European Communist Meeting: Introductory speech by the General Secretary of the CC, Al. Papariga
The outbreak of the
capitalist economic crisis found the KKE ideologically and politically
prepared, as we had proceeded in good time, based on scientific research,
in our elaborations and predictions in relation to the course of the
development of capitalism in Greece in the conditions of assimilation
in the EU. At the same time, we took seriously into account the intra-EU
and international inter-imperialist contradictions in the framework
of uneven development; the dynamic entrance into the global market and
inter-imperialist competition of new capitalist powers like China, India
and Brazil; the role of Russia in the conflict etc. We have followed
quite closely the regional role which Turkey is trying to play particularly
through its participation in the well-known G20.
Once the first signs
of the crisis appeared on the horizon we made a very specific assessment
of the situation, we posed the question of the regroupment of the labour
movement even more urgently. By means of collective party discussions,
which culminated in a national conference, we elaborated a common framework
of action for the labour movement and its alliance with the poor petty
bourgeois strata, the self-employed, craftsmen, traders and poor farmers.
In this framework we better elaborated the problems of the youth and
women, of young couples, and the role of the student and women’s movement.
We took additional measures in order to establish party and mass work
in the factories, in industry generally because it is here where the
course of the class struggle and the prospect of the social alliance
will be judged. In this framework, we proceeded to internal restructuring
in the arrangement of the party members and the unification of party
organizations that have a unified field of activity. It is not a coincidence
that all the parties in Greece, whether bourgeois, petty bourgeois or
opportunist, irrespective of whether they voted for the package of anti-people
measures, focus their proposals on how the debt can be reduced, on how
capital will be concentrated for investments, and how the mass of profits
will be increased so that they can be better distributed and divided.
Their proposals constitute a vicious circle. They support, with certain
secondary differences, all those factors which inevitably lead to the
outbreak of crises after a period of increased rates of development
of the GDP and profitability.
It is one thing to
struggle for the temporary relief of the workers and quite another to
transform this into a theory and to consider that the alternative solution
is a so-called fairer redistribution and division taking no account
of the relation of economics and politics in the capitalist system.
Today there is a historic
opportunity on the basis of the unrelenting class struggle: the thoughts
and activities of the peoples in struggle – with the working class
in the leading position- to be directed towards working class power.
It must be understood that even if in a particular country a pro-people
majority in parliament is elected by the people and a government is
formed on the basis of this, it will not be able to overcome the limits
of the basic laws of capitalism if it does not resolve the central issue
of the socialisation of the basic means of production, withdrawal from
the EU and NATO, nationwide planning and workers’ control from the
From the very first
moment and even more so today we note what is obvious, that the sudden
sharpening of all the economic and social problems, rising unemployment
and poverty are not enough in themselves for the development of class
struggle if activity is not combined with the ideological-political
struggle conducted by the party, the class-oriented labour movement,
and the radical organizations in general.
The various attempts
to conceal the cause of the crisis, which they deliberately present
as a debt and deficit crisis, as a crisis due to bad management, a bloated
state sector, party-patronage politics etc must be answered.
Of course we did not
limit ourselves only to a propaganda counterattack. We gave a boost
to the formation of a nationwide social alliance (we have prepared the
ground in cooperation with wider radical forces) with a common framework
of demands for struggle. This is happening for the first time in Greece
in such a direction. This initiative was taken by PAME and the Nationwide
Farmers’ Rally and the Nationwide rally of self-employed small businessmen
responded positively. This rally was expanded through the participation
of the Students’ Front of Struggle(MAS) and the Federation of Greek
Women(OGE). This is not a narrow fractional rally, but a social alliance
which is based on class-oriented and radical organizations as well as
of militant forces that act as a minority within the structures of the
trade union movement. Emphasis was given from the very first moment
to the formation of the people’s committees of the alliance in neighbourhoods,
of struggle committees in workplaces, committees of sectoral unions.
We have specialised
the organization of the class-oriented, popular struggle, with the main
emphasis at the base and with a planned effort so that it takes on a
regional and nationwide character.
At the same time, we
submitted certain immediate proposals and struggle goals in the parliament
and movement concerning unemployment and the protection of the unemployed,
workers with flexible labour relations, poor businessmen and farmers,
pensions and the social security system, Health and Education; concerning
the problems of workers’ housing, the serious delays in anti-earthquake
protection, for the people’s debts to the banks etc.
The people’s committees
must be formed in a well-prepared way, through the broadest mass processes,
so that it is not a label, it must be addressed to wider popular masses
which are mobilised around a specific problem, or a group of problems.
Every constituent part of this alliance continues its activity in its
field in the sectors, workplaces, industrial zones, neighbourhoods,
universities and schools. It is not a temporary grouping together but
a force to draw workers and other poor popular strata into an organized
struggle in an anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist direction, against
the power of the monopolies.
The strength of this
alliance is judged in the factory, in the workplace where the contradiction
between capital and labour is expressed clearly and directly. There
have already been some positive results concerning the rehiring of dismissed
workers, the payment of wages and compensation and the reconnection
of electricity to families who have not paid the bills due to poverty.
