Resolution of the CC of KKE concerning the international developments in our region and the positions of the KKE*
The CC examined the developments in our region as well as in the wider region, so that we could study better collectively the serious issues in regards to imperialist aggression, the contradictions and inter-imperialist rivalries, the stance of the bourgeois classes and the political forces, the tendencies which are present in these events, in order for us to be in a better position to promote the tasks which correspond to our party, as a section of the international communist movement, for the development of the anti-imperialist struggle, the struggle for power.
“In our region (Balkans, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus) serious and dangerous developments are unfolding, which are characterized by the intensity of the contradictions between the imperialist powers and competition between the bourgeois classes, in a region which contains rich energy resources and constitutes a “transport route” for raw materials from Central Asia, the Caspian, the Middle East, both to the West and to the rising powers of Asia (China, India etc).
The strongest monopolies, imperialist unions and rising imperialist powers are entangled in a web of contradictions and struggle. Within the framework of the imperialist system, the bourgeois classes of the region seek “axes” of alliance, move into alliances and compromises, so that they benefit from the struggle for natural resources and market shares.
These international “alliances”, which the imperialist powers and monopoly groups form, take into account the geopolitical position of each country, its position in the imperialist pyramid, and also the dynamics of its strength (economic, military, political).
These developments are presented as the creation of a so-called multi-polar world and the promotion of the alleged “democratization of international relations”. We must sharpen our opposition to this ideological construct of the so-called “multi-polar world”, which fosters illusions that it can provide peace and security to the peoples. In reality the “multi-polar world” is the world of sharpened inter-imperialist competition. It includes as an inevitable development the formation of axes and “anti-axes” of rival powers. Often, the struggle which develops, goes beyond a “peaceful” political and diplomatic framework and continues with economic wars and wars of espionage, and even with military means, proving that “war is a continuation of politics by other (specifically violent) means”. Rivalries and cooperation between the capitalists are like the two inevitably opposite poles of a “magnet”.
The UN and NATO, the police and military forces of the EU, the military bases, and the large naval fleets are utilised in this struggle. Various pretexts are used, such as the “struggle against terrorism”, and the “defence of minorities”, the waves of immigration which are caused by the imperialist wars and interventions, the destitution and poverty which were created by capitalism etc”
We must take the following into account in order to monitor the developments and to effectively promote the strategy and tactics of the communist and anti-imperialist movement in our region:
1. The rivalries and contradictions which are developing in the region.
2. The plans of the more “stable” alliances of the imperialists, as expressed through their unions (NATO, EU, “Partnership for Peace”), which are active in our region.
3. The temporary “alliances” (economic, political, diplomatic and military), which are being formed.
4. The attempts of rising powers (Russia, China, India, Brazil) to strengthen their influence in the region, and also the attempts of the USA, the EU ( or its most important countries, such as Germany, France, Italy), to compete, either by impeding or assimilating these efforts.
5. Finally, the situation of the class-oriented workers’, anti-imperialist and communist movement in the region.
1. Imperialist aggression. The “new” NATO and the European Policy of Defence and Security.
1.1 At its Summit in Lisbon (19-20 November 2010), NATO formulated the “new strategic concept” of the imperialist organization, 61 years after its establishment in 1949.
At the time the imperialists, through the establishment of NATO, tried to deal with the results of the change in the correlation of forces, which had occurred in Europe, thanks to the Antifascist Victory of the peoples, the vanguard role and influence of the Soviet Union, due to its contribution in this titanic effort, as well as due to the emergence of the People’s Democracies in Europe.
At the same time, the creation and structure of NATO reflected the correlation of forces within the imperialist powers, in which the USA had the “place of honour”, due to the weakening of traditional imperialist powers such as Britain, France and Germany.
In this period up until the overthrow of socialism in the USSR, NATO constituted the main political-military “lever” in the confrontation of the capitalist countries with the USSR and the socialist countries in Europe, which responded to this imperialist aggression with the formation of the “Warsaw Pact”.
NATO was at the same time a multinational support for the bourgeois classes, which consciously chose this web of dependency -imposed by NATO- with the aim of watching their “backs”, that is to say that they could be as certain as possible that a crushing blow could be dealt in the instance where the popular movement in their countries questioned their power.
1.2. NATO, after the overthrow of socialism in the USSR and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, elaborated its “new dogma”, so that it can have the greatest possible benefits from the deterioration of the international correlation of forces- at the expense of the forces of socialism and the anti-imperialist movement.
Its goals were, on the one hand to create a new ideological “enemy”, much broader than the “communist danger”, so that every mass radical popular movement can be targeted. Something that was achieved by the creation of the “enemy” of “terrorism” and “extremism”. At the same time, the so-called “humanitarian wars” were “invented”, with the pretext of protecting minorities from “humanitarian disaster”.
And on the other hand, NATO sought to assimilate a series of countries and to strengthen its aggressive role in these regions, where there were once socialist states and especially in areas where there are energy resources and transport routes. This was achieved in the following ways:
a. The accession to NATO of 12 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia). Russia opposed this process, for its own reasons, especially when the process touched the Ukraine and Georgia.
b. The formation of the so-called “Partnership for Peace” (1994), which has 23 members (former socialist countries, and also certain countries which had a “neutral” stance during the period of confrontation of NATO-USSR). All these countries, without being members of NATO, are at the same time incorporated into the activity and plans of this imperialist alliance.
c. Through the signing of agreements with the UN and the OSCE, in order to facilitate the activity of NATO and to acquire the necessary “legitimacy” in the framework of “international law”, which has been “transformed” from a reflection of the balance of forces between the capitalist and socialist system (when the USSR existed), to a “law” which exclusively reflects the ambitions and the predatory alliances which are created within the imperialist system.
d. Through naked imperialist barbarity, as was expressed by the imperialist wars against Yugoslavia, the occupation of countries (e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq), the creation of protectorates (Kosovo, Bosnia), the creation of new military bases (Bulgaria, Romania, Kirghizia), the expansion of its activity to every corner of the planet.
1.3 There is an attempt underway to institutionalise and expand the above-mentioned developments now through the so-called “new strategic concept”, which was decided on in Lisbon. On the basis of this, NATO is expected to:
• Take on an even more aggressive role in the “defence” of member-states against any threat-attack, leaving more open the possibility of its intervention in the political life of a member-state, if bourgeois power is threatened there, taking on a multi-faceted role and responsibility for the repression of the labour-popular movement.
• Strengthen the campaign capabilities for military operations outside the zone of the alliance, such as Afghanistan, an activity which it seeks to be coordinated with the UN (with which it has signed an agreement of cooperation), with similar powers of the EU, as well as with the so-called “Partnership for Peace”, in which it tries to assimilate every country which wishes to link up with NATO.
• Develop cooperation with other partners outside of NATO, in order to deal with new threats (cyber-attacks, piracy, proliferation of ballistic and nuclear weapons, “energy security”).
• Play the leading role in providing “assistance” for the creation of police forces and armies in countries which have already been targeted (Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo) so that the “North Atlantic Alliance can contribute to international security”.
We are talking about an overt imperialist intervention in the internal affairs of every country, which can be utilised for the stabilization of regimes which are in danger from the mass political struggle of the people.
1.4. In the “new NATO” there will be an effort to bridge the inevitable sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions inside the alliance, which is related to the different plans of the bourgeois classes of the NATO member-states, which are expressed for example by the France-Germany axis, and by other alliances, such as the recent military cooperation between Britain and France, and the creation of EU military forces.
At the same time, there is the ambition to bridge the conflicts with Russia, which is a rising imperialist power and possesses a serious arsenal, expertise, energy resources, infrastructure, which it has to a great extent “inherited” from the era of the USSR. This is a contradictory process.
In this direction there is an attempt to assimilate Russia (which participates in the NATO “Partnership for Peace” and operates on a permanent basis the “Russia-NATO council”) in certain aspects of NATO’s activity, such as the so-called “anti-missile shield”, and the occupation of Afghanistan.
1.5. The bourgeois class of this country (and of course its parties, PASOK and ND) has massive responsibilities concerning the involvement of our country in the imperialist plans of NATO, in various corners of the world, as well as in the so-called “anti-missile shield”, which the imperialists are preparing to install in Europe, in our country amongst others.
These responsibilities become even greater, if we take into account the role of NATO in the Aegean, which has incalculable consequences for the sovereign rights of our country.
