Today, in 2010, the working class and the popular working masses are undoubtedly confronted with a negative and extremely painful financial-political condition for their class interests, as a result of the global financial crisis and the bankruptcy of the Greek economy, which have led to an intensification of the country’s dependence from the EU and the IMF, through the imposition of the Memorandum and the demolition of workers’ and people’s rights. The imposition of the Memorandum has been justified as necessary to reduce the deficit and foreign debt, but its real objective is the intensification of workers’ exploitation of by foreign and local capital. This is a novel condition, the existence of which has to be initially verified and recognized, and then analyzed. These are necessary premises for the designation of the content and correct orientation of the class struggle of the working class in the current very difficult and crucial period.
The country’s current financial-political condition is characterized by:
1. the deep crisis and bankruptcy of economy,
2. occupation by the “troika” of Commission-ECB-IMF,
3. violent abolition of all workers’ conquests,
4. deterioration of the relations between Greece and EU, to the country’s detriment.
A. Global crisis and the collapse of the Greek economy
The crisis that keeps on shattering the entire capitalist world, as well as our country, burned out for years to come, in the hell that created massive unemployment of hundreds of millions of unemployed-half-unemployed humans, great poverty, hunger and the absolute immiseration of billions on the planet, the final illusory glow of the widely advertised by recently faded myth of capitalist “prosperity”, as well as the celebrated jabbers-myths of bourgeois and revisionist economist about “full employment,” “elimination of unemployment,” and a capitalist development “undisrupted by crises.”
Regardless of its existent singularities and main features as well as the way in which it broke out, this crisis is, as all the previous ones, a cyclical crisis of over-production, the root and cause of which exists within the fundamental contradiction of capitalism, which the other contradictions of this exploitative system are also connected with: the “the contradiction between the social character of production and the private form of its appropriation.”
It derives from here that the periodic crises of overproduction are an inherent and inevitable phenomenon in the capitalist mode of production which accompanies capitalist along its course of development. It is the result of the action and function of objective economic laws despite the contradicting claims of bourgeois economists cultivating the opposite view on the current crisis, seeking its cause within “erroneous financial policies” and limiting it to the “financial sector”: “bourgeois-capitalist circles try to propagandize by every mean the view that this crisis is the result of erroneous economic policies, in particular erroneous financial and monetary policies, which have led to increasing speculation and the “bubbles” in the financial sector. With such positions and propaganda they seek to hide the fact that capitalist economic crises are inevitable stages in the course of capitalist development, that they are the inevitable result of the capitalist mode of production developing in an uneven way, because it is led by profit and the market.”
In contrast to the bourgeois, for revolutionary Marxists, according to Marx, “the general conditions of crises … must be explained through the general conditions of capitalist production.”
The current world economic crisis, as all cyclical crises of over-production emerging from the essence, i.e. the inherent contradictions of the capitalist mode of production, “are never more than momentary, violent solutions for the existing contradictions, violent eruptions that re-establish the disturbed balance for the time being.”
The current crisis could not but also affect the local capitalist economy, despite the contradicting idiotic assurances of the reactionary Karamanlis governments (2004-2009) and its indescribable and benighted economic headquarters that the country’s banks and economy are “armoured” against the crisis (and a few days later the government “endowed” the supposedly “armoured” banks with 28 b. Euros). Indeed, gross flubs of this kind were being uttered at the moment when it was known that the crisis had become manifest in our country before the outbreak of the world capitalist crisis – it became manifest unevenly in various country in terms of time and intensity, as well as sectors – affecting initially the construction sectors, and all its related branches.
The crisis has affected Greek economy more than those of the other member-states of the imperialist EU, as shown in figures (while maintaining relevant reservations) by Eurostat for 2009: investments declined by 13,4% in contrast to 2008, households’ consumption decreased by 1.8%, exports by 18.1% and imports by 14.1. The 2% decline of GDP shown by Eurostat is in reality much larger, while actual unemployment surpassed 15%.
Predictions for 2010 are much more unfavourable, since it is estimated the GDP decline will be at about 4%, while it is expected to have reached 7.5% by 2012, whereas unemployed will have reached 20%. Already in the second quarter of 2010, a 3.5% GDP shrinking was recorded. Construction activity fell by 22.4%, industrial production dropped 4.5%, while inflation 5.5% (in reality it fluctuates between 6 and 7%), and large waves of high prices are an everyday phenomenon. As for the army of hundreds of thousands of the unemployed, some more will be added, which, according to the General Confederation of Greek Workers’ (GSEE) estimations will have reached, and may have even surpassed, 1,200,000 by the end of the year.
