In the name of the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, I extend our cordial greetings to You and I would like to express special recognition to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for organization of such an important meeting as the 20th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ parties.
I would like to use this opportunity to also congratulate brotherly Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on its jubilee – 100 years since its foundation!
Communist Party of Greece is one of the parties that managed to preserve its identity and continuity in spite of walking on turbulent and bloody path in the last ten decades. Second world war, Nazi occupation, civil war, dictatorship, bans, ups and down marked the turbulent history of KKE, but also showed that in spite of everything, even in the most difficult moments the parties with the clear communist line can exit all the historical labyrinths even stronger, carrying high the flag of struggle for socialism / communism.
Today’s situation in Balkans, after the geopolitical catastrophe caused by perestroika, doesn’t give great hopes to working class and broad population strata.
The process of privatization of the most important economic entities is almost completely finished in Serbia. Numerous factories have been privatized, as well agricultural lands and sources of drinking water. Working class met these processes completely unprepared, lamented by false promises from politicians and corrupt trade union leaders, it even asked for a faster privatization during many strikes. What occurred as a consequence of such retrograde processes is more than tragic. Dozens of suicides of fired workers, increasing number of poor and general apathy. Even 60 % of population, including the employed and the pensioners, don’t have monthly income greater than 247 Euros. Rate of poverty is growing day by day.
A quarter of the population of Serbia live in relative poverty with a monthly income of just over 100 Euro. Poverty in Serbia is measured not through the European concept of relative poverty which means they have an income below the level of 60 percent of the national average but through absolute poverty which is defined through the consumer basket which includes the minimum of food needed for survival. Compared to European Union member states and Turkey, Serbia ranks first in terms of relative poverty, in 2016 7.3 percent of the population of Serbia had a monthly income of less than 100 Euro with 1-1.5 percent of the population living in extreme poverty.
Unemployment is issue is very important in Serbia. For a long time unemployment rate is on a high level. The biggest problem is unempolyment of young people aged between 15 and 24 and it ammounts to nearly 35%. Serbia has got a good quality working force but there is great problem regarding its employment. It is a problem with consequences for efficiency of economic system. Also, it burdens social system as well. One of the big problems which are caused by unemployment is emigration of all kind of educated people. Majority of people who emigrate decide on Western Europe countries. That way, the system is losing not only resources invested in education of people but also stay losing highly educated people.
When we talk about the situation in Serbia, one of the questions about which we talked frequently and which we will also mention today is the question of Kosovo and Metochy. Talking about this difficult question, we won’t use phrases about national interests, which the bourgeoisie in power uses. We know that during bloody wars in Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, people have been incited to fight with each other, while at the same time the bourgeoisie which has risen from the dead, gained enormous profits on blood of its own people. While the people of former Yugoslavia sunk into the bloody war, the national bourgeoisies cooperated between each other and emerged from the war as war profiteers and as a ruling political elite.
Today's even among communists, there are split opinions and interpretations when it comes to Kosovo and Metochy. There are the ones that supported bombing of FR Yugoslavia considering that NATO played a progressive role regarding the aggression, while they are forgetting that advocating for the rights of Albanian population in Kosovo and Metochy was just a pretext, while the formal reason for bombing was the refusal of FR Yugoslavia to sign the Rambouillet ultimatum which demanded unlimited freedom of movement of NATO troops around the country, free use of the infrastructure and immunity from criminal persecution. Aggression on FR Yugoslavia in 1999 violated the UN Charter as well as numerous international legal documents, and not only that; NATO occupied the part of Serbia which was a sovereign until that time, it established a criminal regime and created the greatest military base in Europe.
New Communist Party of Yugoslavia doesn’t rule out the right of the Albanian people to live freely in Kosovo and Metochy, but we reject their instrumentalization and using them in imperialist frameworks.
We need to criticize, but to take self-criticism as well. The world communist movement has been for almost three decades in a profound ideological, organizational and material crisis. We are facing the situation of many communist parties which crossed the boarder lines of revisionism and the opportunism. They have rejected class-struggle and took the other way of conducting so called social dialogue with the governing class. Workers marches and strikes are replaced with comfortable chairs of the representatives and offices. However “Despite any difficulties and temporary failures or counterrevlutionary waves – final victory of proletariat is inevitable“ ( V. I. Lenin) since „workers will inevitably on the one wonderful day take political power in their hands“ (Karl Marx). And this is possible to be done only with permanent, class-aware struggle. Without the fight, there is no victory. On the last battlefield of the history two death enemies remained: the capitalism and the mankind.
With the hope that these meetings will continue to contribute of strengthening the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist principle's in our joint action, as well as the activities of the political parties individually, both large and small, and those that are in power and those in the underground, we continue on the fight for the world social justice and progress for world socialism / communism.