The communists must reveal to the peoples that the “new” NATO cannot be improved, nor “promote security” all over the world, as is claimed by the bourgeois propaganda.
It continues to play its dangerous and dirty role as the butcher of the peoples and the war “machine” of the bourgeois at the expense of the popular movements, of the working class, of the popular strata.
In these conditions, the demand for disentanglement from the imperialist plans and the withdrawal of our country and every country from NATO, must take on a new dynamism linked to the struggle for power.
1.6. The political line of the European Union is as dangerous as that of NATO, having at its core the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and Defence Policy.
The EU has the orientation to utilise the Euro-army, rapid response forces, in order to intervene all over the world on its own or in cooperation with NATO, with the same pretexts. That is to say in the name of “pre-emptive” wars, the “war against terrorism”, the “prevention of conflicts and the maintenance of peace”, of “humanitarian missions”, “energy security” , “climate change” etc.
In this direction, the European Defence Organization has been upgraded, with the tasks of “rationalising the military capabilities of the member-states”, and the “coordination of the research activities concerning matters of defence technology”.
Meanwhile, in parallel with the so-called “Solidarity Clause”, it provides for the military-political intervention in the internal developments of member-states, using the above-mentioned pretexts with the aim of striking against the labour-popular movement and protecting the capitalist system.
The imperialist strategy of the EU is promoted through military and non-military missions throughout the entire world, as is demonstrated by its missions in Africa, Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
2. The issue of energy pipe-lines
An important factor, which is sharpening and in the future will continue to influence the competition of the bourgeois classes in the region, is the issue of energy pipe-lines, which will transport the natural wealth of Russia, Central Asia and the Caspian to Europe.
So, in this way the matter of bypassing the Bosporus Straits through the construction of new oil pipelines is in progress, whether through the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline or through the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline.
In addition, there is a plan for the Nabucco pipeline to pass through this region, which has as its goal the transfer of natural gas, bypassing Russia (through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria). Also there is the Russo-Italian inspired (from June 2010 with the participation of France also) South Stream pipeline which aims to transport Russian gas to Europe, bypassing the Ukraine (through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria).
It is expected that these two pipelines will begin to be constructed at the end of 2011- beginning of 2012 and will be in operation in 2015. This is a period when we must expect the sharpening of rivalries in the wider region from the Balkans to Central Asia, from Africa to Iran over: a) the safeguarding of the necessary deposits, b) the securing of the energy routes.
We have witnessed energy agreements in the recent period (Russia’s Rosneft with Britain’s BP concerning Arctic oil, and agreements of the same Russian company with the American companies Exxon, Mobil and Chevron concerning the Black Sea oil), which, nevertheless do not negate the fact of the sharpening of the struggle between Russia and the USA over the construction of the South Stream pipeline.
These facts, which do not negate the competition, demonstrate that the cooperation of the Russian bourgeois class with sections of the British and American bourgeois class is on the increase, a fact which may influence the more general balance of forces, beyond the developments in our region.
So we can see in relation to the issue of energy, the exploitation of deposits and pipelines, that strong imperialist powers and monopolies are elaborating various scenarios and alliances, which nevertheless are dependent on the more general tendency of their relations. For example, the fact that Russia has constructed the Russo-Turkish natural gas pipeline Blue Stream does not exclude the possibility of Russian companies being involved in the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline, while on the other side, American companies are examining the possibility of being involved in the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline. The hesitations of the Greek and Bulgarian governments in relation to the Burgas-pipeline must be seen in this context.
Conversely, the possibility of the merger of the natural gas companies of Russia and the Ukraine may render the construction of South Stream unnecessary.
These are processes that have not been settled, and they are connected to the developments in the Middle East, which concern the situation in the “triangle” Iraq-turkey-Syria, as well as in Iran. What is certain though, is that the peoples of the region will not only continue to pay a high price for energy, despite the construction of the pipelines, but in addition the dangers will increase and they will pay in blood any possible generalised conflict in the region.
3. On the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
3.1 General Characteristics
Imperialism is becoming continually more dangerous for the peoples of the Middle East, for the peoples of the entire world. This is objective, due to the sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions in capitalist development and under the impact of uneven development. The shifts in the economic, and consequently political and military, strength of the capitalist states lead to competition over the re-division of the markets.
This has been expressed by the aggression of the USA, NATO, the European Union and the stance of the other imperialist powers.
It is clear that the region of the Middle East and the wider region have massive strategic importance for the interests of the imperialist powers, especially of the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany and the respective international monopolies.
Its important deposits of oil and natural gas provoke the immediate intervention for their control.
From the beginning of the 1990s there has been an attempt to construct in the region an interstate system through the creation of a framework which will be based on the force of arms of NATO and will provide protection for the penetration of the transnationals in the region.
This framework includes the control of the international transport routes of the Black Sea, the Aegean, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, as well as of the Persian Gulf.
The arc which extends up to the coast of South East Asia aims chiefly at safeguarding US-NATO dominance. This situation sharpens the competition between the imperialist powers, and is expressed intensely as the rivalry between the imperialist centres, the USA and the European Union.
The leading powers within the EU demand a greater portion in the divvying up of the markets and want to be treated equally with the USA.
In the course of events, new powers have come to the fore, which claim a new dynamic role in the inter-imperialist rivalries and the new distribution of the market.
Such powers are the Russian Federation, China, India and others which strive for a leading regional role, such as Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia etc.
The contradictions and competition for the leading position in the division of the markets and spheres of influence is in full sway, today mainly over the control of energy resources, and energy transport routes.
The competition is being expressed, directly and indirectly, in wars, in nationalist conflicts, and in conflicts between neighbouring countries. The liquid natural gas of North Africa is of special importance for the energy security of the EU. In recent years, there has been observed a very clear change in the correlation of forces in North Africa in favour of Russia-China, as regards the exploitation of its energy wealth (Libya, Tunisia etc), something which is a cause of the imperialist intervention of NATO.
The Palestinian issue and the Israeli aggressiveness against the Arab and its neighbouring countries have prevailed for many years in the Arab world.
The recent Israeli attacks against Lebanon in 2006 and the Gaza Strip early in 2009 reinforce the assessment of the communist parties regarding the imperialist character of Israel which, supported by the USA and the EU, implements a methodical policy for the genocide of the Palestinian people.
The goal is to implement the imperialist plans for the “democratisation of the wider Middle East” with the creation of a “new Middle East”, a policy that meets obstacles in its implementation and is linked to the developments in North Africa and the Middle East.
3.2. Energy Matters
Of particular importance is the new (it started operating at the end of 2010) “Arab natural gas pipeline”, which supplies Egyptian gas to the Arab countries (it crosses the territories of Jordan-Syrian on its path) and Turkey. In the long tern it is planned to supply European countries as well.
In addition, Syria and Iraq recently decided on the re-operation of the Kirkuk-Banias pipeline. The pipeline will transport Iranian oil and maybe in the future another gas pipeline will be added.
In North Africa there has been the Transmed pipeline in operation since 1983, which starts from Algeria crosses Tunisia and from there under the sea and via Sicily supplies Italy.
In addition there is the Maghreb-Europe pipeline, which also starts in Algeria and supplies Spain via Morocco. These two pipelines are the most important transport routes for natural gas into the EU.
The latest technical advances made it possible to construct pipelines at greater depths, something which reduces the importance of the transit countries.
In 2004 a new pipeline was constructed, Greenstream, which starts from Libya and supplies Italy as well as another – Medgaz- which starts from Algeria and supplies Spain directly.
Now there are plans for a new pipeline – Galsi- from Algeria to Sardinia. Algeria alone covers 20% of the EU’s natural gas needs.
Important energy agreements have been agreed on by China with Sudan, and according to certain sources, China is active in Tunisia’s energy sector.
In addition, the discovery of large deposits of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, overturned the plans to extend the Russo-Turkish natural gas pipeline Blue Stream in the region (to Syria, Israel, Palestine etc) and brought out into the open plans for new pipelines from Israel and Cyprus to the Aegean and the countries of the EU.
3.3 The Water issue
The situation in the Middle East is exceptionally complicated. And it will become even more complex, if we take into account the massive problem concerning the management of water resources in the region, which are controlled by Turkey and Israel.
Turkey controls the flow of the Euphrates and Tigris, which constitute a valuable resource for Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Gulf states.
