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Speech by Dimitris Koutsoumbas, GS of the CC of the KKE, at the rally outside the Greek parliament against Greece’s military involvement in imperialist wars (11 March 2024)

Dear friends and comrades,

Tonight, here in Athens, in Syntagma Square, with this big rally, with the rallies that are taking place simultaneously in many other big cities of the country and that will continue tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, the Communist Party of Greece is making an important intervention in the developments.

With our presence and our voice, we break the omerta that the New Democracy government and all the other parties want to impose around the involvement of our country in the imperialist wars raging in the region, the involvement in all the dangerous plans of the USA and NATO!

We give a response to their lies and pretences, to complacency, to misinformation!

We sound the alarm! We call on the people and youth of our country to be vigilant and prepared, to rise up! We declare that despite the unanimity of the government, the parties of social democracy, the extreme right and the media, we will be here to express the concerns, the pro-peace feelings and demands of our people, the solidarity with the peoples who are being murdered for the profits of the few. We will be at the forefront and organize their action. Because the developments are rapid and dangerous and no one has the right to remain silent or to stand idly by and watch, while the flames of war are fanned around us.

Friends and comrades,

For five months now, Israel, with the support of the USA and the EU, has been carrying out a gigantic military operation.

We say it clearly and without half-truths: They want to annihilate the heroic people of Palestine, who have been fighting for their own homeland for decades.

The entire world has now seen the atrocities committed by the murderous state against a poor and oppressed but proud people.

It is difficult to grasp the scale of this crime. Its victims are hundreds of thousands of civilians and young children, who have been slaughtered by the Israeli army’s bullets and bombs for many years now, who have been tortured and killed by hunger and disease.

From the very first moment, the KKE made it clear that there is a huge ideological and political gap between it and Hamas.

But today, with more than 30,000 dead in Gaza, it has now been amply demonstrated what we have been saying from the very first moment: that Israel’s false ‘self-defence’ was and is a vulgar pretext. The unprecedented atrocities it has unleashed have broken every written and unwritten rule of war. It has been bombing hospitals, homes, schools, mosques and churches.


It is now clearly visible that the aim of the Israeli leadership is the genocide of the Palestinian people and the displacement of those who survive, in order to further weaken the just struggle of this people against the long occupation of the Palestinian territories, for the establishment of the Palestinian state on the borders of  ‘67, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In fact, it is clear that they want to get their hands on the entire coastal area, from Egypt to Lebanon, in order to satisfy the interests of big business, such as the exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Palestinian EEZ and the strengthening of trade routes from Asia to Europe via Israel. The existence, struggle and resistance of an entire people, the people of Palestine, is a thorn in the side of these interests.

However, the consequences of this policy pursued by the reactionary government of Israel in the interests of the capitalists, are also suffered by the people of Israel. The struggle of the Communist Party of Israel, of our comrades, Jews and Arabs, who are resisting this barbarity with all their strength, despite the persecution that has been unleashed against them, deserves our admiration and solidarity.

Israel’s aggression is also felt by other peoples in the region, against whom it attacks. It occupies Lebanese and Syrian territory and threatens to escalate the military conflict with Iran.

And, of course, other bourgeois classes and the most powerful imperialist states are also interested in this region for their own interests. At the centre of their interests is the so-called India–Middle East trade route, in opposition to the China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the emerging Eurasian imperialist camp. It is for these interests and aspirations of the few and powerful that the peoples, and especially the Palestinian people, are being slaughtered.

In this maelstrom of contradictions, the New Democracy government, with the support of SYRIZA, PASOK, Greek Solution and other extreme right-wing groups, has committed itself to support the Israeli military operation against the Palestinian people, which constitutes a massacre and a crime against humanity.

The deployment of the Greek Patriot artillery battery to Saudi Arabia was followed by the deployment of the frigate Hydra to the Red Sea, under the pretext of “protecting navigation”. In fact, Greece has also taken command of the EU naval mission ‘Aspides’, which is being planned in cooperation with a similar operation led by the US.

This open support of Israel does not derive from the call made by the EU and the US, but from the fact that the government and the other parties are oriented towards the interests of the country’s ruling class. They are oriented towards the interests of the Greek shipowners, who have the largest merchant fleet in the world, as well as the profits of those businessmen who benefit from the country’s participation in the logistic chains and the redivision of energy resources, the wealth produced by the people, the transport routes for commodities, the market shares. They serve these interests and that is why they are sending members of the Greek Armed Forces, i.e. the children of our people, into the eye of the storm.

