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You are here: Home » News » 2011 » Intervention of G. Toussas, member of the CC of the KKE and MEP, to the debate “Europe – Capitalism crisis, struggle and alternative”, in the “Avante” Festival

Intervention of G. Toussas, member of the CC of the KKE and MEP, to the debate “Europe – Capitalism crisis, struggle and alternative”, in the “Avante” Festival

Saturday, 3rd September 2011

Dear comrades,

On behalf of the CC of the KKE, I would like to thank you for the invitation and I address warm comradely greetings to the leadership, the members and cadres of the Portuguese CP.

The developments that we experience, the capitalist crisis and the offensive of capital form an important basis, in order to draw conclusions that equip the working and popular forces and can lead to a massive awakening of the working class, the popular strata that experience the harsh consequences of the capitalist barbarity and the anti-people policies.

An awakening that will not only limit to the opposition to one or another anti-popular measure, to one or another anti-popular policy, to one or the other anti-popular government, but will be based on the deeper awareness that capitalism is an exploitative system that constantly moves in a more reactionary direction and cannot be cured and that the class struggle must be directed towards its overthrow.

It is from this standpoint that the KKE views the developments in Greece, while insisting on exposing the real causes of the crisis, on the reinforcing of the ideological and political confrontation with the bourgeois and opportunist forces, on revealing the role of the European Union as a transnational imperialist Union that is hostile to the peoples.

Life has proven that capitalism, in its highest and final imperialist stage, becomes more dangerous for the working class and the peoples, aggravates the problems, causes crises, condemns millions of workers to unemployment and poverty, causes wars, and all these because the monopolies, which are the core of the system, thirst for profits and are in competition for the control of resources.

We have a very powerful and irreplaceable weapon in our hands and this is our theory, Marxism-Leninism, which allows us to study the developments and define with accuracy the character and the causes of the crisis.

What happened in Greece?

In Greece, capitalist development was marked by strong growth for many years and the Gross Domestic Product has been increasing by over 3% each year.

Great wealth was produced. But the results of the capitalist development were reaped by the plutocracy, the bankers, the industrialists, the ship-owners and the other sections of the bourgeoisie, while the circumstances of the working class and the people’s strata deteriorated, and the future of the youth was undermined.

The EU strategy of the reactionary restructures which were decided on and promoted together with the bourgeois governments, the liberals and the social-democrats, in order to serve the contemporary needs of capital, played a particular role for the freezing of salaries and pensions, for the overthrow of working, social security and social rights, for the privatizations throughout the entire last period. In fact, it was proven that the Maastricht Treaty, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the Lisbon Strategy are capitalist tools used in order to make the big European monopolist groups more competitive and profitable.

We insist on this and in order to highlight that capitalist barbarity continues. The conditions for the crisis are formed within the capitalist development. Under these conditions, there is an over-accumulation of capital and the basic contradiction of the system is aggravated.

The crisis that was manifested in a synchronized way at an international level, in the USA, the European Union and other capitalist states, is a crisis of over-accumulation of capital, a crisis of over-production. At its core, there is the escalation of the contradiction between the social character of production and the capitalist appropriation of its results, because the means of production are the property of the capitalists and the criterion for capitalist development is profit that leads to anarchy and unevenness.

The crisis of capitalism proves that the historical limits of the system have been surpassed and for this reason the bourgeois and opportunist forces, including SYN/SYRIZA in Greece and the Party of the European Left (EL), support the system and insist on distorting the causes of the crisis.

They talk about “casino-capitalism”, about a “debt crisis”, about a “financial crisis”; they limit their criticism to the neo-liberal management and they exonerate social-democracy and capitalism itself, despite the fact that within its production process the conditions of the crisis are born, which is also manifested in the other parts of the capitalist system.

In Greece, the GDP decreased in 2009 and 2010; in 2011 it will decrease by 5% and there are great concerns for 2012.

The economic depression feeds the deficits and the debt, which are caused by the financing of big businesses, the tax exemptions for big capital, the consequences of the accession of Greece to the European Union and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the high military expenses for the imperialist needs of the NATO.

Dear comrades,

Under these conditions, the KKE argues that the people do not have any responsibility for the debt; they must not recognize it, but they must fight so that the plutocracy that created the debt pays for it, in a struggle aiming at overthrowing the exploitative system.