Meanwhile one of the main goals of Israel’s wars of aggression from 1967 onwards was the total control of the water resources of southern Lebanon, the Golan Heights and the West Bank. Israel exclusively controls the water resources which belong to the Palestinians.
The issue of water resources in the Middle East region was in the past cause for the sharpening of the relations, mainly between Syria and Turkey and in one period between Turkey and Iraq.
The water issue seems to be the cause of the deterioration of the relations between the Nile countries, especially with the division of the Sudan into two or more countries, as the conditions of sharing of the Nile waters are changing particularly due to the hostile relations of the states which will be created, with Egypt trying to maintain its share, in the case the current arrangements are altered.
3.4. The plan of the “Greater Middle East”
It is well-known that from November 6th 2003, in the speech at the “National Endowment for Democracy” of the then President of the USA, G.W. Bush, the USA took a position in favour of the “reconstruction” of the wider region, which was characterised as the “Greater Middle East”.
The “first” phase of this “reconstruction” had begun six months earlier (20 March 2003) with the invasion by the USA and its allies of Iraq, which took place under the pretexts of “weapons of mass destruction” and “the restoration of democracy”.
Today, we know that these two pretexts, which were used to manipulate the peoples and their movements, have totally collapsed.
The plan for the “reconstruction” of the so-called “Greater Middle East” was at the centre of discussions at the Summit of the most powerful capitalist states (G8), as well as in NATO, where the USA sought to win support for these plans, which provide for the modernization of the bourgeois structures, for the safeguarding of bourgeois power and even for border changes and the formation of new states.
The plans of the USA, which were presented under the heading of the “democratization” of the region, engaged the dominant bourgeois regimes quite promptly.
So, on the 22-23 May 2004, at the 16th Summit Meeting of the Arab league (in Tunisia) the plan of the “reform” of the Arab countries was discussed, without an agreement being reached.
It is characteristic that at the Summit of the G8 (8-10 June 2004), where the plan for “reconstruction” was discussed, only the leaders of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen and Iraq were present, while close allies of the USA (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia) refused to participate. France (which plays a particularly active role in the region) and Germany took a cautious position concerning the American plans.
A little later. G.W. Bush, speaking at the NATO Summit Meeting in Istanbul (28-29 June 2004), characterised Turkey as a “model” for an “Islamic secular republic”.
The plans of the USA took on a new impetus after the election of Barak Obama to the leadership of the USA (2008) and his speech in Cairo (4/6/2009), where we saw the attempt of the USA to promote the so-called “democratization” of the Middle East and to win over a series of Arab countries to their plans against Iran, using its nuclear programme as a pretext.
Since then the USA had made progress in the preparation of scenarios of “succession”, utilising former officials of international organizations (e.g., El Baradei in Egypt, former head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, and Alasan Watara, former IMF official in the Ivory Coast, as well as of the so-called “moderate islamists”, who in previous years had found refuge in Great Britain).
Its central goals and not the pretexts (concerning “democracy” and “nuclear weapons”), are:
• The bourgeois modernization of the bourgeois regimes in the region, at both an economic level, and at the level of the legal-political superstructure in order to safeguard as far as possible a stable basis for the expansion of the monopoly groups in the region’s markets and the strengthening of their role at an international level. And there is a race to catch up with the developments concerning the expansion and the prevalence of the hard-line islamist core, as the developments in Lebanon demonstrate.
• The safeguarding of its access to the region’s energy resources and the new deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.
• The control of a large area, which is a “crossing-point” for commerce and transport.
These efforts of the USA meet and will continue to meet the opposition of the powers which compete with it ( mainly China and the leading powers in the EU) as they endanger their own plans for penetration of the region, so that their own monopolies can have similar benefits from the region. The pursuits for the dismemberment of Sudan, after the latest referendum, must be seen within the framework of such competition.
These developments can still lead to a more general scenario of destabilization of this large region, which will create problems for the supply of energy to the EU- the competitor of the USA- as well as for the penetration of Chinese capital and commodities to the EU and Africa.
In addition, it might be utilised to blunt the consequences of the global capitalist crisis and channel capital into military conflicts in the region.
3.5. Developments in Tunisia and Egypt
In Egypt the GDP has increased in recent years, meanwhile in the conditions of the upsurge of the capitalist economy unemployment had surpassed 20% and poverty embraced a large portion of the working class-popular families.
The major monopoly groups have ambitions concerning the Egyptian economy, in which, despite the fact that the privatization policies are being followed, the state sector continues to posses enterprises in important sectors and industries, like oil and energy in general, mineral resources, airlines, the car industry etc.
The three main “commercial partners” for exports in 2009 were Italy 9.4%, USA 7.1%, India 6.2%, meanwhile for imports it was the USA 10.3 %, China 9.9%, Italy 7.3%.
At the same time, new imperialist powers such as Russia started to be active in this country.
The economy of Tunisia is in a period of growth with unemployment at 14%. Despite the fact that the government implemented a programme of privatizations in the 1980s, there still exists a strong state sector in energy, the banking system, telecommunications, mineral resources, the chemical industry and the cement industry etc.
The three main commercial partners for exports in 2009 were France 28.3%, Italy 17.9%, Germany 9.6%, while for imports France 21%, Italy 19.3% and Germany 9 %.
The basis of the developments in Egypt and Tunisia is a combination of internal and external factors, with the internal ones being the most important.
This process has to do with the mobilization of the people, the working class, and the intermediate strata with the strong participation of the youth, against the anti-people regimes. It has to do with sections of the bourgeois class which seek the modernization of the economic base and an adjustment of the political system to a bourgeois parliamentary one to fit the developed capitalist economy. It has to do with the intervention of powerful imperialist states so that they can control the region effectively.
Due to the people’s heightened problems, large working class and popular mobilizations-uprisings were organized initially in Tunisia and later on in Egypt, with as their central demands the fight against poverty, unemployment, corruption, the extension of democratic rights and liberties, for the removal of the authoritarian regimes of Ben Ali and Mubarak, whose parties were members of the Socialist International.
In both countries, the Communist Parties were outlawed and the communist and labour movement had been hammered in recent decades by the security services of the bourgeois regimes.
This attack was carried out using repressive mechanisms and ideological-political means, through both the covert and open promotion of Islamist movements, which were strengthened by the imperialist powers in order to prevent the growth and influence of the communist movement.
The struggles of the popular forces against unemployment, poverty, destitution, state repression, corruption, the theft of the productive wealth of their countries by domestic and foreign monopolies were limited to the change of anti-people governments, to bourgeois political rights and they look to positive pro-people developments from the intervention of the army, which in Egypt has taken on the responsibility of government. In this way the transitions which had been prepared by the imperialist powers and the bourgeois classes have been facilitated.
It has not yet been understood that in the conditions of imperialism, the hopes of the people cannot be fulfilled if the power of capital is not overthrown and the factors which lead to dependency on the imperialist powers are not obliterated.
The KKE expressed its support for and its solidarity with the popular struggles and condemned the repression which led to the death of dozens of workers.
The developments in Libya have taken the character of an open armed conflict, with the direct involvement of the imperialist powers. France has recognised as the only legitimate body the Transitional National Council, which is comprised of the forces seeking the overthrow of Gaddafi. France and Britain are in favour of enforcing a No-fly Zone in Libya.
Our party is against the plans for the open imperialist military intervention of NATO in North Africa, which has as its pretext “the restoration of democracy”. The “democracy”, which the USA and NATO allegedly guarantee, has been seen in practice in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and further back in the past in Korea and Vietnam. This is the “democracy” of imperialist violence, the subjugation of the peoples to imperialism, which brings bloodshed and pain to the popular strata.
The KKE is against any involvement of our country in the new imperialist NATO plans and calls on the government to close the base at Suda, which is objectively a base of operations for these adventurist imperialist plans and a breeding ground of dangers for the peoples of the region.
The experience which has been acquired from the development of the class struggle and general situation which has been created in these two countries (Egypt, Tunisia) is valuable for the activity of the Party.
