CPGB-ML » Posts for tag 'KKE'

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) makes advances in Greek elections

We congratulate the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on their encouraging performance in recent elections, and reproduce their latest statement and analysis.

The election results confirm the trend for the rallying of forces around the KKE

The EU parliamentary elections on the 25 May 2014 took place in Greece together with the second round of the regional and municipal elections. This was the first time that these two election battles have been conducted in the same period, while it was the first time that the voters could choose their preferred candidates from the lists of the parties (previously, the parties determined the order of preference).

The results of the EU parliamentary elections

Forty-three parties and 1,299 candidates took part in the elections for the 21 seats that Greece has in the EU parliament (one less that in the 2009 elections). Just under 60 percent of the electorate took part in the elections and an atmosphere of polarisation between the two new bourgeois poles was formed.

On the one hand, New Democracy (ND) sought votes so that, as it said, “there will be no instability and derailment from the way out of the crisis”. On the other hand, the new social-democratic party, Syriza, sought the transformation of the elections into a “referendum”, so that it could demonstrate a significant increase and outstrip the dynamism of the governing parties.

With the slogan “we vote on the 25th so that they leave on the 26th”, Syriza set as its goal victory in the EU parliamentary elections so that the government would resign and early parliamentary elections would be declared.

In these difficult political conditions, when the bourgeois parties promoted false dilemmas for the workers, the KKE achieved a small, but tangible, increase (+1.6 percent), in relation to the elections of 2012 and received 6.1 percent of votes cast.

Syriza, although it emerged as the first party, did not manage any increase on the percentage it received in 2012.

The government parties suffered significant losses. The conservative ND fell by 7 percent and the social-democratic Pasok, which participated in the elections with the ‘Olive Tree’ coalition, had losses of 4 percent.

The ‘Democratic Left’, which for a period had participated in the government with ND and Pasok, was crushed, losing 5 percent and remaining outside of the EU parliament.

The rightwing party ‘Independent Greeks’ lost 4 percent.

At the same time, the efforts for the recomposition of the political scene through the strengthening of fascist Golden Dawn (+2.2 percent), as well with the emergence of a new ‘centre’ party, led by a well-known TV star who has a Pasok background. His party, the ‘River’, received 6.5 percent.

The other 34 parties that participated in the elections but did not pass the electoral threshold of 3 percent and did not elect MEPs, received in total around 17 percent of the votes.

So, of the parties that participated in the elections of 2012, only the KKE and fascist Golden Dawn had an increase in terms of votes and percentages.

In addition, the KKE saw its two MEPs re-elected.

This result acquires particular significance because the political line of the KKE is a line of conflict against the capitalist development path and the imperialist EU, the bourgeois class and the parties that serve its interests.

The KKE posed the framework that corresponds to the people’s interests: disengagement from the EU and unilateral cancellation of the debt, with workers’/people’s power and the socialisation of the concentrated means of production.

This framework was attacked by every means at the disposal of the bourgeois and opportunist parties, and by the mechanisms of the bourgeois state, but it lays foundations for the increase of the people’s demands, for the understanding of the class character of the exploitative system and the imperialist predatory alliance.

The results of the second round of the local elections

On 25 May 2014, the second round of the municipal elections was held.

The lists of ‘People’s Rally’ that was supported by the KKE entered the second round of the elections in four municipalities and were victorious in all four of them.

Specifically:

  • In the municipality of Patras (the third-largest city in the country) it received 62.4 percent of the votes (it had 25.06 percent in the first round).
  • In the municipality of the island of Ikaria it received 50.8 percent of the votes (it had 44.1 percent in the first round).
  • In the municipality of Petroupolis (which is in Athens) it received 53 percent of the votes (26.28 percent in the first round).
  • In the municipality of Haidari (which is in Athens) it received 68.5 percent of the votes (18.43 percent in the first round).

We should bear in mind that in the first round of the elections, the KKE had a significant increase and had received 8.8 percent of the votes in the country’s 13 regions and an increase in 214 municipalities, electing dozens of councillors in the regions and hundreds in the municipalities.

Statement of Dimitris Koutsoumpas, GS of the CC of the KKE, on the results of the EU parliamentary elections and the second round of the local elections

First of all we would like to thank all the people that responded to the appeal of the KKE, joined forces with it, supported the lists of the KKE and ‘People’s Rally’ in the four municipalities where the KKE has taken part in the second round.