In late 2009, the country’s economy was led to open insolvency as the result of “the explosive mixture” of high budget deficit and unbearable external debt in combination with the global economic crisis of overproduction. The deficit and debt would in turn result in usurious loan terms, the implementation of extreme neoliberal measures by the neoliberal governments of New Democracy and PASOK (with the blatant example of Karamanlis’s governance terms during the period 2004-2009), and the destruction of country’s productive web, which were inevitable developments of the ever-deepening dependence of the country from the international financial capital, particularly from the imperialist European Union. The effects of the global economic crisis are becoming more dramatic for the Greek economy because of its participation-inclusion in the EU and Euro. This “unique” currency has served first and foremost the leading imperialist powers of the EU (mainly France, Germany), by expanding their economic and political power. Within the conditions of the capitalist economic crisis, the strong Franco-German monopolies are trying to increase their profitability by intensifying the exploitation of dependent countries (among which is Greece as well). At this point it should be noted that along with Greece’s dependence from foreign monopolies, another factor that has contributed to the growing financial crisis is the looting of public wealth by the local capitalists through their plundering of billions of Euros in scandals such as those of structured bonds, Vatopedi and construction works of the Olympics.
Yet, besides the multiple problems caused by the profound economic crisis, which is expected to be further intensified, the country’s economy was led in 2009 to open bankruptcy, which was already visible to the naked eye from the beginning of 2007 – despite the distorted statistical figures coming to light –, as a result of the application of extreme neoliberal policies by Karamanlis’ government and of dependence by the EU.
The government of the monarcho-fascist party of “New Democracy” (ND), with K. Karamanlis as prime-minister, is first and fore mostly responsible for the country’s financial bankruptcy, by doubling the external debt (more than 300 billion Euros) and multiplying the deficit by five (more than 30 billion Euros), leading to the country’s triple supervision-occupation by Commission-ECB-IMF. However, the then-opposition parties, the big-bourgeois PASOK and the social democratic “K”KE and SYN (the nazi-fascist LAOS had identified with the politics of ND), are tremendously responsible as well, for not revealing-denouncing this destructive financial course to the Greek people – a course, which at least for the final two years of ND’s governance was completely manifest and, as already mentioned, visible to the naked eye.
The very fact of the country’s financial bankruptcy (the typical statement “Regretfully, we are bankrupt” is not necessary) is questioned by all bourgeois and reformist forces, and even from those of the Extraparliamentary Left.
In contrast to the fabrications of the government and bourgeois politicians that “the country has not gone bankrupt,” along with those of ND and the Khruschevite socialdemocratic parties of “K”KE and SYN, who are also disputing the existence of bankruptcy,1 the bankruptcy is a concrete and painful fact for the working class, as well as the people and the country in general.
The undeniable bankruptcy of the Greek economy – despite it being disputed almost by all political forces of the country – can be understood and supported by the analysis of economic data: 1. an overwhelming external debt of more than 300 billion Euros, or about 120% of GDP (in a country with a minimal to inexistent “heavy industrial output”), 2. a huge deficit of more than 30 billion Euros or 14,5% of GDP, 3. a usurious 7-10% interest rate with a spread of 500-700 bps (an interest rate that only bankrupt countries are borrowing with), 4. inability of “managing”-serving the external debt, 5. the triple severe supervision by the Commission-ECB-IMF and designation of financial policy not by the elected government but by the delegations of the imperialist Organizations, 6. appeal to the so-called EU-IMF “support mechanism” (read: enslavement mechanism) for a further loan, again with a usurious interest rate of 5%, which essentially means an acceptance of bankruptcy. All the aforementioned render Greece a country under the occupation (not military but with economic-political means) of the troika, with the responsibility of both the EU and the PASOK government. It is obligatory to realize and be reminded that the decisions – damaging decisions for the class interests of the proletariat and peasantry as well as of the nation – for Greece’s attachment-entrance to the EU were absolutely the strategic choice of big local capital, the country’s dominant reactionary bourgeoisie.
B. Occupation of the country by the “troika”: Commission-ECB-IMF
The extreme neoliberal financial policy of Karamanlis government, the unprecedented looting of public wealth, the successive great scandals, etc., etc., that led the country’s economy to bankruptcy, with the doubling of external debt and the deficit’s surge to 14,5% of GDP, rendered Greece a weak link of imperialist EU and the target of severe attacks of international speculative and usurious capital – in combination with the intense antagonism between Dollar and Euro – leading to an inability of borrowing and the surge of spreads to overwhelming heights. Eventually, the newly-elected Papandreou government, also continuing the destructive neoliberal financial policy, is turning to the notorious and newly-created “support mechanism” of EU and IMF, with first and fore mostly the imperialist EU, as well as the government of PASOK, being responsible.
