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Statement of the CC of the KKE on the results of the European Elections of 9 June 2024

1. The Central Committee of the KKE salutes the thousands of workers, the popular forces, the youth and the women who voted for the KKE and all those who joined forces with it in this important electoral battle. In particular, it extends a warm and comradely greeting to the members and cadres of the KKE and KNE, its supporters and friends, and all its candidates, who waged a hard struggle throughout this period.

The KKE won a 9.25% of the vote, a further significant electoral increase in its share of the vote compared to the May (7.2%) and June (7.69%) parliamentary elections in 2023 and, of course, compared to the 2019 European elections (5.35%). It confirms the positive processes that have been going on for a long time and that were expressed in the parliamentary elections.   

A current disputing the dominant policy, which is currently being implemented by the New Democracy government, and the EU is being stabilized and strengthened. Part of it is expressed in the rise of the prestige and the rallying with the KKE, in the disengagement of workers’–people’s forces from the bourgeois parties which, despite their disagreements and competition for the government, follow the same general political line to the detriment of the interests of the people, for the development of capitalist profitability, along the lines of the USA, NATO and the EU. The KKE seems to be particularly strengthened in Attica, where it is again the third force. It is the second force in a number of municipalities with a working-class and popular composition, while it also registers a significant increase in several large urban centres of the country. This was mainly expressed in industrial zones and areas where mass workers’ struggles took place, such as around LARCO; in areas where mass farmers’ mobilizations took place; in areas where the slogan “only the people can save the people” was put into practice in the face of the destructive consequences of government and EU policies, such as in Northern Evia, Thessaly and elsewhere; in  struggles to expose the causes of the crime of Tempe and demand that it will not be forgotten.

This confirms the links of the KKE with the popular forces that voted for it a year ago —many for the first time, especially workers and youth— and proves that a vote for the KKE expresses more stable ties established in the important struggles that have taken place in the previous period; in our continuous, unstoppable efforts for direct communication, dialogue and debate with the people, in various forms in the workplaces and the neighbourhoods. Of course, the political correlation of forces remains negative for the people. However, today there is a force to be reckoned with, i.e. the KKE, which can contribute to the organization of the workers’–people’s struggle, the counter-attack, the overthrow, in the next day and in the face of the difficulties to come.

 

2. Voting for the KKE is undoubtedly a different decision from voting for any other party, because the people who take this step forward are making a decision in opposition to the system and the EU, and they have to overcome several obstacles and dilemmas. They have to overcome the logic of one-way streets and the quest for an alternative within the limits of the system that everyone else defends. They have to overcome the pressure and blackmail of  the employers, who, for example, intervened blatantly and called on the workers to vote for the EU parties. They have to overcome disorientation about the relationship between New Democracy’s government policy and the that of the Eurozone and, therefore, about what was at stake in this battle. They must also overcome the rationale of delegating responsibilities or the search for political messiahs. We believe that the KKE, together with the people and the movement, can open new ways for a radical change of the socio-economic and political situation, for the abolition of class exploitation, for a Greece and a Europe of socialism. It is in this spirit that we fought this important battle of the European elections.

This positive electoral result of the KKE was achieved in conditions of unprecedented disorientation, fuelled by the confrontation between the other parties. Instead of discussing the crucial issues of the attack on incomes, in relation to high prices and low wages, the new wave of commercialization of health and education, the criminal involvement of our country in two imperialist wars, i.e. issues directly related to the EU policy that all the other parties accept, the pre-election debate —not by chance— took on characteristics of degeneration, focusing on the declaration of assets and sources of funds of one party and  the real estatea of another. The other parties and, of course, various centres of the  establishment (e.g. the interventions of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises - SEV) made efforts to avoid making the cause of the problems, i.e. the policies of the EU and capital, a voting criterion, to formulate false dividing lines on secondary issues and for example, to make the subjective possibilities of their MEPs to intervene the main voting criterion. Under conditions of a systematic attempt by the media and other mechanisms, it was also possible to conceal the dynamics and the potential for the rise of the party and to discredit the vote for it, with the persistent question “why should someone vote for the KKE, which is against the EU?”. These are the same centres which, after the election and the failure of their objective, are trying to discredit and downgrade the electoral result of the KKE.