From this standpoint we must study, amongst other things, certain tasks:
i. The multi-faceted ideological-political organizational preparation and the acquisition of a high-level of readiness and ability to predict, so that the party can act quickly, in a disciplined and effective way, choosing the correct forms of struggle, in the instance of the sharpening of the class struggle and the sudden mobilization of popular forces.
ii. The strengthening of its organizational ability, mass work, the guiding and winning over of working class, popular and youth forces (which mobilise in a mass way and do not possess experience of the class struggle).
iii. Focussing attention on the leading activity of the class-oriented movement, the coordinated utilisation of militant rallies, the timely elaboration of slogans and goals which rally and mobilise wider popular forces paying the necessary attention to the role of the middle strata.
iv. The systematic study of the strategy and tactics of the opponent and the tools which he employs, the disciplined and decisive organization of the confrontation with the bourgeois state and its mechanisms, the protection of the struggle and the effective dealing with the various provocateur mechanisms.
3.8. Local alliances, axes and anti-axes
The web of competition and conflicting interests, the formation of axes and alliances, is process which is still in development, as the intra-bourgeois conflicts within the bourgeois classes of Turkey and Iran influence and determine the foreign policy at a regional and international level.
In the Middle East, the axis Turkey-Iran-Syria-Lebanese Hezbollah-Palestinian Hamas is on the rise, with the related weakening of the axis Egypt-Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Palestinian Fatah.
Nevertheless, it must be taken into account that things are not so simple, because these axes are also characterized by internal friction and differences, as each of these forces tries to strengthen its position.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah, in cooperation and coordination with Syria-Iran seems to have been able, through a “political war of attrition” to undermine the dominance of the governing bloc of forces, Hariri’s “Future Movement”.
It is worthy of note that the forces which comprised the above-mentioned bloc were not homogenous, as the formation of the bloc was based on the well-known decision 1599 of the UN, with an intense anti-Syrian current, which swept over the entire political scene and even characterised the positions of the Lebanese CP.
The developments in the region and the internal situation in Lebanon contributed to the weakening of this bloc, which governed this country, thanks to the majority which had been formed in the Parliament, after the murder of Rafik Hariri (2005) which fomented the “anti-Syrian current”, with the help of the imperialists.
Hezbollah, having on its side the “classic unbelievers”-representatives of the bourgeois political world, like the former general (Christian) Michel Aoun and others, managed to strengthen its “profile” as a “serious” political force by participating in the government (from 2007 with 3 ministers) and, of course, it managed to better penetrate the army and the state mechanisms, in liaison with the bourgeois class.
It is necessary for it to be understood that these two blocs represent sections of the bourgeois class in Lebanon and in the region more generally.
And these two blocs take the balances in the region into account.
The important thing is to which point the combination of cooperation and competition between Iran and Turkey can go.
3.10 On the Palestinian issue
In recent years it seems that the logic on which the Oslo Accords of 1993 were established has been obliterated, as well as the logic which was predominant at Camp David (2000) or at the Annapolis Summit in 2007, the logic of the “road map”.
The Palestinian state has not yet been created; the occupation of the territories which Israel snatched in the 7-day War in 1967 continues and the situation is becoming more complex and is deteriorating.
The developments which followed, the situation which has been shaped in the Gaza Strip and the West bank, have created a very difficult set of circumstances for the Palestinian resistance movement.
It has led to an overall weakening of its position, it objectively assists the multi-faceted interference of the imperialists in Palestine, which have as their main aim the stifling of the resistance movement against the occupation and to strengthen the forces which agree to a complete compromise and have a negative stance in relation to the struggle for the creation of an independent, sovereign and viable state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The USA and the EU talk about two states (Israel and Palestine), but they conceal the essence. The essence is that when they talk about a Palestinian state they do not mean a sovereign, organized state, the course of which will be decided on by its people.
They mean a state without borders, without an army, with limited sovereignty, while they are manoeuvring for the independence of the Gaza strip. The revelations that President Abbas conceded the territory of East Jerusalem in his negotiations with Israel demonstrate this direction.
There is a settlement in regards to the Palestinian issue, which is proceeding in a concealed manner as the passing of the law in favour of the social and economic rights of the Palestinian refugees by the majority of the parliament, proves the implementation of the final settlement of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon-Syria-Jordan, in Arab countries, even in the USA, as a solution to the matter which favours Israel, and is in total contradiction with its resolution on the basis of the relevant decisions of the UN Security Council.
Nevertheless, the relations between Israel and Lebanon-Syria-Iran seem to be entering a new increasingly intense phase, after the general destabilization of the region.
The KKE supports the struggle of the Palestinian people and the resistance against the occupation forces. We condemn the pressures on the Palestinian Authority to make new compromises.
The Palestinian movement has taken on a serious responsibility.
In our opinion, the effectiveness of its activity is determined by its willingness and ability to gather together and mobilize forces against imperialism and the occupation, for the solution of the Palestinian question within the framework of radical changes which would serve the people’s needs.
We fight against the attempt the resistance movement and its activity to be incriminated as being “terrorist” and we stress that the real terrorist which attacks the peoples is imperialism.
The peoples are obliged to use all the necessary forms of struggle, including armed struggle against the occupiers, for national and social liberation, with the prospect of a class-oriented labour movement which will pose the question of power along with its allies.
Every people, including the Palestinians, must have the right to decide on its own concerning its government and future.
Every movement and this is true also of the islamist organizations, is judged on its stance in relation to imperialism, the monopolies, in relation to the contradiction capital-labour, the anti-people policies of the governments, and also the stance they hold in relation to the communist movement.
The first cycle of imperialist ferocity has been completed. The USA has not only not withdrawn, but with the 50,000 marines and with about 7,000 “private” mercenaries which it continues to maintain in the country, as well as with the collaborationist government, it is clear that is planning the long-term occupation of Iraq. In the 8 years of the imperialist occupation (without taking into account the butchery of the first Gulf War) Iraq has suffered a holocaust.
Accurate data on the number of Iraqi civilians that have died due to the “crusade” of the USA and its willing allies do not exist, nevertheless the dead alone are calculated as being more than 100,000.
At the same time, the plans for the dismemberment of Iraq are still on the table, while the position of Iran has been reinforced through its control of Iraqi political forces and in general its role has been enhanced
3.12 Characteristics of the imperialist aggressiveness and the involvement of Greece and Turkey:
The developments are characterised by the ongoing occupation; the blockades of whole regions; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; the cold-blooded murders of civilians, women and children; the murder of people’s militants; the Wall of partition; the intensification of the problem of the refugees, the extension of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; the oppression and the persecutions against the Arabs who live in Israel.
Today we face the particularly threatening war ultimatums by the US and Israel against Iran which are encouraged by the EU and NATO. Regardless of the pretexts that the imperialists use in order to “dress up” their aggressive activities the peoples must condemn them.
At the same time, the intimidatory raids of the Israeli war machine are being conducted at the Israeli-Lebanon borders that witness the intensifying aggressiveness of the Israeli state so that it can ensure the plundering of all the energy resources in the wider region bypassing the rights of Lebanon.
Under these conditions the involvement of the Greek government of PASOK in Middle East affairs was demonstrated more strongly. This involvement has been condemned by the KKE.
The recent, allegedly, “active” presence of the Greek Prime Minister and president of the Socialist International in the region highlighted the deepening of the relations of our country and the EU with the Israeli state, relations that develop at the same time with the slaughter of the Palestinian people.
The exchange of visits between the Greek and Israeli governments, the statements that followed have nothing to do with the interests of the peoples in the region, of the Israeli and the Greek people.
On the contrary, they confirm and deepen the economic, political and military cooperation between the two countries in order to serve the greater profitability of the capital.
The ambition of the Greek bourgeois class to play an active role in opposition to the allegedly “pro-Palestinian” role that the Turkish bourgeoisie promotes over the last period reveals that behind the “round tables” and the “enlarged Greek-Turkish ministerial councils” there exists the sharpening of the competition between the bourgeois classes, not only of the more powerful imperialist countries but also of those bourgeois classes which seek to play a regional role in the imperialist plans.
3.13. The KKE supports the struggles of the peoples in the Middle East
It promotes joint demands with the anti-imperialist movement of the peoples in the Middle East:
• Withdrawal of the Israeli army from the occupied territories (Golan Heights and region, West Bank etc.)
• Complete dissolution of the settlements and establishment of a Palestinian State next to Israel (Gaza Strip and West Bank) with East Jerusalem as its capital. Solution of the refugees’ issue.
• Return of the Palestinian refugees according to the 194 resolution of the UN General Assembly and in accordance with other resolutions of the UN Security Council.
• Immediate release of all Lebanese and Palestinian political prisoners and Palestinian ministers and MPS.