You see, the New Democracy government was concerned about the profits of the shipowners and the reduction of container traffic in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki. And they want to pass this concern on to the Greek people, as a supposed ‘national problem’, which allegedly dictates the deployment of the Greek frigate to the Red Sea for ‘national reasons’! However, this concern has nothing to do with the Greek people. It is related to their capitalist economy, which condemns the many to suffer from high prices, poverty, misery, unemployment, foreclosure auctions, the social deadlocks of capitalism, so that the few who hold the reins of power and the economy can accumulate wealth.

This is their and their allies’ problem, namely the USA, NATO and the imperialist EU. In order to solve it, they will not hesitate to send in the Air Force, whose reinforcement they celebrated a short time ago. They are ready to pay for their new wars, not only with the money from the pockets of the Greek people, but also with their blood.

It is our people and other peoples who are called upon to pay for the division of market shares among local and foreign sharks with their money and their blood. Seamen experience the dangers of war zones first hand. We demand that voyages to the hotbeds of war stop and that seamen have the right to be repatriated.

The reactions that have been provoked in the ranks of the permanent staff and reservists of the Armed Forces to this cynical decision of the Greek government are fully justified. Dozens of men and women, the crew of this frigate, have been sent to a place where the ships’ radar detects dozens of air and other attacks every day.

They were not sent to defend the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the country, as they swore to do. They did not go voluntarily. Those on board have left behind their families, their parents, their wives, even their children, without the possibility of direct communication with them.

We share their families’ concerns. The words of Minister Dendias, who was preparing us for the worst case scenario, still ring in our ears. This anguish is not priced at 1,500 euros, i.e. the one-off payment made to the families of the crew to quell the protests, or any other amount.

And yet, these days, the hundreds of letters sent by young conscripts against the country’s involvement in murderous plans, their proud and unwavering stance against the intimidation that is being attempted against them, fill us with strength and pride. We stand with them. And from Syntagma Square we warn: Hands off our conscripted youth who stand up to our country’s involvement!

The KKE calls on our people not to allow this criminal involvement to continue! We call on them to unite their voice with ours. Not to succumb to the government’s lies that they are sent to the lion’s den to defend ‘national interests’!

  • No consent to Greece’s participation in the massacre of the Palestinian people! Immediate recognition of the State of Palestine!
  • No participation of the Greek Armed Forces in the war carnage that is being carried out in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
  • Immediate withdrawal of the Hydra frigate from the Red Sea, of the Greek artillery battery from Saudi Arabia and of all the armed forces that are on imperialist missions abroad!


Friends and comrades,


It is not only the Middle East region that is on fire, with the complicity of the Greek government. The war in Ukraine has been raging for two years.

I would like to take this opportunity to send a message to the Prime Minister:

Mr. Mitsotakis, you have the right to visit Ukraine and pretend to be a war hero because you have now realized, as you said, that there is a real war going on there.

But you have no right to drag our country and our people deeper and deeper into this bloody conflict. That is why you must tell us exactly what you discussed with Zelenskiy. What did you agree? What new dangers are you preparing to plunge us into?

By the way, the people of Ukraine and Russia have first-hand experience of this war, not only since 2022, when the unacceptable Russian invasion took place, but since 2014, when it actually started, after the intervention and coup by the US and the EU.

In fact,  Mr. Mitsotakis, in Odessa, which you visited ten years ago on May Day 2014, Zelenskiy’s henchmen, the Nazis of the Right Sector, whom you brought to address the Greek Parliament, had slaughtered 100 trade unionists, mainly Russian-speaking, in the trade union building. Did you lay flowers in their memory? Probably not...

From the very first moment, the KKE highlighted the anti-popular character of this war as a consequence of the completion of the overthrow of socialism and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union. We also warned of the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples, while all the other political parties in Greece were jumping with joy. When they presented the Putin-type regimes as the liberators of the peoples and did business with them, even twinning their parties!

Developments have shown that we were right: The bourgeois classes in the new states that emerged on the territory of the former USSR shared the public wealth that the people had created for decades.

They set course for their integration into the international capitalist economy and launched a gigantic anti-communist operation, with nationalism and chauvinism as its separate component. The Russian bourgeoisie, after failing to join the EU and NATO, began to build new similar associations and expanded its political-economic and military cooperation with capitalist China.

On the other hand, the EU and NATO expanded eastwards, so that the Euro-Atlantic monopolies would be in a better position to exploit the natural wealth and labour power of the peoples of the region. For 30 years now, the USA, NATO and the EU have been planning and promoting the economic, political and military encirclement of Russia by intervening in the region, dispatching powerful military forces and setting up bases of death, adding fuel to the fire.