The bourgeois system, despite its difficulties, still has powerful mechanisms and means to entrap and manipulate popular discontent.

Both the rhetoric of the New Democracy, promoting the slogan of “stability”, and the staged, meaningless bickering between the bourgeois parties, were about the next parliamentary elections. ND is calling for tolerance for the day after the elections and a third term in 2027, while SYRIZA and PASOK are fighting over which one will play the leading role in 2027. This confrontation proves that the bourgeois parties treat the people as a mere voters in order to maintain or change governments, limiting their discontent sometimes to one party and sometimes to the other party, in order to “firmly” support governments that implement the same anti-popular policies with individual differences; governments that alternate in power and do not follow a course of overthrow of this system. This is contrary to the unique position of the KKE in relation to all the other parties, which sees in the people the decisive factor in repulsing the attack on them, in gaining some achievements which constitute a springboard for the new phase of counterattack for the total overthrow of this system. That is why the KKE has called for its strengthening where the decisions are taken, in order to strengthen the struggle where there are possibilities to impose the overturning of anti-popular decisions.

 

3. The high abstention rate carried a significant message of protest against the New Democracy government, as well as contempt for both the bourgeois political system and its parties and the EU and its institutions, such as the European Parliament. This discontent is also connected with the new experience drawn on by large popular masses and the role of the KKE and other vanguard forces in Europe, which led to positive processes, such as the great people’s struggles in many countries of Europe in recent years. Further coordination on a pan-European level, joint action and solidarity are needed in order to form a militant workers’–people’s current against the common class and political opponent, in an anti-capitalist and anti-monopoly direction.

We believe that the pre-electoral debate, conducted in a climate of degeneration and far removed from the crucial problems and, above all, their causes and the prospect of solving them, has increased the people’s reluctance to participate in the electoral process. From this point of view, this attitude, which we obviously do not approve of, has political characteristics, regardless of whether it is expressed in a way that can be misinterpreted, entrapped or co-opted. Therefore, it is necessary that this protest, especially of the youth, is expressed through active participation in the movement, in organized struggles and demands, that it acquires radical characteristics, that it meets with the revolutionary policy of the KKE.

It is hypocritical for the bourgeois powers to be interested in the abstention rates when they are all doing everything in their power to slander the workers’–people’s participation in the struggles and mass processes of the movement, and are legislating the restriction of trade union activity.

In any case, the KKE does not underestimate the phenomenon of abstention and will study in detail and per region how this climate has affected the behaviour of the KKE voters.

 

4. Already within the ruling bourgeoisie, the debate has been opened and the “political asymmetry” of the political system, as they called it, has been highlighted. The leaderships of the bourgeois parties may argue among themselves, but the bourgeoisie, capital, the business groups, are primarily interested in ensuring the bipartisan–bipolarity alternation, which has tragic consequences for the Greek people and the peoples of Europe. In Greece, it was tested with the alternation between New Democracy and PASOK, but also between New Democracy–PASOK and SYRIZA–ANEL.

New Democracy, which suffered a significant decrease in percentage and votes, falling to 28.31%, distorts and misrepresents the vote of the people and presents the disapproval of its policies as a signal to speed up the anti-popular reforms. It is trying to turn reality on its head and use the election result to support the “need to accelerate reforms that will increase the competitiveness of the Greek economy”. In reality, the exact opposite is true. The people have expressed their dissatisfaction and condemnation of the entire government policy and these “reforms”, such as the tax system that crushes the popular strata, the energy policy of the very expensive “green transition”, the commercialization of health and the privatization of education, the implementation of the CAP and the involvement of our country in imperialist wars. And this has to be expressed and organized even more massively the next day, with the development of the workers’–people’s struggle and counter-attack.