There have taken place and continue to take place important mobilizations
for the abolition of tolls on the national highways, against the payment
of “tickets” in state hospitals, against the increases of the price
of medical exams, against the closure of schools and the abolition of
After studying the
decisions of the European Left Party summit which took place in Athens,
we can see clearly that behind the sharp phraseology it projects an
entire view of managing the crisis without touching on the essence of
the bourgeois political line. Their proposals dissociate politics from
economy, divide capitalists into lenders and borrowers, separate the
causes of the crisis from its consequences. The so-called radical proposal
for the socialisation of the banking groups and the financial sector
operates within this capitalist framework as does the proposal for changing
the nature of credit. If this utopia does not stem from ignorance concerning
the role of credit in the capitalist system, then it is aimed at deceiving
the peoples. Unfortunately the latter is true.
Transforming the debt
from a consequence to a cause, they are shaping an atmosphere amongst
the people that they must accept some sacrifices because the debt is
a national problem, and above all that there is the question of the
PROPOSALS FOR COMMON
ACTIVITY AND DIRECTION
- COORDINATED INTERVENTION IN THE IDEOLOGICAL-POLITICAL FIELD SO THAT THE ARENA OF STRUGGLE IS MADE CLEAR
A. We are of the assessment that the communist parties in Europe whether we operate in EU member-states or not are obliged to carry out systematic and if we agree, joint work so as to highlight that the source of the crisis lies in production and that in the circulation of money there appear the contradictions and paradoxes as well as malfunctions in the capitalist mode of production. And from this arises the basic truth that the working class, the labour movement is the most advanced and revolutionary force in society; the force that can unite the other popular strata in a dynamic mass alliance.
The development of
a real ideological counterattack in the struggle concerning the sharpening
problems is absolutely necessary so that it is understood as much as
possible, especially among the working class, the issue of the relationship
between economics and politics.
Our positions on the
capitalist economy, its central law, the development of the internal
contradictions of the system, the law of the average rate of profit
to fall, the production and distribution relations, the role of credit
in capitalist production must be disseminated more widely.
It will be difficult for the labour movement and its allies to make a forward step, not to be assimilated into the logic of managing the system, if these issues are not understood.
It is of vital necessity
to reveal, on the basis of arguments and facts, issues concerning inter-imperialist
competition, concerning what is going on in the regional and global
imperialist interstate unions. The experience of the masses is not shaped
spontaneously, however much the problems sharpen, without the intensification
of ideological and political struggle.
It is a
serious opportunity, for the historical boundaries of the capitalist
system to be understood; likewise the anarchy of production, uneven
development, the massive reduction of industrial capital in relation
to banking capital, the extent and speed of
the transactions of titles and the circulation of financial capital.
The political instability which will objectively appear must be utilised
by the movement in its interests. It should not be utilised for the
implementation of scenarios of coalition governments that will strengthen
the attack against the people with various
“left”, “renewed” or “centrist”
The fact that the socialist
social revolution is not on the agenda does not mean that there does
not exist an objective necessity for the labour movement to pose socialism
as a response to the obsolete capitalist path of development.
B. The way in which
a bourgeois government deals with the crisis, regardless of its composition,
has a given orientation and character. It takes measures that lead to
the intensification of class exploitation while labour power becomes
even cheaper. Crisis means the depreciation–destruction of
a section of capital either finance capital or real capital. Nevertheless,
the bourgeois state, the power of capital takes measures so as this
depreciation to be as low as possible in terms of the reduction of the
mass of profits or to bring their replenishment as soon as possible.
C. The bourgeois
management will be accompanied by political instability, local military
conflicts and interventions that reflect the conflict between the powers
of the international imperialist system.
The war against Libya,
the imperialist interventions in Egypt and Tunisia, in Syria, Bahrain,
Yemen, are the continuation of the imperialist interventions and the
wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan that have one
goal: to control even more decisively oil and natural gas, the mineral
resources; to impede popular uprisings and particularly the awakening
of the working class, to change governments and impose other ones that
will be more friendly to the one or the other imperialist.
Therefore the struggle
of the movement against imperialist war must acquire anti-capitalist
characteristics. This is true for the movement that develops in the
aggressor country but also for the capitalist country which is the target
of the attack. The struggle against foreign occupation must not lose
its class characteristics as the bourgeois class, no matter whether
it loses or wins, does not abandon its main goal, which is the breaking
and the defeat of the people’s movement in general.
2 Joint Strategy
in relation to the EU
Irrespective of the
form that the EU will take on, there will be one field with a commonly
decided policy without contradictions and disagreements: the barbaric
strategy against the working class, the working people in all the member
states, the participation in imperialist wars, the “imperialist peace”.
This policy against the peoples will be served by any form of EU mechanism
and any joint policy that will be achieved. This is the class content
of the European federalisation which is being proposed by several member-states
and political forces. The nation-state as an organ that ensures the
concentration and centralisation of capital in the hard competition
between the member states will not be surpassed or erased.
The political line
of rupture and disengagement from the EU is a prerequisite so that the
outcome of the struggle will be to the benefit of the people, for the
perspective of socialism, for a united socialist Europe. This possibility
cannot be realised automatically and simultaneously in Europe as a whole,
it will be the result of successive and coordinated blows at a national
The peoples must fight
from their part against the bourgeois states, the monopolies at a national
level as well as at a European and international level. They cannot
“correct” the decisions of the EU; they can put on a temporary brake
by means of an aggressive political line of rupture. Finally, the disengagement
of each country through the overthrow of bourgeois power paves the way
for the Europe of socialism, of the equal cooperation in the interests
of the people.