome of the struggle will be to the benefit of the people, for the perspective of socialism, for a united socialist Europe. This possibility cannot be realised automatically and simultaneously in Europe as a whole, it will be the result of successive and coordinated blows at a national level.

The peoples must fight from their part against the bourgeois states, the monopolies at a national level as well as at a European and international level. They cannot “correct” the decisions of the EU; they can put on a temporary brake by means of an aggressive political line of rupture. Finally, the disengagement of each country through the overthrow of bourgeois power paves the way for the Europe of socialism, of the equal cooperation in the interests of the people.


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