The real condemnation of the ND government must not fuel the rearrangement of the bourgeois forces that  are trying to rehash the same old illusions and the “pro-people” management of the EU and the system. SYRIZA PS, which is in second place with 14.92% of the votes, also recorded a significant decrease in percentage and votes compared to the 2023 parliamentary elections and the 2019 European elections, proving that a significant part of the workers and the people of the country do not trust this force as a response to the anti-popular policy of the ND government, especially after the strategic convergences with ND were further revealed. The other social democratic party, PASOK KINAL, did not come in second, as it had hoped, remaining in third place with 12.79%. However, a search for new “saviours” and an effort to revive and disguise the sinful social democracy will be made, utilizing the forces of SYRIZA PS and PASOK KINAL that we have seen in the past. Moreover, the New Democracy government governs with the support of a consensual opposition on crucial issues and in votes in the Greek and European parliaments. The opposite has also happened, when ND supported the policies of the PASOK and SYRIZA governments (e.g. Papademos government, third memorandum, etc.).

The discussion about the “defeat of the left” or the “centre-left” in Greece and Europe essentially hides the more fundamental issue: that in reality, what has been hit is the ability of these forces to co-opt workers’–people’s forces with “left slogans” in line with the EU, capitalist exploitation, NATO and imperialist wars.

 

5. The result of the European elections in various countries reflects to a certain extent the discontent of broader workers’–people’s forces with the EU policies —as a continuation of the corresponding mass mobilizations— and was manifested in the defeat of the governments and parties, e.g. in Germany and France, which are leading the implementation of anti-popular strategic decisions of the EU. Such decisions are, for example, the support of the imperialist war in Ukraine in competition with Russia or the policy of the so-called green transition, for which the European people are paying dearly.

Of course, it is important that this protest takes on radical characteristics and does not get caught up in the competition between sections of capital and bourgeois political forces.

At a time when the EU is showing more and more its reactionary character, especially the attitude of the so-called left parties as the supporters of the EU in various countries, leaves the workers’–people’s masses exposed to the false “anti-systemic” and “anti-EU” rhetoric of extreme right-wing and nationalist formations.

The urgent need to reorganize the labour and communist movement in Europe and worldwide and to strengthen internationalist solidarity is once again highlighted.

 

6. A debate is raging about the need for a united response in the name of “democracy, liberalism, EU values and progress” in the face of the figures of Velopoulos’ Greek Solution (9.3%) and the increased figures of the so-called far-right forces at EU level. The so-called far-right forces are parties of capital and the system. They act as a cushion to absorb popular discontent, in many cases taking on an “anti-systemic” mantle, using the reactionary policies of the ruling “liberal” and social democratic parties that present themselves as “progressive”. They also present themselves with false “anti-EU” and “pro-peace” slogans, criticizing certain aspects of the EU, such as the recent CAP review or aspects of the Stability Pact, hiding the fact that it is a union of monopolies, supporting the interests of some monopolies over others in their competition with each other. At the same time, they are a convenient bogeyman used by the forces of the so-called centre-right or social democracy to present their own reactionary policies as “democratic” and “progressive”. The bargaining on how to form a majority in the new EU institutions, which is underway and will intensify in the coming days, also includes such forces that they supposedly “exorcize”.

It has been proven that when these forces are in government positions, their “anti-systemic” rhetoric always goes out the window. The case of Meloni is telling: she started out as “the great danger for the EU” and now Ursula von der Leyen praises her and looks forward to her support because she has decisively implemented all EU and NATO decisions. These forces are fuelled by the official EU policy and ideology, by anti-communism and the “two extremes” theory, by supporting fascist forces, e.g. Azov in Ukraine and by the general reactionary turn of the political system.

Especially today, when the impasses of the system are more evident, when the competition is intensifying, also within the EU, and the EU is going into the conditions of a “war economy” in order to face the emerging new economic crisis —a process in which the social democratic and “liberal” bourgeois forces are leading the way— it is only logical that the fascist and nationalist forces, which history has shown to be a valuable support for the capitalist power in its most difficult moments, are also strengthened as a reserve. Under these conditions, any compromises will be temporary and the conflicts will be sharpened, creating cracks in the stability of the imperialist alliance and opening up new possibilities for the struggle of the workers’–people’s forces.