During this year, the crisis and the bankruptcy of Greek economy also brought to the surface the profound crisis within the domain of imperialist EU, and furthermore, highlighted acutely the relations of servitude, dependence and exploitation of the smaller weak capitalist countries, such as Greece, by the large imperialist countries, first being France-Germany, which not only imposed to Greece a usurious interest rate of 5%, but pressed-are pressing Greece to buy military equipment manufactured in those countries.
All these developments led to an unprecedented, in terms of severity, and long-lasting supervision of Greek economy by the imperialist Organizations and the placement of permanent representatives of theirs at Athens, creating a completely new situation: a new occupation of the country, without troops.
It is certainly a fact that Greece’s incorporation to the imperialist EEC-EU and its entrance to the EMU had as a consequence the drastic limitation of its governments’ role (having an essentially decorative role), as well as of all small, weak and dependent EU member-states, in the outlining of financial politics, since this is determined in its basic directions by the powerful EU monopolies, and are only validated ex post facto by their local puppet-parliaments, thus deepening evern further and reinforcing imperialist dependence. The notorious “Stability and Growth Pact” of the Maastricht Treaty essentially meant an almost absolute loss of national sovereignty for the dependent member-states of the imperialist EU, such as Greece, despite the much-publicized illusory “equal” co-operation-alliance of nationally sovereign states within the EU domain.
Yet, there is no doubt that the current situation is different, much worse than the previous one, and completely new, since all aspects of Greek economy are decided and determined directly and absolutely by the branches of the imperialist Organizations Commission-ECB-IMF. The recognition and realization of this situation requires the intensification of the class struggle of the working class and all broad popular masses against imperialist dependence in general, and the country’s dependence by the imperialist European Union in particular.
But this new occupation – which is obviously accepted and supported by the servile government of PASOK – is disputed by the social democrats of “K”KE by considering it inexistent, beautifying in this way not only imperialist dependence but also its particular further deepening and strengthening.
The appointed members of the Commission-ECB-IMF troika – these unscrupulous and stiffening representatives of European and international capital – are working out the implementation of the most extreme neoliberal measures of cutting down wages and pensions, increasing mass unemployment, poverty and immiseration of broad popular masses, measures of annihilating privatizations as well as plundering of the country’s resources and of turning them over to – mainly – foreign capital, as well as its “poor relative,” the local capital, with catastrophic consequences for the workers as well as the country.
C. Violent removal of all the gains of workers
The representatives of the “troika’s” imperialist Organizations and the servile government of PASOK mounted an attack unprecedented in vehemence and intensity – the larger since the years of “the political changeover” – against the class interests of the working class and all working people, embracing all levels – an attack in favour of European and international, as well as big local capital.
All the gains of the workers were demolished and annihilated violently overnight, the peak being 8 July when even the last remnants of the working class’s rights were abolished. The disgraceful “Memorandum” – a “Loan Agreement between Greek Government-European Union-International Monetary Fund” of colonial nature – besides being a monument of servitude, it moreover marks the “graveyard” of workers’ gains. The PASOK government led by its bosses of the EU-ECB-IMF-local capital, and supported by Nea Dimokratia and LAOS, is imposing the most extreme neo-liberal measures of cutting down wages and pensions, increasing of mass unemployment, sweeping privatization and looting of the country’s resources and selling them out mainly to foreign but also local capital, with devastating consequences for workers and the people.
Among others, already “lying” in this “graveyard” are the 13th and 14th pension, as well workers’ 13th and 14th salary, while a pension with a 65-year age-limit and 40-year employment-limit and a way of estimating it that is leading to a 40% decrease was enacted.