• Restoration of the territorial integrity of Lebanon and withdrawal of the Israeli army from all the occupied territories in South Lebanon including the region Sebaa.
4. The danger of a war against Iran and the involvement of our country
Over recent years Iran’s nuclear programme has been used as one more possible pretext for an outbreak of a war in the region. The policy of the “group of six” [the permanent members of the SC of the UN (USA, France, Russia, Great Britain, China) plus Germany], which exert pressure on Iran for the control of its nuclear programme, is related to the grim struggle over the control of the world nuclear energy market as well as the control over the expertise for the construction of nuclear weapons.
The “group of six” converges concerning this issue. However, no imperialist power, no international organisation has the legitimacy to formulate decisions against peoples, to intervene and designate who is allowed to possess nuclear energy.
Nevertheless, the actual risk is not related merely to Iran’s nuclear programme but also to the control of its natural resources, the control over the Persian Gulf and the role that Iran might play in the future in the imperialist pyramid.
At this point there is a conflict between the interests of the “group of six” since Iran has developed a significant economic cooperation with China as well as with Russia.
These forces are interested in the stability of the regime of Iran and its complete submission to the rules of “six” in order to reduce the pretexts of those imperialist forces that seek a military intervention in Iran.
On their part, the ruling powers in the EU as well as circles of the USA are interested in radical political changes in Iran which would transform it from an enemy to an alternative energy source serving their own plans, such as the Nabucco pipeline against the Russian and Chinese plans for energy.
Iran is in a strategic region for the transit of pipelines and communication lines as it borders with Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf.
Its involvement in the plans of the one or the other imperialist power due to its position and its dynamics can become the “key” for their plans.
However, there are certain powers, like Israel, that steadily seek a conflict with Iran, its dismemberment even its destruction. The attempt to “contaminate” the computer system of the facilities of the nuclear plant in Bushehr with a virus constructed by Russia, shows the unscrupulous intentions of these powers.
These developments are related to the general plans for the change of borders starting with the dismemberment of Pakistan and similar domino scenarios for expansion in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey…
Under these very dangerous conditions there is a need to strengthen the struggle so as:
• To prevent any involvement of Greece to a possible imperialist war against Iran.
• Not to comply with any “treaty obligation” that entails the direct or indirect involvement of our country.
• Against the use the base of Suda, for its immediate closure.
• For the return of the Greek troops which are outside the borders.
• To cancel all the military exercises and the agreements of military cooperation with Israel.
• To strengthen the solidarity with the workers’ and people’s struggle and the demand for the legalisation of Tudeh.
5. Greek-Turkish relations. Plans of the bourgeoisie in Greece and Turkey
The economic-political cooperation that develops between the ruling classes of the two countries focusing mainly on the Aegean, its natural resources, its political-military control does not negate the long-standing rivalry between the two classes. At the same time, we see the inter-imperialist competition between US-EU-Russia-China.
The working class and the popular strata in both countries will not be able to analyse correctly the developments and assess these activities without a class oriented analysis of these relations.
Without such an analysis there is a risk for their consciousness to be trapped either into nationalism or into cosmopolitan views that constitute two equally dangerous aspects of the bourgeois approach to international relations.
5.1. Pursuits, plans and arrangements of the Greek bourgeoisie
We should not lose sight of the fact the fact that the bourgeoisie of the two member-states of NATO seek to upgrade their position in the imperialist pyramid.
Before the outbreak of the capitalist crisis in Greece and while Turkey was in economic recession the bourgeoisie in our country (government of Simitis) sought to benefit from the situation labelling Balkans as a “backyard” seeking at the same time to operate as a channel between the EU and Turkey proceeding to agreements that constitute a retreat from sovereign rights in the framework of NATO and the EU.
In this direction, through the “Madrid Agreement”, (1997 on the fringes of the NATO Summit, Foreign Minister was Th. Pangalos) it was recognised that Turkey has “legal, vital, interests and concerns in the Aegean. In addition, the “Helsinki Agreement” (1999, Foreign Minister was G. Papandreoou) recognised Greek-Turkish “border disputes” (apart from the problem of the continental self) whose settlement has been referred to the Court of Hague.
The outbreak of the capitalist crisis in our country and the strengthening of the dynamics of Turkey make the bourgeoisie of our country accelerate the process for rapprochement with the bourgeoisie of Turkey.
The exploratory talks between the two states unfold in this direction.
The Greek government, taking into account the interest of the European monopolies in the Turkish market, the interest of the EU and the USA in the increasing role of Turkey in the “struggle for the pipelines” as well as the role it can play in the subjugation of the Arab peoples (using religion as a weapon) seeks to “finish” with the issue of the Aegean at any cost.
A section of the bourgeoisie in our country, as well as foreign monopolies, is interested in the direct exploitation of the energy resources, of the hydrocarbon deposits in the Aegean. The hastiness of the Greek ruling class to finish with these issues is not related merely to the upgrading of Turkey but also to its own plans especially after the enhancement of its relations with Israel.
The scenarios concerning the “joint exploitation of the Aegean” are being multiplied. In fact this means the wholesale concession of the energy resources, which are under the responsibility of the Greek state to the appetites of the monopoly capital.
This development is linked with the denial of the Greek government (a stance which is backed by the EU and the US) to delimitate the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the country, despite the fact there is an intense activity in the region of Eastern Mediterranean, while Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon have already determined their EEZs aiming at the exploitation of deposits (Leviathan) or at claiming areas where, according to estimations, there are hydrocarbons.
The key issue both for the continental shelf as well as for the EEZ is the delimitation of the territorial waters.
In fact the policy of retreating from what the rules of the international law establish, especially from the positions of the International Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982, has been escalating over the years. This stance is expressed, amongst others, by the position of the vice president of the government, Th. Pangalos who defined the continental shelf that extends beyond the seashore according to the depth of the sea and not the 200 nautical miles from the baseline.
The position of the government on the appeal to the international court of Hague in case that there is no Greek-Turkish agreement on the continental shelf does not guarantee sovereign rights. Because the delimitation of the territorial waters is a very serious problem since Turkey characterises the extension of the Greek territorial waters to 12 miles as a casus belli irrespective of the time and the manner that Greece will exert this right.
As was confirmed by the legalisation of the independence of Kosovo the decisions of the International (bourgeois) Court are taken primarily according to political criteria.
The general situation which is related to problems concerning the implementation of International Law confirms our position that International law as we knew it in the period of the USSR and the other socialist countries (which was also a result of some compromises and was formed under different conditions and under a different correlation of forces) no longer exists!
International Law was and will be the result of the international and regional correlation of forces which is now determined by the inter-imperialist balances, the rivalries and the compromises.
The intervention of NATO (operational limits, exercises, headquarters etc) is vital for these developments and it creates a situation of joint management in the Aegean, where the US will play the leading role seeking the prevention or the restriction of Russian and Chinese influence in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In order to overcome possible reactions the Greek government seeks to beautify the line of retreat with the joint business plans and the fostering of the illusion that the end of the Aegean issue and the accession of Turkey to the EU will bring “prosperity” and “development” as well as “lasting peace”.
This argument was used when the two countries entered the imperialist organisation of NATO. But what is the situation like today, after 59 years?
What we see is the joint participation of the two countries in the imperialist plans of NATO; the participation in the joint military missions e.g. in the occupation of Afghanistan or in the joint NATO military exercises.
At the same time the accession of the two countries in NATO has not prevented the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and the occupation of a part of its territory, the Turkish claims in the Aegean with the so-called “grey zones”, the crisis in Imia, the constant violations of Greek airspace and the aerial skirmishes over the Aegean and all the elements that include the aggressiveness of the ruling circles in the neighbouring country.
In practice, the accession of the two countries makes things more complex. It creates “third parties” as supervisors and arbiters for the claims of Ankara. As it happens in similar cases, the arbiters (US-EU and NATO) are interested in pursuing a policy of “appeasement” towards the stronger power taking into account its special weight in the imperialist plans.
This approach to the Greek-Turkish relations has not led to any progress in the developments but to their constant sharpening since it encourages the aggressiveness of the Turkish bourgeoisie. The government cannot give any answer to the question why will another imperialist organisation, the EU, achieve what the NATO failed to do.