As it has been confirmed historically, only a rising workers’–people’s movement, the class struggle that targets the very causes that generate this reactionary political current, the EU, the imperialist competition, the capitalist system, can create a barrier to the rise of the far right. And this is the message conveyed by the action and rise of the KKE.

 

7. The KKE uses specific criteria to assess the course of its political influence and the electoral result and its percentage at any given moment. Throughout the KKE’s history, the latter has always been assessed on the basis of combined criteria and not exclusively on the basis of the specific outcome of the ballot box, i.e. exclusively on the basis of parliamentary criteria. Besides, politicization in a radical and anti-capitalist direction will not be the result of successive elections, but of the overall course of the regroupment of the labour movement and the formation of the social alliance.

The elections are an important political battle, but their outcome is not mainly determined by what the parties say and promise, but by a much larger set of factors, such as the interests of the ruling bourgeoisie, its parties, which, follow the same line regardless of competition, as well as the ideological, political and repressive mechanisms of the state and the EU.

The KKE’s concerns that the postal vote could be used to distort the results of the elections have been confirmed by the serious problems that have arisen in these European elections.

There is a clash between two worlds. The KKE stands apart from the rest; it is not alone but with the majority of the people who are suffering, regardless of what they vote for. The role and impact of the KKE is always much greater than its respective percentages, therefore its strengthening leads to many times more powerful struggles with greater effectiveness in the given circumstances.

 

8. The next day is crucial. The KKE will utilize the power given to it by the people to strengthen its voice where anti-popular decisions are taken, such as in the European Parliament, and above all to organize the workers’–people’s struggle. From tomorrow on, we will be confronted with the commitments to the EU, the bloody surpluses, the prerequisites of the Recovery Fund, the two imperialist wars in which our country is deeply involved. New burdens will also be added by the increase in war spending, which will be imposed on the peoples of Europe, as their plan to deal with the coming new economic capitalist crisis is to transform the European economy into a “war economy”, with the strengthening of the war industry and military armaments and the escalation of war.

The KKE has nothing in common with the logic of other opposition parties, such as that of SYRIZA PS, that now is “the last chance to contain the Mitsotakis government, because the next elections are three years away”. The people can and must limit the anti-popular policies of the ND government and the EU, starting tomorrow, through their struggle, and also expose the attitude of a convenient opposition that gives them an alibi and a helping hand on strategic issues, and only has its eyes on taking office office in three years’ time.

The KKE will be there:

- To continue the regroupment of the workers’-people’s movement that has already begun, to change the correlation of forces in the first and second level trade unions.

- To lead struggles to expose and prevent anti-popular guidelines and directives in both the European and the Greek Parliaments, where decisions affecting our lives are taken. Most importantly, it will be at the forefront of the struggles where these decisions are overturned.

- To strengthen the struggle against the escalation of the imperialist war, for the disengagement of our country from it.

- To strengthen the coordination of the struggles with the working class, the farmers, the self-employed, the intellectuals, the youth, the women in all the countries of the EU, where the people will continue to take to the streets of struggle against the EU of wars, monopolies, corrupt lobbies, and exploitation, to open the perspective of another Europe of the peoples, of socialism in every country and across Europe.

The EU is not as powerful as it seems. The peoples must be vigilant, they must believe in their own power.

The KKE will shoulder the responsibility in our country, while contributing to the regroupment of the European and the international communist and labour movement.

Its proposal is realistic. Because one thing is considered realistic by big capital, the leadership of the European Commission and the parties supporting the EU, and another thing is realistic for the Greek people, for all the peoples of Europe.

Because what is realistic is always what is in the interests of the people, as history and developments have shown. It is the disengagement from the EU with the working class, the people in power.

The Greek people, all the peoples of Europe, have not yet spoken their last word yet.

 

The Central Committee of the KKE

Tuesday 11 June 2024