A structural component of the Memorandum is that it imposes the continuous clamp-down of workers’ rights when the local and foreign capital do not see an increase of their profitability in accordance with their objectives. The “update” of the Memorandum last August led to the effective abolition of sectoral collective bargaining agreements, the workers’ weapon against the arbitrariness of “employers”-capitalists. Thus, with the tolerance of the GSEE’s sold-out leadership, workers are left alone to face their bosses, unable even to negotiate collectively their working conditions. The massive cut-down in wages and pensions, the explosion of massive unemployment along with the cut-down of the meager doles, the high level of inflation above 5.5%, with unprecedented waves of high prices and the continuous increase in indirect taxes on essential goods, the cuts in social expenditure on nursing benefits of public hospitals, the intensification of class barriers in education, the further privatization of public education, the division of working rights deriving from the degree, etc., are dramatically aggravating the situation of the working class and the broad popular masses, deepening the process of their absolute impoverishmennt to the extreme and confirming afresh Marx’s theory of absolute impoverishment, which was repeatedly declared “dead” and “outdated” by the bourgeois and traditional social democrats as well by the social democrats of Khruschevite “K”KE (in 1976, S. Zorbalas, GC of “K”KE’s “Marxist” Research Center claimed that the absolute impoverishment of the proletariat did not exist in advanced capitalist countries and the USA: “without excluding absolute impoverishment, specifically in some branches and certain popular layers, such as USA’s Negroes and minorities, the proletariat’s relative impoverishment is the dominant tendency in these countries.”)2
Along with the imposition of anti-worker, anti-people measures, there is an increasing advancement of the fascisticization of social life and conservative reorganization of the bourgeois state, in order to weaken the resistance of the workers’-people’s movement, given the increasingly strong social conflicts that will inevitably occur due to the increasing repression the masses. The police state and the violent repression of any form of mobilizations have become the norm and are combined with the curtailment of democratic freedoms (new counter-terrorism bill, legalization of surveillance through electronic means). On the other hand, there is a clear aim to break the unity of workers through the promotion of racism, the perfect co-operation of repressive state apparatuses and para-statist fascist groups in the pogroms against immigrants who are an integral part of the working class, the EU’s fascist anti-immigration laws, and the ideological propaganda of bourgeois mass media in the direction of constructing a so-called fascist “socialautomation” against sections of working people mobilizing every time.
D. The Relations of Greece and EU: Continuous deterioration to the detriment of our country
When the Treaty-Agreement for the attachment of Greece to EEC had begun being implemented in 1962, professor Nikos Kitsikis (EDA-United Democratic Left) wrote: “today there might be not so many people knowing that the tempest of the Common Market will eradicate peasant households, sweep and disappear industries, crush small manufactures, afflict the middle layers in a deadly way, create an exhausting competition between Greek professionals and the foreign ones to which we are opening widely the gates, enslave our country under foreign capital with uncountable consequences, increase our trade balance’s huge deficit even more, render immigration an unstoppable bleeding for our work force and a flee in panic from our country, which will get poorer day by day, because it will produce less, since it will not be able to sustain agricultural and industrial antagonism, but will drown in foreign products.”
It is well-known that not only communists and people on the Left – who, for their larger part, were rallying around and expressing themselves politically through the lines of EDA – but also people from other political wings opposed the country’s attachment to the EEC, and this was because of the negative consequences on its financial-political course, as well as opposed its entrance to the EEC (later EU), which took form with the signature of the relevant agreement (28 May 1979) by Karamanlis Sr’s government (the country started participation in the EEC’s decisions from January 1981).
Today, 48 years after the attachment Agreement and 31 years after the agreement of Greece’s entrance to the EEC, the working class and the entire Greek people live the negative consequences of the aforementioned scientific predictions of Nikos Kitsikis as well as others.
It is obligatory to realize and be reminded that the decisions – damaging decisions for the class interests of the proletariat and peasantry as well as of the nation – for Greece’s attachment-entrance to the EU were absolutely the strategic choice of big local capital, the country’s dominant reactionary bourgeoisie.
From that time until a few years ago, the bourgeoisie’s political representatives cultivated a series of myths, such as 1) “equal participation in the EU,” 2) “permanent development,” 3) convergence of EU’s member-states’ economies,” 4) “permanent prosperity” – myths that have now fallen to pieces – while the ultra-reactionary “ethnarch” Karamanlis had the fathomless audacity to speak even about “the fortification of the country’s national sovereignty” during the entrance agreement signature ceremony.
In contrast to the local reactionary bourgeoisie and its representatives’ fictions, with the attachment of Greece to the EEC and above all its permanent entrance to it and then to EU-EMU, very significant changes determining decisively the country’s thereafter course until today took place and shaped a new situation:
The country’s imperialist dependence by EU monopolies is expanded, reinforced and strengthens, and gains an absolute, full and suffocating character,
The exploitation of wealth by foreign monopolies reaches uncontrollable dimensions,
Financial policies, and not only these, are determined exclusively by EU monopolies and serve their own interests, and are decided by Brussels and the imperialist Organizations Commission and ECB,
The economy of Greece has become in these recent years a supplement of the economy of the powerful imperialist countries of EU, mainly Germany and France, and the country has turned into an area of investing their capitals and a market for selling their products,
The difficulties and negative consequences for industry and agriculture are multiplying
A strong constraint of national sovereignty is taking place
In the 48-year period between the agreement for Greece’s attachment to EEC and today, the gap between imperialist EU and the Greece has been constantly deepening and expanding – instead of shrinking – and reached a tremendous degree at all levels – because of the action of the law of uneven economic development within the EU domain – while lately, besides the falling apart of the aforementioned myths, the myths of “protecting-securing the country from bankruptcy” and “decreasing the borrowing interest rate,” since the bankruptcy of Greek economy is now a concrete fact, and the interest rate, after the recourse of Papandreou’s government to the notorious “support mechanism” of EU-IMF is now at the usurious level of 5%. In the final analysis, the country resulted not only to the recent triple occupation of Commission-ECB-IMF, but also the placement of their representatives at Athens, thus erasing every trace of national sovereignty, since these – as representatives of European and national capital – are deciding for everything, including our country’s fortunes, simply giving orders to a puppet-government which deliberately brings forward the measures not only at the expense of the working class and the people, but also of the country.
