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Interview of Giorgos Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE, in the newspaper UZ of the German CP
UZ: The recent developments in Greece are leading to parliamentary elections on the 25/1. How will the KKE operate in this electoral struggle? Will the KKE be able to successfully deal with the expected polarization around the alleged scenario “in favour” or “against” the EU?
Giorgos Marinos: The polarization that is described in the question (regarding the EU) is not what will be witnessed, as the both the basic parties that struggle over which one will form the next government (ND and SYRIZA) are committed to the EU. Indeed the President of SYRIZA, A. Tsipras, has unambiguously stated: “We belong to the West, the EU and NATO. We do not dispute this”. So, the polarization that will be sought will be between on the one hand the fear that is cultivated by ND- the fear that if the current anti-people political line is not followed there will be disaster. On the other hand there is the exploitation of the people’s indignation and management illusions, fostered by SYRIZA, which despite its high electoral percentage does not contribute to the development of the working class struggles.
Our party, with important struggles and mass propaganda work, is demonstrating to the workers that whatever formula of bourgeois management is followed inside the framework of the EU, NATO and the capitalist development path, this will not be in the interests of the workers and other popular strata. The solution is to strengthen the KKE everywhere, in the parliament, in order to empower the people’s struggle and pave the way for radical changes.
UZ: The mass media in Germany are talking in an alarmist way about the collapse of Greece if the “radical left”, i.e. SYRIZA wins the elections. The EU is already intervening in the electoral struggle. What expectations do you have about the political line that Alexis Tsipras is expected to follow.
Giorgos Marinos: They may talk in alarmist way in Germany, as the governing ND party does in Greece, however other sections of capital express themselves differently and openly support a possible SYRIZA government.
Of course, the two parties (ND-SYRIZA) have differences that express the existing differences inside the Eurozone countries and between sections of the monopoly groups, the bourgeoisie and the businessmen. The one view, which is at the moment the prevalent one in the Commission, the EU, Germany talks of a restrictive political line, the continuation of the austerity measures so that each country can emerge from the crisis and so that the Eurozone as a whole does not slide into crisis. On the other side, there is the view that talks about a more expansive political line, in any case, the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, spoke of fiscal relaxation in order to increase liquidity to provide money to some businessmen for investments. They claim, as SYRIZA does as well, that the economy will “breathe” in this way. But this money will not go to the people but to the various sections of the plutocracy, the monopolies.
So, when SYRIZA is competing with ND over who will better reinforce the profitability of capital, the “competitiveness ”of the economy, the repayment of the debt, there can be no expectations that a pro-people political line will be implemented by a SYRIZA government. SYRIZA has been transformed into a social-democratic party. Life has demonstrated that “left governments”, both in Greece, as well as in Europe, became the “bridges” to more “rightwing” policies.
UZ: What is the path for the country that is proposed by the KKE regarding the debt and the EU?
Giorgos Marinos: The KKE has demonstrated that the people are not to blame for the debt, but that capital and its governments are to blame. In brief, the country’s accession to the EEC-EU, which destroyed traditional sectors of the economy, is responsible, as well as the capitalist path of development as a whole, as the state borrowed in order to serve capital’s profitability and is now calling on the workers to pay. We call on the people not to recognize the debt.
In addition, we note that ND’s plan for the “elongation” of the debt repayment, which is now also accepted by cadres of SYRZA, as well as the official goal of SYRIZA and the IMF regarding a “haircut” of the debt so that it can become “viable” does not free the people from this unbearable financial burden, does not lead to a recovery of the losses that the people’s income has undergone since the outbreak of the capitalist crisis, nor does it put a brake on the continuation of the anti-people measures.
What the people must do is create preconditions in society to pave the way for a unilateral cancellation of the debt, Greece’s disengagement from the EU and NATO, the creation of an economy that operates based on the people’s needs, and not for the profitability of capital. This requires workers’-people’s power. The regroupment of the labour-people’s movement is a precondition for this, as well as the formation of the people’s alliance of the working class with the other popular strata, something that can happen through the decisive strengthening of the KKE.
UZ: The KKE rejects participation in the PEL. What are the reasons that lead you to this position? Are there no reasons that militate in favour of such a cooperation?
Giorgos Marinos: The KKE has reached the 96th year of its ceaseless activity. From its establishment, our party has been and remains an internationalist party. The International Meetings of Communist and Workers Parties began 16 years ago in Athens at its initiative. It actively responds to the international invitations of other parties, undertakes initiatives to coordinate activity at a global and regional level. So, our differences with the PEL are not related to the question of whether there should be an attempt to coordinate activity, but in which direction this coordination should be.
Specifically, the KKE considers that it must strengthen the joint activity against imperialist war and interventions, against the capitalist development path, against the anti-worker and anti-people measures, the imperialist unions of the EU and NATO, against every imperialist union. Our goal must be to create a modern revolutionary strategy at an international level.
This can not happen via the PEL, which has been established on the basis of the decisions of the EU itself. All the so-called “European Parties” (including the PEL) in their documents obligatorily accept and support the imperialist “edifice” of the EU and receive multifaceted support from it as well.
The KKE prioritizes a new form of cooperation and rallying of communist and workers parties at a European level, on the basis of agreed common principles. 29 parties today participate in the “INITIATIVE of communist and workers’ parties in order to study and elaborate European issues and to coordinate their activity”. These are parties that are not members or full members of the PEL and base themselves on the principles of scientific socialism, united by the vision of a society without the exploitation of man by man, without poverty, social injustice and imperialist wars. At the same time we have a clear commitment to struggle against the EU. The EU is the choice of capital and promotes measures favourable to the monopolies, and strengthens its characteristics as an imperialist economic, political and military bloc against the interests of the working class, the popular strata. It increases its military armaments, intensifies authoritarianism and state repression. We believe in the right of every people to choose its own sovereign path of development, including the right to disengage from the multi-level dependencies on the EU and NATO, as well as the right to choose socialism.
In our opinion, each European CP that wants to hold true to its historical mission, as a party of the working class, of the socialist perspective, will be forced by the developments themselves to take its place in our common front against the monopolies, capitalism and its unions, like the EU and NATO. Otherwise, it will slide, openly or covertly, into vainly striving for the “humanization” of the EU and capitalism. It will lose its communist identity. And consequently it will give the wrong answer to the historical dilemmas “Socialism or Barbarism?” and “Reform or Revolution”, posed by the German revolutionary Roza Luxemburg in her writings. It will find itself on the side that is against the working class-people’s interests, which is the position the PEL amongst others is in today.
UZ: We wish you every success in the elections and the struggles that 2015 will bring!