The KKE has opened a decisive front against all positions that cultivate false expectations concerning the role of the European Union, the lending mechanisms, the European bonds. Life proves that the loans, under any form, are paid for by the working class and the popular strata and that every loan agreement is accompanied by cruel anti-people measures, by measures that had certainly been decided on beforehand and are now being imposed using the crisis, in all the capitalist countries, regardless whether they have signed a memorandum with the EU and the International Monetary Fund or they have voted a “mid-term program”, as was the case in Greece. These constitute a strategic choice, recorded in the “Pact for the Euro”, and aim at increasing the competitiveness and the profitability of the monopolies, which can be achieved only through the reduction of the cost of labour. This is what we also experience in Greece, where, despite the cruel anti-people measures that reduce dramatically the salaries and the pensions and abolish working, social security and social rights, the crisis insists, the debt increases, the unemployed are 1 million. It is obvious that the crisis does not only concern Greece, Ireland and Portugal, but it is also extended to Italy and Spain; there are greater worries about the French economy, while the last data show an economic slowdown in Germany, in the entire euro area, but also in the USA and there is an estimation that any recovery will be anaemic.

Therefore, we must be ready for a new escalation of the offensive and we must act in a coordinated way, while insisting on the intensification of the development of new class struggles, taking into account that the temporary compromise of the 21st July summit is fragile, that the inter-imperialist competition over which capitalist country will pay the least damage from the destruction of capital is increasing and that the choice of new cruel anti-popular measures is being reinforced.

At this point, we want to stress that we must pay attention to the positions that talk about an occupation of states by the EU and the International Monetary Fund, because they are promoted and used by forces that conceal the role of the bourgeoisie.

Greece is neither under occupation nor a protectorate. It is a capitalist country, with a subordinate position in the imperialist system, with a strong bourgeoisie that defends and fights for its interests by consciously choosing its allies in the European Union, the NATO, the International Monetary Fund, in order to exploit the working class, to oppress the popular strata, to ensure its power and to perpetuate the capitalist system.

Regarding the development of the class struggle, it is known that in Greece, there have been mass struggles, with the KKE and PAME in the front line, the class trade union movement that rallies hundreds of class-orientated trade unions, Federations and Labour Centres and struggle committees.

In the over 20 general strikes, in the big demonstrations, the occupations of ministries and other state buildings, the communists have been in the front line, as well as the Communist Youth, the friends of the KKE, the working men and women that support the PAME.

All these forces are in the factories, the workplaces and the popular neighbourhoods; they inform and organize the working class, the people, the youth, they protect the strikes with pickets, they fight against the employers and the forces of repression, they face anticommunism and the slanders by bourgeois and opportunist parties and groups.

The struggle is organized in the conditions of an intense conflict with the forces of the government-employer-led trade unions, where the cadres of PASOK and ND participate, who control the Greek General Confederation of Labour and the Confederation of Greek Civil Servants’ Trade Unions and are supported by SYN/SYRIZA and other forces against PAME. This block, whose prestige is constantly decreasing, supports the strategy of capital, defends the European Union and cultivates class collaboration, confusion and false expectations amongst the working people.

Dear comrades,

The KKE, in difficult conditions, deploys its forces to organize the working class in the factories; it concentrates its attention on the building of party organisations in the workplaces and the sectors; it fights for the regroupment of the working movement, in order to reinforce class unity, to improve the activity and the orientation of the trade unions and to change the correlation of forces.

We could say that, despite the shortcomings, the development of the social alliance promoted in the working class and the people’s strata, through the efforts of the PAME and the other militant coalitions, is very hopeful.

It is true that the bourgeoisie and its political spokesmen are more worried by the course, the orientation and the prestige of this massive movement, and for this reason they search for ways of trapping the popular indignation into a direction which causes no harm to the system. This goal was recently served through the “squares” movement, where, with the contribution of the bourgeois media, the bourgeois and opportunist parties, extreme-right organisations and marginal “anti-authoritarian” groups, there was an attempt to trap indignant workers into reactionary demands, such as “Out with the parties, Out with the trade unions”.

The KKE has formed positions and demands on every problem, with which it struggles every day and concentrates forces for the overthrow of the exploitative system. The firm basis of the programmatic analysis of the KKE is that in our period, the period of the transition from capitalism to socialism, the struggle between the classes is directed toward the resolution of the primary contradiction between capital and labour. The revolutionary change in Greece will be socialist. The driving force of the socialist revolution will be the working class as the leading force, the semi-proletarians, poor farmers and the most oppressed urban petty bourgeois strata of the people. The policy of alliances, which is based on the anti-imperialist anti-monopoly democratic line of struggle, will contribute to rallying the great majority of the people. There is only one choice: People’s Power, disengagement from the European Union and NATO, debt write-off, a change to the historically surpassed social property relations; social ownership of the basic and concentrated means of production, productive associations of the small and middle farmers, the small-scale entrepreneurs, in sectors with a low level of concentration; central planning, in order for all means of production and labour force to be mobilized, in order to make use of every possible international economic cooperation on the basis of mutual interests. In this direction, the demands for the development of the ideological and political mass struggle increase, as well as the demands for the organization of the working class, but we believe that we can respond, if we are inspired by the necessity of another organization of society, by the necessity of socialism, which becomes more timely every day, as a response to capitalist barbarity.


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