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Issue #1843      October 10, 2018

The Capitalist Crisis - the pretext for the anti-people agenda in Greece

At the end of September the CPA was pleased to receive a visit from Comrade Kostas Papadakis, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, KKE, and member of the European Parliament. Below the Guardian is reprinting a section of his address to a public function held at the MUA in Sydney on Saturday 29th of September.

This section of Comrade Papadakis speech focuses on recent political developments in Greece and the KKE’s strategy in response to these developments. Comrade Papadakis makes clear the lessons of events in Greece have broad significance for Communist parties worldwide. In this part of his speech he explains the KKE’s assessment of the role of SYRIZA and other social democratic and opportunistic forces in the anti-people developments in Greece.

Comrade Kostas Papadakis, member of the Central Committee of the KKE.

(Full version available in both English or Greek)

Dear comrades, trade-unionists, friends of the CPA, cadres of the Australian trade-unions.

On behalf of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece [KKE] we want to thank the CC of the Communist Party of Australia for organising this meeting. We hope that this meeting will contribute so that through our exchange of experience we obtain more tools for the struggle we are waging in the two countries. This year, the KKE completes 100 years of life and activity and KNE [Communist Youth of Greece] its 50 years.

The Festival of KKE and KNE was just held with over a hundred thousand of participant workers and youth, dedicated to the 100 years of the Party and to the 50 years of KNE.

The experience that we have accumulated contributes to the strengthening of internationalist solidarity and common activity, elements very important for the struggle against the capitalist system, the capital and its political representatives, for the great cause that we serve, the struggle for socialism.

The KKE has a heroic history.

It led the class struggle in the ‘20s and ‘30s, it was the organiser and main lifeblood of the National Liberation Front (EAM) and of the People’s Liberation Army (ELAS) in the Resistance against the Nazi occupation – in the armed, class struggle of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) 1946-1949, in the decades that followed in conditions of clandestine action and under harsh persecution, during the military dictatorship in 1967-1974, until today.

The communists, men and women, in the prison cells and in the exile islands demonstrated great endurance and self-sacrifice that stem from the exalted communist ideals, from the faith in the working class, that is the vanguard force of society.

Their contribution was immense, with thousands of honoured dead in the fields of battle and in the execution sites of the bourgeois state, thousands of uncompromising combatants of class struggle.

Dear comrades,

The developments in Greece have been many times in the forefront of public attention, have generated a lot of debates in the international communist movement, many myths were cultivated and then were torn down during the deep capitalist crisis that began in 2008.

We want to underline that the capitalist crisis has been the pretext so that the bourgeois governments voted and applied decisions of the EU that were already set on course regarding the abolition of working class and people’s rights, for the consolidation of Greek and European monopolies in order to be able to cope with the international competition.

In Europe and other parts of the globe, as well as in Australia, a whole mechanism of bourgeois, opportunist and Trotskyist forces were set in motion that not only obfuscated the KKE’s positions but also slandered them while at the same time presented SYRIZA** as a force of resistance and of social progress. In this campaign of lies and speculation the European Left Party, this opportunist formation, played and continues to play the leading role in which SYRIZA participating.

Essentially, a small opportunist party that was under mutation since 2012 into a social democratic party was intended to be presented as a factor of radical change.

We remember speeches that were calling on the KKE to cooperate with SYRIZA, to support its policy against the “troika”, against the “right”, against “neo-liberalism”, as they were saying at that time, but these positions went bankrupt.

The KKE maintained a principled stance, respecting its history and the interests of our people. We tried to inform on the concrete situation in Greece, with well-founded arguments we underlined that SYRIZA is an establishment party, a pillar of capitalism, a representative of the capital.

Abroad there were forces that took to heart the words and actions of the KKE, others that were left behind, cultivated expectations, saying that in Greece the “golden recipe” was uncovered. A recipe that will resolve the people’s problems and give an example to the rest of the countries.

But class struggle has its own laws. After the victory of SYRIZA in the elections and the formation of government with the nationalist party of the “Independent Greeks” (ANEL) in 2015, SYRIZA showed its real colours.

In these four years it has been proved in practice that this government is a government of bourgeois management that ruthlessly uses all available means of misleading and manipulating the workers and the people, and that precisely is why it is the most useful government for the capitalist class, for the USA and the EU.

Essentially SYRIZA robbed blind the loot from the hands of the New Democracy Party and took the place of the old social democracy of PASOK.

Altogether they voted in favour of the third Memorandum and applied (together) the anti-people’s measures of three Memorandums, (together) they led vast sections of our people, working men and women, poor farmers, small professionals of the cities to poverty. They undermine the future of our youth.

Austerity program

The current government, as well as the previous ones, is to blame for the dramatic cut-downs in salaries and pensions, for the increase of the retirement age to 67 years of age, for the applying of harsh taxation against the people, for the privatisation of public enterprises of strategic importance such as ports, airports, railroads, the water and electricity networks, natural gas, the giving up of precious public plots of land and even archaeological monuments to private owners for up to 99 years, for the downgrading of health-care and education, for the abolition of the Sunday day-off, for the auctions of people’s houses. The unemployment rate is still very high while the flexible working relations are expanding.

It was this government that passed the law in parliament for the limiting of the right to strike and many times has resorted to repression and authoritarian measures against the workers on strike and against demonstrators, against members of the KKE and of KNE that were informing the people, they protected the statue of [former US] president Truman – executioner of peoples, the butcher that gave the order to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This government rejected together with the rest of the bourgeois parties a draft law tabled by the deputies of the KKE presenting the positions of 530 trade unions regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreements.

The support of big capital with funding, tax exemptions, reducing the taxation of the big companies further underscore the anti-people policy of SYRIZA.

Now, with the ebbing out of the capitalist crisis and in view of weak steps towards the recuperation of capitalist economy they are using the argument of “fair growth” as a trump card, trying to convince with a fairy tale that an economy where the means of production are in the hands of the capitalists and that is functioning with profit as its criterion can resolve the popular problems.

It is a method of misguiding the people that is used to hide that, in an unfair, exploitative society there can be no fair development.

This past August, officially the financial program of the EU and the IMF ended. Now the government is projecting another myth, of the so called “New Era”.

But, the 700 memorandum application laws remain intact, the total of anti-people measures is here, a new cut-down of pensions is being prepared, a new lowering of the non-taxable income will be put in effect, the supervision of the economy by the EU and the IMF remains. The breadcrumbs that the governments are promising are good only to recycle extreme poverty.

* Member Central Committee, KKE

** Social democratic (Labour Party)

Next article – KKE and CPA – strong and enduring bonds

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