After the country’s definitive entrance to the EEC, revolutionary communists and anti-imperialist – as well as other forces (“K”KE, Maoist revisionists, Trotskyists, more recently NAR, etc.) for demagogical reasons, as it has become evident by their attitude today – have correctly upheld not only their position for Greece leaving-exiting imperialist EU – which is expressed in the anti-imperialist slogan “Greece out of the EU” – but waged a struggle and promoted with every opportunity the necessity of the country’s exit from the “lions’ den” of big European monopolies.
Today, after the breakdown of the last great myth of an EU “saving” Greece through the “support mechanism (i.e. enslavement mechanism) and the “life-saving” usurious interest rate of 5%, the dramatic, absolutely negative and adverse developments to our country’s disadvantage – the result of the ever-more suffocating dependency by powerful EU monopolies becoming choking-strangulating by the new occupation of Commission-ECB-IMF – are bringing again, with a particular sharpness, to the centre of the political moment the anti-imperialist slogan-position of Communists and anti-imperialists “Greece out of the EU,” placing at the same moment to the agenda as immediate goals of the struggle of the working class and the people: Greece’s WITHDRAWAL of the EUROPEAN UNION, along with the exit from EMU-EURO, the refusal of recognizing the country’s debt and the unilateral entire debt suspension of payments. This is the proposal for struggle by the Movement for the Reconstruction of KKE 1918-55 in this crucial historic period, a period when there is neither a revolutionary condition nor a Leninist-Stalinist type revolutionary party. It is a political goal-proposal in complete opposition and in direct rupture with the big local capital’s current strategic choice of Greece STAYING in EMU-EURO-EU.
The central slogans of the struggle
The foreign and local capitals’ continuous attacks as they are included, among others, in the enslaving “Memorandum,” and promoted by the troika and the government, as well as the very serious consequences in the country’s course springing from its further stay within EMU-EURO-EU are determining the direction and content for the front of struggle of the working class and other working masses and oblige them to struggle on the one hand for the defense of their class interests and the regain of their demolished gains and on the other hand against the new occupation of Commission-ECB-IMF and not only for the country’s exit from EMU-EURO (through the refusal to recognize and pay the debt), but also the direct, here and now, WITHDRAWAL from the imperialist European Union, a proposal which is expressed at a short length in the apropos slogan Unilateral entire debt suspension of payments – Greece out of Euro-EMU-European Union, against, as already stated, the big local capital’s strategic choice of KEEPING Greece in EMU-EURO, but first of all staying within imperialist European Union.
If in the early 60’s the big capital’s strategic choice was the country’s entrance to the EEC, its current strategic choice now is the permanent and further STAYING in the “lions’ den” of big and powerful imperialist EU monopolies, the Greek people have been paying the consequences of which for years.
E. Greece out of EU-EMU-EURO
Today, we are experiencing the collapse of all the myths about the benefits of Greece’s inclusion into the EU, which have been cultivated for many years by the political representatives of the bourgeoisie, such as “equal participation in the EU,” “sustainable development,” “convergence of EU member-states’ economies,” and “permanent prosperity.” After the collapse of the final great myth of an EU-“savior” of Greece with the “support mechanism” and “saving” usurious interest rate of 5%, the increasingly suffocating dependence of the country by the powerful EU monopolies brings back with a particular sharpness in the center of affairs the anti-imperialist militant slogan “Greece out of the EU,” setting the agenda for the immediate political goal of the struggle of the working class and people of forcing Greece to withdraw HERE AND NOW from the EU together with the exit from the EMU and Euro.