Their conflict is not about democracy, freedom and the self-determination of the peoples, which have been turned into cannon fodder. It is about the division of the mineral wealth and everything that the peoples produce. It is about Ukraine’s huge gas pipeline network, which even today, under conditions of war, still transports 42 million cubic metres of Russian gas to the EU every day...

They are fighting over who will get their hands on Ukraine’s fertile arable land, the railway network, the mines, the nuclear power stations, the ports and the EEZ of the Azov and Black Sea, the thousands of businesses, the human resources, the geopolitical mainstays.

From the first day of the Russian invasion and much earlier, our Party has rejected the pretexts —both real and non-existent— used by each side in this unjust imperialist war, which is pushing the Russian and the Ukrainian peoples, who have achieved great things together in 70 years of socialism, to kill each other for ‘the master’s dish to get filled’.

We will continue to inform the people about all this. What is important today is to see the extend of the damage done to the people; to understand the position of our country and the dangers for our people and other peoples.

At the same time that the capitalists are making billions, even through the economic cooperation between the West and Russia, which is maintained in many sectors, thousands of young people, mostly poor, who could not avoid conscription or were conscripted for reasons of survival, have been killed. Millions of others have fled their homes, others are victims of the violent ‘ethnic assimilation’ of the populations occupied by both sides, intensifying chauvinism. Both belligerent sides violently suppress any dissenting voices.

The Russian side has maintained its lead on the battlefield, prompting French President Macron to raise the question of sending troops to Ukraine.

In other words, we are talking about the open, direct military involvement of the EU and NATO in the war in Ukraine, in which our country is involved.

And as we have seen, this has not gone unanswered by the other side, which has warned that in such a case we are heading for nuclear war.

This is where the insatiable thirst of the capitalists for new profits, the conflict of the Euro-Atlantic bloc, which is using Ukraine as a spearhead against Russia, is leading the peoples. And Russia in turn, becomes a cushion for the Eurasian camp that is being formed and for China, in the latter’s struggle with the USA for supremacy in the international capitalist system.

The above, as well as other similar news coming out of Germany, shows in a very characteristic way that the EU and its leading powers are not being dragged into the war by the USA, but have taken a leading role in it.

For years, the European Parliament has been a machine producing pro-war, unhistorical, anti-communist and anti-Soviet resolutions and decisions. These decisions whitewash fascism and Nazism and promote the glorification of criminals, such as those who participated in the SS legions and the Nazi collaborators in Ukraine, who are presented as ‘liberators from communism’!

This is what the EU has always been like. It has not changed along the way. It has always been a reactionary alliance of bourgeois classes, the bearer of the most obscurantist  views, camouflaged behind “human rights” and “individual freedoms”! It is a master at doing so and at the same time it plunges the peoples into the turmoil of imperialist war, in order to defend the investments made in Ukraine by the Western European monopolies against its competitors.

It is the same monopolies, moreover, that expect to carry out its profitable ‘reconstruction’, in which the Greek bourgeoisie has also expressed an interest. This is the ‘right side of history’ that they kept rehashing when the war formally started and now they see that all the above are in danger of ending up at the hands of their competitors, i.e. Russia.

The peoples of Europe have paid and are still paying for the EU’s lavish funding of the war that has been raging for two years now. Billions are paid  every year for NATO and wars. And all the other parties in the European Parliament, except the KKE, voted for the war, for the political-economic and military support of Ukraine. Now they are promoting payment in kind, i.e. with the blood of the peoples of Europe, in order to secure the interests of the European and US monopolies in Ukraine. Some are still fostering the myth that the EU is defending the one in defence, i.e. Ukraine.

If this were true, the EU would have stood by the people of Palestine, who have been living under Israeli invasion and occupation for 70 years. If this were the case, the EU would have been on the side of the people of Cyprus, who have been living under Turkish invasion and occupation for 50 years. The only contribution of the EU is to support Turkey to legitimize the results of the occupation, with Annan-type plans.

Friends and comrades,

There are many monopolies that profit from war. But their profits go hand in hand with the next economic capitalist crisis, which will inevitably come to lead to the devaluation, destruction of part of the over-accumulated capital and temporarily give a new impetus to the system to dynamically resume accumulation. This is how this system called capitalism,  which is based on the exploitation of man by man, is tuned.