As to the EU parliamentary elections, up until now the KKE has received more than 6 percent, which means hundreds of thousands of votes and the election of two MEPs. In our opinion, this result constitutes a small step; it is the continuation of the positive result of the previous week in the 13 administrative regions of the country, where the party received 8.8 percent of the votes.

This tendency has been expressed, more or less, in municipalities all over the country, where they the lists of the ‘People’s Rally’ had a strong presence.

In the first round, we increased our percentage in 214 municipalities. At the same time, we received over 10 percent in more than 50 municipalities.

In the four municipalities where we took part in the second round, the candidates of the KKE achieved resounding victories.

In difficult conditions, we won the majority in these municipalities, despite the radically different political line expressed by the lists of the KKE compared to all the other lists of the parties, which all support the political line of the EU and capital in local administration as well is a positive development.

The election result as a whole does not demonstrate any reversal of the anti-people political scene; it does not create any ‘new political scene’ in favour of the people.

Of course, it demonstrates the people’s anger towards ND and Pasok, who undertook the burden of implementing the anti-people governmental political line and the ‘EU one-way street’.

Although a significant part of the voters of Syriza made their choice with the expectation of a left orientation, the first position of Syriza does not express any strengthening of the left, radical, anti-monopoly, anti-imperialist political line, since Syriza has abandoned — even in its slogans —  any opposition to the monopolies, the EU and to Nato.

The results — above all in the EU parliamentary elections — indicate the consolidation of the tendency to substitute the bankrupted Pasok by Syriza, as part of the reshuffling of the political scene that started in June 2012.

At the same time, the course of other social-democratic formations appears to be volatile — eg, the Olive Tree, which was the main electoral formation of Pasok in the elections. The Olive Tree rallied some forces, but received a smaller percentage than in June 2012. Furthermore, the percentage of the Democratic Left was reduced in favour of The River, which appeared with slogans of a vague and less social-democratic character.

Although the tendency of the KKE to rally forces and receive new votes is positive,  the election results as a whole do not express any significant tendency towards the emancipation of the workers’ and people’s forces from the parties of the ‘EU one-way street’ — the interests of capital and the monopolies.

The most extreme expression of this discrepancy is the high percentage of votes cast for Golden Dawn.

The ruling class and the system still possess, unfortunately, significant reserves that allow it to appear with a new mantle. This assessment is based on the votes and programmes both of Syriza, as well as of the Olive Tree and the River.

As a whole, the recomposition of the political system is underway — the creation of new barriers to radicalisation, something that we must specifically monitor in the next period. In the final analysis, nothing has been decided, as the people themselves have not yet utilised their strength.

The election results as a whole in the EU countries can not be anything other than negative for the peoples. It is now necessary in every country — in all the EU countries — for a movement for rupture and disengagement from the EU to develop and to struggle for the overthrow the power of the monopolies.

This movement with these goals must confront and smash fascism-nazism in every country, and in Europe as a whole. We could say that inside this reactionary framework it is positive that the KKE in Greece demonstrates a trend of a small recovery after the strong pressure it was subjected to in June 2012.

The necessity of the recovery and regroupment of the communist and workers’ movement in Europe as a whole has become urgent — especially in France, Germany, Britain, Spain and Italy, to remove itself from the deadly embrace of social democracy, the prettifying of the EU and the political assimilation and participation in the bourgeois anti-people management.

You can be sure that votes for the KKE will be utilised from tomorrow morning in every workplace, in every neighbourhood, in the schools and in the universities — to impede new measures, to struggle for measures to relieve the unemployed, for the regroupment of the labour and people’s movement, for the social People’s Alliance.

The people must rally in the mass radical struggles around the KKE’s proposal for the way out — to organise and confront the anti-people measures that remain and to chart their own course for government and power in their own class interests. They must be rallied in a political line of rupture against the EU.

What is an immediate need is a strong People’s Alliance — a strong people’s opposition and a revived labour-people’s movement, which will confront the capitalist system, the EU, the monopolies and their power, charting a victorious course in favour of the people.

The KKE will continue to show the way for the real pro-people solution for our people, together with the readiness, starting from tomorrow, for a tough confrontation and struggle to relieve the workers, the unemployed, the popular households, the pensioners, the youth, and all those who suffer.

We call on the people to resist the false dilemmas of ’stability and recovery’ vs ‘destabilisation’, the false expectations fostered by the ND-Pasok government, since the ’stability’ and ‘recovery’ will be for big capital and not for the people.