In public reports and debates in the circles of the Left concerning Greece’s exit or not from Euro-EMU-EU, most political forces are essentially holding their tongues as far as the direct exit of the country from these imperialist institutions is concerned, accepting the current strategic choice of local capital keeping Greece within the EU-EMU-Euro. Thus, others view as the sole task-slogan of struggle of the working class the defence of their gains, and the resistance to the memorandum (reducing the struggle of the working class to sole “trade unionist” demands, and without a clear objective), disconnecting it from the anti-imperialist struggle against the EU, postponing the withdrawal of Greece from the EU from the here and now either to the distant prospect of “People Power, People’s Economy” (according to “K”KE), or a vague “socialism” of the various extra-parliamentary organizations of the Left (which in both cases remain under capitalism), while others criticize the position for immediate withdrawal from the EU as a “nationalist isolationist position”, positing the Trotskyist counter-argument and position of the complete dissolution of the EU within the framework of the “Pan-European revolution.” These slogans essentially mean a resignation from the anti-imperialist struggle in the here and now, and the perpetuation of imperialist dependence of the country. On the other hand there are forces such as SYN/SYRIZA sowing illusions about transforming EU into an institution that supports peoples’ interests, believing in a capitalism with a “human face.” In the same direction of the resignation from anti-imperialist struggle is the regurgitation on the part of the left of the scare-talk capitalism and its lackeys are projecting, in terms of the “huge cost” for the “motherland” leaving the EU. In fact, the magnitude of the cost of Greece staying in the EU is incomparably greater for the working class, the people and the nation, than leaving it. The withdrawal from the EU is the first step and prerequisite for the relaxation of imperialist dependence, namely the extent to which the new (still capitalist of course) Greece, will be relieved of all known commitments-dependencies arising from the inclusion in the EU (including the determination of economic policy, etc.) as well as the orders and directives imposed by Brussels and the obligation to apply the directives of imperialist EU institutions that express and defend the class interests of powerful Western-European monopolies.
F. Unilateral refusal to pay the entire debt
The existence of the fact of the country’s financial bankruptcy has been questioned by all the bourgeois forces, as well as organizations (parliamentary or otherwise) with reference to the Left. In this context, some forces are talking about renegotiating the debt, which essentially means new loans, again with usurious terms, and extension of the debt’s repayment time schedule, as well as the supervision by the imperialist institutions. Other forces completely reject the refusal to pay the debt, again postponing this immediate need to the “change” in a future “anti-capitalism.”
The refusal of recognizing, and the unilateral suspension of paying the entire debt (in the context of the bankruptcy of the Greek economy), – in direct connection with the withdrawal, HERE AND NOW, of Greece from the EU-EMU-Euro – and the struggle proposal of the Movement for the Reorganization of the Communist Party of Greece 1918-55” for this crucial historical period (a period when neither a revolutionary situation nor the revolutionary party of the working class exists) means the refusal on the part of the working class and the people to pay for the crisis and the looting of public wealth, on which the capital and the government are justifying the imposition of the most extreme anti-worker measures and are asking people to make “shared sacrifices for the motherland” with the rich, as if it were the first who created the crisis, robbed the social security funds and robbed the public wealth.
In order to justify their attitude, the forces that refuse to propose the suspension of payments – objectively in line with the government and all bourgeois political forces that do not pose such a question as well – claim that this slogan is either supposedly directed to the Government, or is a “positive proposal” within the system, which helps to address the crisis for the benefit of the system. However, the claim for the unilateral suspension of payments is directed solely to the working class and all the toiling masses, putting very clearly the need for immediate, daily and increasing political action against the misery the capitalist system is promising. We maintain that strikes, whose sole aim is defending the workers’ gains and which do not have a clear target and prospect for success, are only “some” while we are living in the historic times of a systemic crisis of capital and its institutions (banks, etc.), when the clear issue of this system’s sustainability or the disappearance of workers is set on the agenda.
The confinement of the working class’s struggle to strictly trade-unionist demands, as this is projected by the social democrats (“K”KE-SYN) as well as the organizations of the extraparliamentary Left (KOE-NAR-ANTARSYA-KKE (m-l)-M-L KKE, etc.),3 even as “having as a spearhead the demands of struggle for the overthrow of the enslaving memorandum of the government-EU-IMF” (“Laikos Dromos,” 3/7/2010, p. 13), is at first sentencing the working class’s struggle to a defensive position, demobilizes and paralyzes it, and second – and more important – disconnects this necessary and of vital importance struggle of the working class for the defense of its class interests from the struggle against imperialist dependence by the EU – a dependence which has caused directly a series of the country’s economic problems, which are impossible to become understood to the required degree by the workers and the people without the struggle against EU, despite the breakdown of the myths attached to the EU.