Moreover, as history shows, all this does not happen without conflicts over the redivision of the world market and war violence.

It is therefore no coincidence that, in addition to its complementary role in NATO, the EU is seeking to acquire so-called strategic autonomy, in order to be able to negotiate for the interests of European capital by military means, if necessary without the USA.

Of course, Mr Mitsotakis assured us —in the same unconvincing tone that he always uses when he wants to hide something— that we will not go so far as to send Greek troops to Ukraine!

But we also know that the biggest lies are told during the war. Today, the alliances in which our country is already involved, i.e. the strategic alliance with the USA, the participation in NATO and the EU, make it a participant in the imperialist war with Russia.

Souda, Alexandroupolis, Larissa and all the military installations being used by the USA and NATO in the war against Russia, are already targets of retaliation by Russia.

We cannot trust the reassuring claims of the ND government, which, through its policy and with the support of SYRIZA, PASOK and the nationalist parties, has turned our country and our people into targets.

Besides, we have already seen all the signs. When the moment of truth comes and the government mouthpieces admit that things are heading for an escalation, they do not rule out a direct military confrontation. Then they claim that the EU and NATO are forced into a war because ‘Russia will not stop in Ukraine’! And this is presented to us as a great revelation, as an alibi for planning the escalation and deepening of the war.

By the way, did the EU’s precursor, the EEC, stop at the 6 countries that made it in 1957? Or did the EU stop in 1991 and not engulf any more countries? Or did NATO stop growing when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved? Certainly not!

Because the very tendency of the capitalists to expand their action, to export commodities and capital, to further exploit the peoples and the rich resources of their countries, is insatiable. That is why they form economic, political and military predatory alliances!

This is true, of course, of the USA, NATO, the EU, China, Russia and every capitalist power that seeks to strengthen its position on the basis of its power. After all, today’s capitalist Russia is their creation! And it cannot be anything other than what the rest of the capitalist world is. Let them not pretend not to know it when they talk about the violation of borders in Ukraine and the violation of international law!

One glimpse at Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Cyprus is enough to see the hypocrisy of the European and US imperialists. For years, they have been turning a blind eye and basically supporting the unacceptable claims of the Turkish bourgeoisie in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Today, of course, we know that an effort is made to reach a settlement regarding Greek-Turkish relations in the framework of the utterly untrustworthy basis of Euro-Atlanticism, preparing new painful compromises for the sovereign rights and sovereignty of the country. Only to pave the way for so-called joint exploitation by all kinds of monopoly interests, with incalculable consequences for the future of the two peoples, for peace and for the environment.

We would like to underscore once again that the dilemma between a NATO-led settlement regarding Greek-Turkish relations and a heated incident and war is a false dilemma, since one does not exclude the other.

Our people must not put their trust in those who are dragging them into war! We must not trust the inflammatory and warmongering plans of Euro-Atlantic imperialism!

Friends and comrades,

Now we must intensify the struggle to prevent the government from sending arms and ammunition, which the Greek people have paid dearly for to be used for the defence of our country, but end up on the battle fronts of imperialist wars.

For the closure of the US bases on Greek soil, namely in Souda, Alexandroupolis and elsewhere, which are turned into launching pads for the slaughter of other peoples and into potential targets for retaliation.

For the disentanglement of our country from imperialist war plans and its disengagement from imperialist unions, with the people being masters in their own land.

Now is the time to say a big NO to the transformation of our country into a spearhead for the imperialist murderous plans of the USA - NATO - EU.

Now is the time to say a big YES to the right to live in peace and solidarity with other peoples.

The message that the ND government and the war hawks of the EU will receive in the coming elections must be more resounding!

The only ballot paper that can carry this anti-war message throughout Europe, is that of the KKE. Now join forces with the KKE!

The people have the power to put their stamp on developments, to put an end to the decayed world of wars! To strengthen the workers’–people’s opposition and counter-attack. The people have the power and can prove it in their struggle for the disengagement from NATO and the EU, for taking the reins of power in their own hands, for better days to come.

Because the rights of the workers and the people are incompatible with the profits of the few. The only dividing line is capital, the EU and NATO versus the working people and their needs!

The final solution lies in the overthrow of the world of exploitation and wars, in the society of true people’s prosperity, solidarity, friendship between the peoples and peace, i.e. socialism!

Together we walk down the path of the overthrow of the capitalist system, until the victory of the people! With a much stronger KKE, for a great pan-European counter-attack! We break the shackles of the EU! For a Greece and a Europe of all workers and farmers, for peace and prosperity for the peoples!