Syriza, on the other hand, neither wants nor is able to save the people and pave the way for the overthrow of capital.

The people should trust in the KKE, which warned and struggled in a timely fashion (and not only with words and slogans), and which is not bound by anti-people decisions, dishonourable signatures and dangerous consensus — unlike the other parties that seek the people’s vote and want either to continue their anti-people work, or to sow illusions and false expectations.

From tomorrow onwards, we must all struggle together to create the preconditions for the revival of the people’s movement for the concentration of forces to the benefit of the people.

We repeat tonight that we are aware of our responsibilities. We must contribute more decisively to the regroupment, the combativeness and mass character of the labour and people’s movement, to the organisation of the daily struggle of the people, to the creation of a great people’s alliance, with the KKE strong everywhere.

We need a strong KKE everywhere in order to prevent worse measures being taken by the anti-people local administrations in the municipalities and regions; so that we can struggle for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people; so that we can pave the way, with the people in the forefront of the developments, for the breaking of the shackles of the EU, the monopolies and their governments — whatever name they may go under.

Greek communists on the economic and political crisis in their country

Communists unfurl their banners from the Acropolis in Athens on Saturday 11 February 2012, day two of a general strike

Communists unfurl their banners from the Acropolis in Athens on Saturday 11 February 2012, day two of a general strike

Regarding the Expressions of Solidarity with the Greek People
Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 20 February 2012

Recently, demonstrations have been held in many countries across the world under the ‘umbrella’ of slogans of “solidarity with Greece” and “we are all Greeks”. Working-class and popular solidarity are powerful weapons in the struggle of the peoples. But the workers must deal with any attempt to mislead them.

Which Greece needs solidarity? The Greece of the capitalists, who seek to acquire new loans from the EU and the IMF in order to strengthen the profitability of their capital, to reinforce their position against the people, or the Greece of the working class and the other popular strata, who are suffering due to the consequences of the capitalist crisis, for which they bear no responsibility?

At many of these events this issue remained unclear. And this is the case because there is an effort by certain forces (mainly of social democracy, the opportunists of the party of the European left and the ‘greens’) to use vaguely the idea of ’solidarity with the Greek people’ to whitewash the support that they gave in the past to the Maastricht Treaty, to the other Euro treaties, to the EU of capital itself, which is reactionary and can in no way be ‘democratised’, as they are even now claiming.

In addition, there is an attempt to use the issue of Greece in the inter-imperialist rivalries, inside and outside the EU.

Yes, the workers in Greece want the solidarity of the workers in Europe and all over the world! But solidarity with their struggles, their strikes, their militant demands, the KKE, and the class-oriented trade-union movement, PAME which is in the front line of the struggle, not the ’solidarity’ that seeks the continuation of capitalist exploitation and the squeezing of the workers.

Regarding this issue, the Press Office of the CC of the KKE issued the following statement:

The KKE addresses a message to all the workers of Europe: It is not necessary for you to ‘become Greeks’ in order to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Greece.

We call on you to join us on the same road for the contemporary rights of the working class and the poor popular strata, in order to impede and overthrow our common enemy: the dictatorship of the monopolies, the EU, and the parties that serve them.

Their overthrow in every country or group of countries, the socialisation of the monopolies, disengagement from the EU and Nato, with working-class people’s power, will be the greatest contribution to the struggle of the peoples of Europe and the whole world.

The newest and most contemporary slogan, which is more timely than ever is: “Workers of all countries, Unite!”

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. Down with the coup of the Bailout Agreement, down with the illegal Papadimos’ government
. Overthrow the whole rotten political system
. Democracy, Independence, Productive Reconstruction, Emancipation

Communist Organisation of Greece (ΚΟΕ) statement, 13 February 2012

The Communist Organisation of Greece salutes the hundreds of thousands of people who swamped Athens yesterday and protested throughout Greece, resolutely opposing the new bonds that the IMF-EU-ECB troika is imposing.

The Greek people proved their advanced readiness for combat, and showed increased endurance and courage facing the ruthless attacks of the ’special police’ forces. Despite state terrorism and the blackmail of the establishment, the fighting spirit of the people against the new occupation and tyranny is raging.