5.2 Pursuits, plans and arrangements of the Turkish bourgeoisie
In order to serve its needs the bourgeoisie of Turkey has formulated a strategy, which is more ambitious, considering that in the next 30 years Turkey can become not merely a strong regional power but a global power.
In order to support this strategy it counts particularly on the human resources and their rapid increase, on the transformation of the country into an energy hub, on the utilisation of the religious spirit for a “special” role in the region that will be utilised by the US and the EU. It develops its aspirations in the Middle East, to Balkans, to Caucasus, to the Black Sea and Mediterranean.
In order to implement these plans it seeks, one the one hand to put an end to the Kurdish issue by means of a limited bourgeois modernisation utilising leading cadre of the Kurds through assimilation and intimidation. On the other hand, its plans give priority to the utilisation of Turkish and Muslim minorities in Balkans mainly in Thrace (Bulgaria, Greece) but also in Bosnia. It places particular importance both on minorities as well as on the reinforcement of Albania, Bosnia, and FYROM as “vehicles” for the promotion of its policy in the Balkans.
From that point of view there is a serious danger of a sharpening of the situation in Thrace using as a main “tool” the right of so-called “national self-definition” which is supported on a totally flimsy basis and is used by the imperialists at will for interventions and for the dismemberment of countries. This risk is being reinforced by the intensification of the imperialist competitions for the control of the energy pipelines that pass through Thrace.
The Turkish bourgeoisie uses “neo-ottomanism” and seeks to enhance its role in Middle East so as to obtain a bigger share from the natural resources and the markets in the region.
This stance serves the interests of the USA and the EU, however, the bourgeoisie of Turkey, as every bourgeoisie, has its own goals and pursuits.
In this framework it can collide so as to thwart certain plans of the US and EU which considers that they restrict its goals or create problems e.g. the emergence of a Kurdish state in the region. It can even seek to “paralyse” such plans by incorporating them into its own expansionist plans e.g a Kurdish state with a limited sovereignty, in the “shadow” of Turkey so as to be able to “get its hands” on the oil of Kirkuk.
In this framework over the last months there has been intensification in the relations with Israel with the aim of acquiring an allegedly “pro-Palestinian role”.
The intentions of the Turkish bourgeoisie are not at all “innocent”. From that point of view those anti-imperialist forces in the Middle East that hastened to salute the “new role” of Turkey in the region are making a serious mistake.
Those forces which assess the developments without a class criterion overlook the fact that all these years the Turkish bourgeoisie has had a good cooperation with Israel, which has not stopped, and that its stance is determined by the pursuit to win the sympathy of a part of the Arab peoples so as to play a more powerful role in the imperialist games and ensure a bigger share from the energy resources and the markets.
Its stance has not helped the restoration of “justice” and “international legality” as several forces in the Arab countries claim.
No one should forget that Turkey itself has occupied almost the half of the territory of a sovereign state, Cyprus, and that the occupation has continued for decades violating the decisions of the SC of the UN proving in that way the typical boundaries of the bourgeois “legality”.
Consequently, any rhetoric against Israel and the attempt to form alliances with Syria, Lebanon, Iran have nothing to do with an anti-imperialist stance.
Turkey is a rising power in the framework of the imperialist system and thus its permanent or temporary contradictions with other imperialist powers are inter-imperialist contradictions.
Thus, in the case of the Greek-Turkish relations and the Aegean the Turkish bourgeoisie plans or intentionally leaks the lifting of the casus belli as well as the removal of Greece from the list of the countries that threaten Turkey pursuing a retreat from the other side as well as a compromise with the bourgeoisie of Greece in the framework of the “joint management” of the Aegean and the possible oil deposits.
After all, It has paved the way for many years by means of making claims, violating the Greek airspace and territorial waters, creating “grey zones” and using NATO and its accession to the EU in order to obtain the largest possible benefit either through military means or via international arbitration and bilateral negotiations.
5.3. Imperialists and their organisations cannot guarantee security
The outcome, even in case that the bourgeoisie in these countries reach an agreement, will signal the perpetuation of the control of the Aegean by NATO, the demilitarisation of the region the east of 25th meridian, which is set as a limit of the Turkish claims, leading to the abolition of the rights of the Greek islands to defence.
On no account will they lead to the smoothing of the Greek-Turkish relations since the basis of the problems is the capitalist competition and the imperialist aggressiveness for the distribution of markets.
In no way does the presence of NATO in the Aegean exclude the continuation of the rivalries between the bourgeoisie in the region in this field as well as in others, which have unforeseeable consequences for the peoples.
After all, these relations constitute part of a general web of contradictions that includes much stronger imperialist powers -in comparison with the bourgeoisie of the two countries- that exert direct and indirect influence on their plans.
The KKE is firmly committed to the development of friendship, internationalist solidarity between the working class and the peoples of the two countries.
The solution for the peoples lies only in the overthrow of the cause that breeds contradictions, conflicts, wars. This cause is nothing other than capitalist profits.
For that reason the workers’ and people’s movement in both countries must strengthen their anti-imperialist struggle against the bourgeoisie and the participation, involvement of Greece and Turkey in the imperialist plans, for their disengagement from the imperialist organisations of NATO and EU that constitute a permanent source of painful consequences at the expense of the peoples.
The working class, the popular strata have the duty and the strength to oppose and thwart the dangerous plans for the concession of the energy resources of the Aegean Sea. The safeguarding of the domestic mineral resources, of the oil deposits and the natural gas is an issue of strategic importance for the future of the people’s power.
The formation of the anti-imperialist anti-monopoly front of struggle, the people’s power and economy is proven to be the only way that the natural resources of the country can be utilised for the benefit of the people but also for the safeguarding of sovereignty and peace.
The KKE will agree on the settlement of the Greek-Turkish disputes, even if they cannot be eliminated under this correlation of forces and the class orientations of the bourgeoisie, under the condition that the sovereignty of the country is safeguarded.
6. Cyprus question
The imperialist powers show that they are increasingly taking into account the increasing “special weight” of Turkey.
The positions-proposals submitted by the UN over the last years do not deal with the problem as an international problem, as a problem of invasion and occupation but promote the solution of a confederation, the idea of partition.
This was expressed in a particularly blatant way by the “Annan Plan” that promoted an unacceptable, non viable, partitioned solution pursuing a confederation which was consistently condemned by the KKE and was reasonably rejected by the Greek Cypriots.
At the same time, it was proven that the claims that the accession of Cyprus to the EU will resolve the Cyprus question have not been confirmed and they could not have been.
The reason is related to the very imperialist character of the EU. The imperialist union is not interested in the just solution of the problems but in the extension and the strengthening of its market, in the more intensive exploitation of the workers in favour of the monopolies it represents.
The only principles that this union accepts are described in the anti-people “Treaty of Maastricht” and aim solely at the free movement and the increase of the profitability of capital. That is why its relations with Turkey focus on other issues and not on the just solution of the Cyprus question.
In last years the Cypriot leadership has made efforts for the solution of the problem.
We underline that the appeal to the EU, of the so called “European principles”, of the “European achievements”, of the “international conference” etc., apart from creating illusions concerning the role of the EU and the UN, leave room for the intervention of the imperialist organisations in this issue, where it is evident that the stance of Turkey is a vital factor for its settlement.
One the one hand, a section in the ranks of the Cypriot bourgeoisie exerts pressure and seeks a solution (even if it is not just and viable) in order to extent its activity in the occupied territories even under a solution of partition. On the other hand, there is a section that rejects any solution, directly or indirectly, considering this possibility dangerous for its interests as it would increase the penetration of the Turkish capital in Cyprus as a whole. These contradictions are reflected in the political correlation of forces in Cyprus.
The rapprochement with Israel as well as the process for the formation of an Israel-Greece-Cyprus axis include the danger of a greater involvement of Cyprus and Greece in the web of the inter-imperialist contradictions.
The Cyprus question is an international question and is deeply influenced by the developments in our region and generally. Therefore it is linked with the struggle for the prevention of the imperialist plans; with the struggle against the various plans for the partition and the further incorporation of Cyprus to the imperialist organisations such as the so called NATO “Partnership for Peace” that constitutes one more tool for the strengthening of the global “terrorist” that is to say NATO. On no account, should the opposition to the accession to the “Partnership” entail the support of the CFSP and the other EU mechanisms.