The social democratic leaders of SYN have abandoned the anti-imperialist position-slogan “Greece out of the EU” and are in favour of the country staying within EU, while those of “K”KE, who are sometimes invoking the slogan phenomenally-demagoguely in order to deceive the working people, have essentially abandoned it as well, because firstly, they are also in favour of Greece staying inside EU, as A. Papariga recently confessed in an answer of hers to a relevant question that the exit of Greece from the EU at this moment “is not a solution in itself”4, and therefore they are in favour of Greece staying in the EU, and secondly, they, along with Maoist revisionist KKE (m-l) and M-L KKE5 are transferring and relegating Greece’s exit from the EU to – as far as “K”KE is concerned – the Greek calends, i.e. the “Doomsday” of so-called “people’s power” – “people’s economy)6, and to – as far as the Maoists are concerned – their “socialism” – both of which remain in the confines of capitalism.
Despite all these, the social democratic “K”KE and the Maoist revisionists of KKE (m-l)/ M-L KKE attempted unsuccessfully to construct a “Left” disguise, to appear “more on the Left” by those (NAR, “Left Economists”) who only suggest an “exit from EMU-EURO,” and criticizing them, while at the same time, they are the ones who do not even suggest an “exit from EMU-EURO,” even as a “first reformist step,” and even more they do not suggest the here and now exit of Greece from imperialist EU, and therefore, since they do not do so, it is obvious that they are silently but fully and faithfully supporting the local capital’s current strategic choice of KEEPING Greece inside EMU-EURO-EU.
The adoption of unilateral suspension and refusal to pay the debt, namely the refusal of the working class and the people to recognize and pay the debt may, as a slogan of struggle, mobilize broad segments of society at the risk of poverty, because on the one hand the debt is not their creation, but of the reactionary bourgeoisie, and on the other hand, it is in large part the product of usurious interest rates. The extent to which this slogan can be translated into everyday multiform action will show the way the movement on its part could “blackmail” and press (any) government to stop donating cash to save banks and borrowing at usurious interest rates, which could save a lot of money for wages and pensions. The escalation of the struggle around the request for the unilateral suspension of payments, always in a direct connection to the exit, here and now, of the country from the EU-EMU-Euro is the only realistic way to implement the slogan “capitalists pay for their crisis,” i.e. the banks and industrialists and those who rip off the public wealth.
G. Struggle for the defence of people’s rights to work, social security, democratic freedoms and the re-conquest of demolished gains
The immediate objective of the struggle of the working class and of the broad working masses, in this very difficult period, is the defense of class interests at all levels to defend the rights and gains that have not been affected by the hurricane of Memorandum and the re-conquest of the demolished gains earned in bloody fights over a century. More specifically, main objectives of the struggle must be:
Struggle for the prohibition of lay-offs and re-emloyment of all those who have been sacked
Public, free and universal health care and social security
Rehabilitation of the 13th and 14th pension to all pensioners and the 13th and 14th wage for workers in public services
Increased and unconditional benefits for all unemployed people for the total time of unemployment
Respect for collective bargaining agreements and prohibition of any blackmailing “individual and business bargaining agreements”
Reduction in indirect taxes that affect only the broad masses, especially in basic goods
Defence of the public and free character of the university and all education
Stop the ongoing privatization of public property and the selling out of social services
Business Taxation from 20-25% to 35-40%
Hit evasion and contribution evasion of the capitalists, without gracious closing arrangements
Drastic reduction of expenditures on military equipment and increase of the budget for education and health
Full taxation of the property (not just real estate) of the church, which is not its own anyway
Defence of the university sanctuary as the highest democratic and people’s right
Unconditional legalization of all immigrants living and working in the country
Resistance to State Terrorism
H. The unity of the labour-popular movement is the prerequisite for victory
The battle against the Memorandum and in general against the onslaught of capital requires the maximum mobilization of the forces of the working class and of the broad working masses in order to create the conditions for the overthrow.
The working class and the sum of working people failed in the previous period to repel the attacks of foreign and local capital (attacks attempting to be consolidated for several years), as these were launched by the Troika and the government and were reflected in the Memorandum. This is due to the treacherous line of class collaboration by the sold-out reformist workers’ patrons of GSEE-ADEDY and their respective leadership factions: PASKE-DAKE-PAME-AUTONOMI PAREMVASI.7 On the one hand, the pro-employer unionism of GSEE-ADEDY (with the leadership of PASKE, the support of DAKE and the tolerance of PAME-AP), with the declaration of one-day (!) strikes only for the eyes of the world, which strikes they do not even care to organize, propagandize in elemental level, leading inevitably to their ever-decreasing massiveness and participation at the moment when the burst of mobilizations was necessary (May-June 2010). On the other hand, the consistently divisive tactics of the reformists of PAME, who, with their separate demonstrations and gatherings, the paternalistic and propertarian attitude within unions (even reaching the establishment of separate unions that are controlled purely by their forces (!), even breaking existing unions on the grounds that are they are “sold out” because they do not follow PAME), and the submission of all mobilizations to their narrow electoral designs, have been permanently undermining the unity and massiveness of mobilizations, rendering them ineffective.