The new bailout agreement is being imposed entirely as in a coup, by an illegal government, and ‘approved’ by a parliament that has lost any legitimacy. The Papademos puppet government, the three bourgeois pro-agreement parties, and the politicians who voted for and supported the new disastrous bailout agreement are continuously violating their own constitution and the country’s sovereignty.

Their whole political system is hence entirely illegitimate. They have definitively divorced themselves from the people, and must leave immediately.

Since the appointed ‘prime minister’-banker Papademos and his entourage didn’t manage to terrorise the people with the threat of default (besides, the bailout agreement leads to default with mathematical certainty), they took sole refuge in ruthless police violence and terror. They suffocated Athens with chemicals, not hesitating to use their ‘weapons’ in the most ferocious way even against two emblematic figures like our national resistance hero Manolis Glezos and the internationally famous composer Mikis Theodorakis.

The illegal and completely illegitimate government, with the full support of most mainstream media, resorted to violence and invested in terror. The ‘journalist’-parrots of the system and the apologists of the troika talked systematically only about the damage done to buildings. They ‘forgot’ to mention the hundreds of thousands of people who, despite the barbarous police attacks and the chemicals, remained in Syntagma square and the rest of Athens’ centre for five hours.

For what happened yesterday, as well as for what’s coming, the illegal government must take full responsibility. In full contrast to the will of the people, and with repeated coups, it is delivering the country, the life and the future of its people to its patrons.

The political system that robbed and destroyed Greece, that leads it to default and is now delivering it as a colony to foreign commissioners and foreign ‘courts of justice’, is crumbling in front of our eyes.

They cannot even convince themselves any longer: 45 MPs from the bourgeois parties, under popular pressure, voted against the bailout agreement and were immediately expelled from their respective parties. For the first time since the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, fewer than 200 MPs voted ‘yes’ at a decision that had the support of both the two big bourgeois parties.

The intensified crisis of the political system is an opportunity for the promotion of a social and political front that will put a stop to this illegal regime and set the country in a different course, bringing into being what the people want and demand. A social and political front that will pave the way for the salvation of the people and the country: real democracy. Independence. Productive reconstruction.

Stop the payments NOW! Not one more euro to the loan sharks. We can break the chains; the fight continues! Forward to a radical political change led by the people!

Revolutionary turmoil in Greece

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 5 November

A parliamentary vote in favour of further austerity measures (154 votes to 141) on 19 October led to massive anger amongst over 100,000 workers demonstrating outside parliament.

The vote fulfilled an EU condition on Greece drawing down the next €8bn tranche of its bailout loan, but it will mean another €7.1bn of spending cuts plus tax increases, as well as deep cuts in public-sector wages and the loss of a further 30,000 public-sector jobs by the end of next month, to add to the 250,000 private-sector jobs already cut over the past two years.

Popular anger and frustration at people’s helplessness in the face of these monstrous cuts led to youths throwing hundreds of petrol bombs, burning a sentry box outside parliament and pelting the police with chunks of paving stones. The police hit back with tear gas, which eventually drove the demonstrators away, but they also took advantage of the situation to send thugs posing as ultra-revolutionaries to attack PAME and KKE militants physically.

These provocateurs assaulted the PAME/KKE contingent with Molotov cocktails, among other things, and tried to undermine the KKE’s leadership and set demonstrators against each other with virulent verbal attacks on both PAME and the KKE. In the course of these attacks, a prominent PAME militant, 53-year-old Dimitris Kotzaridis, was killed, overcome by police tear gas.

The Greek government has split against itself, with prime minister George Papandreou desperately trying to defuse the popular revolt. On 4 December he proposed putting the austerity measures to a referendum, apparently confident that the Greek public would endorse them, but the referendum was virulently opposed by Greece’s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, and Papandreou’s confidence was clearly not shared by most others.

The idea of the referendum panicked stock markets everywhere, while international lenders indicated an intention to withhold further loans. Not only is Greece now considered likely to be forced into a disorderly default on its debts, but France and Germany have served notice on the Greek government that Greece should get out of the eurozone if it can’t manage its economic affairs as demanded.

There was speculation that Papandreou would resign as prime minister and that the Greek government would be handed over to a coalition headed by Lucas Papademos, former vice president of the European Central Bank and Bank of Greece Governor between 1994 and 2002. MIT educated, Mr Papademos taught economics at Columbia University from 1975 to 1984 and served as a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1980. In the end, Papandreou succumbed to pressure and withdrew the decision to hold a referendum. The pressure for him to resign, however, is still strong.