We should not lose sight of the fact that a section of the bourgeoisie of Cyprus seeks the further assimilation of the island into the imperialist organisation of NATO using as a vehicle the so called “Partnership for Peace”. The participation in the EU exerts pressure for the incorporation into NATO. It intensifies the incorporation into the imperialist plans. It reduces the ability of the Republic of Cyprus to manoeuvre.
Our party expresses its support for a united, independent Cyprus, for a federal, bizonal, bi-communal solution with a single sovereignty and international identity, without foreign bases and troops, a common homeland for both Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots, without foreign protectors and guarantors, regarding the struggle for the Cyprus question to the general struggle against imperialism, against the imperialist unions.
7. The situation in Balkans. The relations of Greece with FYROM and Albania
Due to the uneven capitalist development the capitalist crisis in Balkans did not break out simultaneously and did not have the same consequences in the Balkan countries.
Furthermore, Turkey and Albania had experienced a significant recession in the previous years and now they have relatively high rates of development.
Of course, the crisis in Greece has influenced Albania to some extent as well as Romania and FYROM to a much greater extent.
The developments in the region are marked by the enlargement of the EU and NATO in the Balkans. The strategy for the accession of the Western Balkan countries to the EU and NATO, their more direct involvement in the imperialist plans signals negative developments for the peoples in the region. The government of PASOK is playing an active role in the realisation of this strategy with the so called “Agenda 2014” that pursues the incorporation of the Western Balkans into the EU by 2014.
Another serious issue which is related to the developments in Balkans is the independence of Kosovo, which is linked with the imperialist plans for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the American NATO assault in 1999 and the general realignment in the Balkans.
It is obvious that the decision of the International Court of Hague in June 2010 that the so called so called “declaration of Kosovo independence” did not violate International Law, although its is not binding, will constitute a very serious legal precedent.
On the one hand, the international interstate organisations and institutions have become a “fig leaf” for the USA, NATO and other imperialist powers to promote their interests while on the other, they have become a field where conflicts and provisional compromises between the big imperialist powers take place.
For that reason, the decision of the International Court of Hague “legitimises” the war machine of NATO, the imperialist war in Balkans and of course its results, that is to say the protectorate of Kosovo.
The Greek government has not proceeded to its recognition mainly due to the Cyprus question.
7.1. On the relations with Albania: This development reinforced the Albanian expansionism through the vision of “Greater Albania” that one the one hand seeks the incorporation of Kosovo and on the other raises new territorial claims against Greece, FYROM and Serbia.
Unfortunately, these nationalist movements not only do not meet the strong resistance of the Communist Party of Albania but they are indirectly supported, showing that this party has not broken with mistaken views that E. Hoxha has formulated in the past.
At the same time, in January 2010 the Constitutional Court of Albania decided to cancel the agreement on the delimitation of the territorial waters which was signed in Tirana in 2009 between the Albanian and the previous Greek government under the pressure of the USA.
The annulment was followed by intense reactions by various nationalist organisations and a part of the MPs of the Socialist party of Albania that characterised the agreement as “selling off the sea zone to Greece”. Finally, the Socialist Party appealed to the Constitutional Court.
These developments are marked by the pressure of Turkey as the Turkish bourgeoisie intends to avoid a precedent that would create difficulties in its negotiations with the Greek bourgeoisie over the Aegean.
At the same time, Ankara signed a series of agreements with Tirana including free access to ports, patrols, and exercises of the Turkish naval fleet in the Albanian territorial waters.
The issue of the Chams which was most recently officially posed by Berisha in July 2008 remains unfinished business. The issue is in recession but it could be triggered by a possible tension since it constitutes a part of the strategy of Turkey for the creation of a Muslim arc in the Balkans. Furthermore, we should mention that the two most famous pieces research have been conducted by the Conflict Studies Research Centre that belongs to the British Royal Military Academy. Consequently there are powerful imperialist countries involved in this case.
These actions trigger off nationalism in Albania as well as similar nationalist tensions in other countries. We should mention that the Greek–Albanian agreement on the territorial waters met the opposition of nationalist organisations in Greece because they considered that it would bring an end to the nationalist ambitions concerning Northern Epirus.
The KKE believes that the notion of “Great Albania” is supported by those who foment it, the imperialists; but as is well-known from other instances of expansionism and irredentism, such plans offer only adventurism, hazards and blood to the peoples of our region
Neither the working people of Albania, nor the hundreds of thousands of Albanian immigrants, who live and work in Greece and are a part of the working class of our country, have any real interest in border changes, as this will increase nationalist hatred and feelings, it will impede in every aspect their position in their daily struggle to make a living, only to enhance the role of the bourgeois class of the country of their descent in its competition with the rest of the bourgeois classes in the region.
On the contrary, it is in the interest of those who sell “protection” in this region and wish to impose NATO troops as allegedly the “unique stabilizing factor”, in order to prevent the plans of their competitors to penetrate the region.
7.2. On the relations with FYROM: The government of PASOK continues the negotiations concerning the issue of FYROM seeking a compromise solution to the question of the name in order to justify the accession of FYROM to NATO, which is demanded by the USA and pave the way for its joining the EU.
The USA strengthens its intervention. At the end of August (on the eve of the new initiative by Nimic) the US ambassador in Skopje, Philip Reeker stated that the position of the US does not provide for a change of the constitutional name of “Macedonia” neither a change of the constitution of the country and that it actually supports the solution of a double name by means of an “international name” that will merely replace the name FYROM (namely in the cases it is used today while the name “Republic of Macedonia” will remain for internal use as well as in the bilateral relations with the countries that have recognised FYROM with its constitutional name)
The claim of the bourgeois parties in the country that Greece’s EU and NATO membership are our “weapons in the negotiations” is proved to be false.
In reality these “advantages” are a “double edged sword”. And the reason is that the commitments of our country in the framework of the imperialist organisations of NATO and EU lead to the increase of the US and EU pressure on the bourgeoisie of the country that might be forced to make dangerous retreats.
At the same time the government of PASOK seems to anticipate the increase of the pressure exerted by the Albanian population (30% of the population) on the government of FYROM.
This pressure has increased after the decision of the Court of Hague on the legalisation of Kosovo while it reinforced the adventurist ambitions concerning a “Greater Albania”.
We should note that in 2008 the Minister of Culture Antonis Samaras, today leader of ND, had predicted that the problem of the name of Skopje would be resolved soon as the neighbouring country will dissolve in favour of a greater Albania and a greater Bulgaria.
These developments demonstrate that bourgeoisie in Greece will not hesitate to participate in the imperialist games in the region even in dangerous scenarios as the so called “Greater Albania” or “Natural Albania”. It is literally like playing with fire.
7.3 Attempts to create a minority question
At the same time and while the Greek governments declare that they discuss merely the name of the neighbouring country, the bourgeoisie of FYROM poses on every occasion a question of recognising a “Macedonian” identity and language as well as a respective “minority” in the Balkan countries.
These actions constitute the continuation of the policy followed by Yugoslavia, after the break of Tito with the Soviet Union, characterising the inhabitants of the geographical area of Macedonia as a distinct “Macedonian” nationality (who lived not only in the Yugoslavian part of Macedonia but also in the Greek and Bulgarian one), something that would enable it to assert in the future an independent national existence.
From that time there began an attempt to interpret the history of the Macedonian area in retrospect in order to found the theory of the distinct “Macedonian” nationality, with its own language, origin and history.
In fact it was a systematic falsification of history which was transferred to countries with diaspora populations (USA, Canada, Australia).
The policy of Tito was tolerated by the post civil war Greek governments and was supported by the imperialists, because, after the break with the Soviet Union such a policy served their plans for creating problems in the region.
Despite the problems, the old Macedonian question, which had ceased to exist as a problem of territorial claims, could not have revived without the imperialist intervention in the region and the dismemberment of Yugoslavia.
According to the Marxist perspective “a nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture“.
According to this concept there is no Macedonian nation in general. Macedonia should be treated as a great geographical region where many nations live.
The dominant nation in FYROM was formed only after the Second World War, when the abovementioned conditions existed in the Autonomous Republic in the framework of Yugoslavia. In addition, there is much evidence showing that up until a certain period the nation was defined by an adjective referring to the Slavic origin (Slavomacedonian).
7.4 The position of KKE on the relations with FYROM: For years the KKE supported, on the basis of principles and against the tide, that the persistence on the name is a dangerous policy leading to a deadlock; that in the negotiations for a mutually accepted solution that includes the name Macedonia in any way or its derivatives this should be explicitly accepted as a geographical definition.