The effective resistance to the measures being imposed consistently through the Memorandum and in accordance with the appetites of international and local capital, requires a broad and united front that will understand that true class action does not mean separate gatherings under the guise of greater militancy, but, on the contrary, common, collective and joint action in the workplaces, the creation of new grassroots unions and reorganization of existing ones, the revival the student unions, the development of popular resistances on the neighbourhood level, and generally whatever contributes to the unity of the workers’-people’s movement and the militant response from the base the movement, independently of the reformist patrons
Furthermore, in the context of the struggle for the unity of the working class and against the goals of capitalists and workers’ patrons to divide the forces of workers, the labour movement must fight for the immediate, equal and unconditional integration of the immigrants (with or without “papers”) and the unemployed in trade unions, and hence the movement, which will be a step to increasing the massive character and making effective the action of the movement.
The example of the unity of French workers’ protests shows the way for the development of the labour-popular movement’s mass resistance. The success of the protests by French workers – in terms of massiveness and militancy – against Sarkozy’s anti-social security law, protests which paralyzed France for days, is due to the fact that in a country with 4 (!) Workers’ Confederations (and despite their ideological and political differences), the unity of the whole class, the immigrants, the unemployed, the youth is considered to be established and is put into practice by coordinating the protests, without any political or trade union force to even think of committing the class betrayal of division, which automatically means the weakening of class struggle.
The proposal of the Movement for the Reorganization of the Communist Party of Greece 1918-55 is in direct opposition and rupture with the big local capital’s strategic choice of KEEPING Greece inside EMU-EURO-EU, as it is promoted in an auspicious moment and favourable condition, both in relation to the interior and the European context. It is a proposal, and an overripe demand for promotion when the myths of imperialist Europe and local capitalism are becoming bankrupt daily in front of the wrathful eyes of the Greek people; the only proposal expressing popular and national interests, and most importantly, it is contributing to the development of an anti-imperialist consciousness for the broad popular masses and is suitable to cause the development of a large, broad, gigantic anti-imperialist movement – this is exactly what big local capital as well as EU monopolies fear –, suitable for the shifting of the necessary and requirement balance of power for the preparation of the future terminal release of the country for imperialist bondage, opening the way of revolutionary perspective, in combination with the fermentation of relevant revolutionary slogans in each phase of the struggle, in the direction of anti-imperialist-proletarian revolution and socialism-communism.
1 Aleka Papariga – “K”KE: “they are bringing back the scarecrow of bankruptcy,” “Rizospastis” 23/4/2010, p. 6, Alexis Tsipras – SYN: “nice fable about the dragon of bankruptcy,” “Eleftherotypia” 14/3/2010,
2 S. Zorbalas: “Marxism and Our Age,” p. 41, Athens 1976. Also look N. Kyritsis, “Neos Kosmos,” 9/1971, pp. 120-21, Th. Zachos, “Neos Kosmos,” 11/1972, pp. 40-41, etc. As for D. Koutsoumpas in the spirit of E.David (1899), Kautsky (1901), Tscheprakow (1969), Farakos (1974), he rejects-denies both relative and absolute immiseration, despite being economic laws, replacing them with the version of “tendency”: “a tendency of absolute and relative immiseration” (“R,” 25/4/2010, p. 4).
3 KOE: Communist Organization of Greece. Maoists co-operating with SYN in SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left). KKE (m-l) (Communist Party of Greece (marxist-leninist) and M-L KKE (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Greece) are Maoists as well. NAR: New Left Current, split of KKE from 1989. ANTARSYA: Anticapitalist Left Co-operation for the Overthrow: a coalition of organizations of the extraparliamentary left.
4 “Rizospastis,” 5/3/2010, p. 10
5 “Laikos Dromos,”, newspaper of M-LKKE, 5/6/2010, pp. 12-13
6 “K”KE: “disconnection from the EU along with people’s power,” (“Rizospastis” 27/6/2010, p. 11)
7 GSEE: General Confederation of Greek Workers. ADEDY: Civil Servants’ Confederation. PASKE (All-Greece Militant Syndicalist Movement): the syndicalist wing of PASOK. DAKE: Independent Democratic Workers’ Movement. The syndicalist wing of Nea Dimokratia. PAME (All-Workers Militant Front): the syndicalist wing of “K”KE. AP (Autonomi Paremvasi, Autonomous Intervention): the syndicalist wing of SYN.
The Political Committee of the “Movement for the Reorganisation of the Communist Party of Greece 1918-55”
PO Box 3689, 102 10 Athens
Tel: +30 2108621543