Irredentist propaganda should come to an end. There should b a mutual recognition of the inviolability of borders, of the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of both countries.
At the same time, we believe that there should develop a powerful front dealing with the imperialist policy of “dividing and ruling” in the Balkans, in the framework of the development of an anti-imperialist antimonopoly movement against the US-NATO interventions and against the bourgeois classes in the region, having socialism as a prospect and a line that incorporate the needs of the peoples in the region and can contribute to the development of the workers’ and people’s struggle.
8. The role of the bourgeois governments and the imperialist organisations in stirring up and utilising minorities
The decision of the Court of Hague is particularly dangerous as it adds fuel to the fire of the existing and non existing minority issues which are utilized by the imperialist powers for their interventions.
The Balkan region is in danger of entering a new cycle of imperialist interventions and bloody conflicts under the pretext of the “protection” of minorities.
US and EU circles as well as resolution of the OSCE promote the idea of the so-called “self-definition”. However there are objective criteria that determine to which nation or to which population group one belongs.
The enemy, as well as various forces that call themselves “left” and “progressive” try to utilise the Leninist principle of the “nations’ self-determination” even for the justification of obvious imperialist plans such as the so called “independence” of Kosovo.
It is a deliberate distortion aiming at creating confusion! The concept of “self-determination” of the minorities which is promoted by the USA-EU and in practice “preserved” by the NATO has nothing to do with the Leninist position on the “self-determination of the nations”.
In response to those who accuse us that we allegedly forget the Leninist position on self-determination we quote the words of Lenin: “The several demands of democracy, including self-determination, are not an absolute, but only a small part of the general-democratic (now: general-socialist) world movement. In individual concrete casts, the part may contradict the whole; if so, it must be rejected» (V. I Lenin “The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up)”.
The imperialists have taken care to reinforce deliberately various minority groups or other groups with special features or even to invent these features if needed -in cases it suits them (e.g. no one says a word about the Russian speakers in the Baltic countries)- under the pretext of cultural traditions, the preservation of language etc.
All these might seem innocent and just but they serve only one thing: to create reserves that will play the role of an outpost or become a pretext for blackmails or a new massacre.
Agencies and special mechanisms work even for the foundation of new parties that will be allegedly interested in the problems of the immigrants while they actually seek to trigger nationalism and chauvinism.
The European Court works in line with the wishes of its commanders.
This situation is expressed in all Balkan countries and constitutes the object of the plans of all the bourgeois classes in the region who try to cause tensions, utilising the minority questions.
As it is well-known, in Greece there is a Muslim minority as well as the Slavophones.
There has been a conscious effort for years to create a Turkish national consciousness in the Muslim minority as well a so-called “Macedonian” national consciousness in a section of the Slavophones.
This effort exerts a certain influence on these populations due to the discriminatory policy that the Greek bourgeois state followed in the past against the Muslims and the Slavophones. Our party struggled and continues to do so against the discriminations against them insofar as they appear. However, as it was shown in the previous centuries neither the Muslims nor the Slavophones in our country have the same origin or the same national consciousness.
The pursuits for the recognition of a “Macedonian, national minority” as well as of a “Turkish minority” as the US and the EU seek, with all its consequences, will constitute one more step for the questioning of borders (e.g. Treaty of Lausanne) and the territorial status in the region something which is not concealed by the nationalist circles in Turkey and FYROM.
This effort deliberately seeks to create problems in the framework of the policy of “dividing and ruling”, of the appeasement of the class criterion of the working people in the region.
Our party believes that the basis of oppression is not nationality, religion or language but class!
It is clear for KKE that national, ethnical oppression, the oppression of minorities, of peoples of different origin, with different dialects, racial oppression, oppression at the expense of the women etc. develop on the basis of class oppression.
Only the abolition of class oppression, of the exploitation of man by man, the abolition of the capitalist exploitative society and the building of a new socialist society can lay the foundations for the abolition of all kinds of oppression.
From this arise the special duties for the peoples in the Balkans above all for the Greek people. These are related to the struggle against the policy of discriminations at the expense of minorities and immigrants, in order to strengthen the joint action and struggle from better positions for the prevention of the participation of the governments in the imperialist plans, in order to develop the greatest possible resistance to the imperialist manipulations and the creation of protectorates, in order to reverse the balance of forces so as the people not to become the “plaything” in the imperialist rivalries! KKE persistently supports the further strengthening of the peace-loving, anti-NATO, anti-imperialist movement in the Balkans!
9. The situation in the communist movement in the region
The communist movement in the region of the Balkans and the Middle East, in a region whose developments affect our country as a part of it, has a primary importance for the KKE.
Having realised this necessity our party has developed significant activity over the last two decades and it constitutes the catalyst for the regional Meetings both of the Balkan Meetings of the Communist Parties as well of the Communist Parties of the Eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
The communist movement of the region is affected by views that promote a false understanding of the relations of dependence and interdependence in the framework of the imperialist pyramid which is understood in an one-sided way (e.g. “colony”, “dependence”) underestimating the role of the bourgeoisie of their countries, of their national governments and the bourgeois parties.
Other important ideological-political issues on which there is a great confusion are the character of our era, alliances, the stance towards social-democracy, towards the so called “national bourgeoisie” (and the alliance with it even through nationalist formations), the logic of replacing the communist parties with a vague “left”, the stance towards the EU and the imperialist organisations and powers in general, the stance towards Russia, the views on “deindustrialisation” etc.
In addition, Iraq was a great “lesson” to the international communist movement which, unfortunately, has not been taken on board yet. This lesson teaches us that under the conditions of imperialism the communist parties cannot separate partial goals from their strategic goal, which is the overthrow of the bourgeois state power, and designate them as intermediate stages.
Otherwise, when for instance the struggle against occupation, for the democratic rights and freedoms is separated from the strategic goal, as it happened in Iraq, it can lead the communist parties even to collaboration with the imperialist powers and to the assimilation to the system.
This great political problem of the stance of the Iraqi Communist Party, which in the name of “democratic” restoration collaborated with the NATO occupation forces continues to cast its “shadow” since most of the communist parties in the region still maintain bilateral and multilateral relations with the Iraqi Communist Party regarding this sliding as a mere mistake.
In addition, several parties condemn the armed struggle and speak of a “legitimate resistance”. Our party has fought against these views at the Extraordinary meeting of the Communist Parties (September 2009) underlining that the resistance of the peoples to imperialism and to the imperialist occupation cannot be separated into the “legal” and the “illegal”.
There is no “illegitimate” resistance. The peoples have the right to use in their struggle against imperialism all forms of struggle including the mass armed struggle.
In our region there are strong confusions concerning the character of our era, the intermediate stages, the illusions on the role of the EU, of the international social democracy and of the so called “left”, of the NGOs, of the “Party of the European Left” which is a body supporting the strategy of capital, a supporter of the imperialist EU, a factor reinforcing anticommunism. In addition, bodies of social democracy and opportunism intervene in the region by means of directly financing of initiatives.
Under these conditions there is a need to deal more decisively with views that:
• have confusions concerning the character of the revolution and promote the logic of stages and of the possible.
• the ideological constructs that constitute an abandonment of the Leninist concept of imperialism and of the stance towards imperialist unions and interstate organisations.
• that dissociate economics from politics, underestimate the role of the bourgeoisie of their country and promote the issue of “dependence” of the division of the bourgeoisie into “national” and “comprador”, to “productive” and “retailer” etc spreading illusions for similar alliances with sectors of the bourgeoisie and solutions in favour of the people in the framework of the system.
• that promote an atmosphere of cooperation with social democracy and the centre-left forces
• that support the so called “peaceful way”, the imperialist propaganda on “terrorism” of the past 20 years and denounce armed struggle.
• spread parliamentary illusions and support a better management of the system.
• reject the achievements and the whole experience of the socialism we knew participating in the anticommunist campaign focusing on “anti-Stalinism” and promoting anti-sovietism in general.
• that show a lack of orientation and class direction in the labour movement.
• that promote the mistaken view that the struggle at a national level has been surpassed, abandon proletarian internationalism and seek the so called “new internationalism”.
Our party must continue the systematic efforts and the initiatives for the coordination of the communist parties in our region.
The Central Committee of KKE
[*] Extract from a resolution published in “Rizospastis” on 20th March 2011.