4th IMCWP, Opening Speech by the Communist Party of Greece

6/21/02 11:41 AM
  • Greece, Communist Party of Greece 4th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

CP of Greece, Contribution to the Athens Meeting 21J2002

by Aleka Paparigha
(Unofficial Translation)

�The International Situation after September 11, 2001�

Dear Comrades,

On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of Greece, I address to you a warm and comradely greeting
at this latest international meeting of our parties hosted
by the CPG here in Athens and welcome your response and

Our meeting is taking place after the events of 11th
September 2001 in New York and at the Pentagon. We have
already entered a new and critical period, the main feature
of which is the overt aggressiveness of imperialism, which
on the pretext of confronting terrorism is being turned
against all peoples and their mass movements that put forth
resistance to the nightmare of the new imperialist world
order. This aggressiveness is likewise turned against the
demand for a different world order that would safeguard
peace, deal with the peoples on an equal footing, respect
their sovereign rights and consolidate their democratic
liberties and gains.

Our meeting here is yet one more in a series of gatherings
and mobilizations - important ones in our opinion - which
have been held in the recent period, such as: the meeting
of Communist and Workers' Parties of the Southern and
Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Gulf, hosted by
the CPG and the Meetings of the Communist Parties of the
Arab countries, the meeting of Communist Parties that was
held in Montevideo, which constituted a first, very
positive effort to jointly deal with issues related to the
Forum of Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, the meeting of the Sao
Paulo Forum in Cuba, the meeting concerning the struggle of
the Colombian people held in Mexico City, the meeting of
Solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people that
was hosted by the AKEL Party, the mass mobilizations
organized against the policies of US imperialism on all
continents, the mobilizations against the meetings of the
IMF, World Bank and WTO as well as the huge mobilizations
of the working people of Europe against the European Union
of capital, militarism, the Schengen Agreement and the
forces of repression.

The huge militant gatherings and demonstrations which were
held on the May Day with slogans against the imperialist
war, against the attacks by capital on the workers' rights
and gains, the demand for a peaceful world with social

In our view, the meetings and mobilizations taking place
are giving rise to the need for a yet more exhaustive
debate amongst Communist and Workers' Parties regarding the
issues we are facing and the quest for the most common
possible framework of reference to mark our position
vis-a-vis both older and more recent problems that have
emerged since 11th September 2001.

We would dwell, in brief, on certain characteristics of
today's period:

The violation of fundamental rights and liberties

In the USA, the Bush Administration has proceeded with
extraordinary measures which trample on even the most
rudimentary rights and freedoms. Evoking the need to
confront terrorism with the so-called �patriotic law�,
authorities may now arrest suspects and hold them in
custody for an indefinite period of time without their
being able to communicate with lawyers, may place them in
exile or solitary confinement, may monitor their
correspondence and communications over the telephone and
Internet and may search their homes without a search
warrant. It is estimated that today there are over 1400
people being subjected to this treatment. The CIA is now
permitted to assassinate foreign leaders or other
individuals deemed to be dangerous to US interests.

In the EU: Corresponding measures to limit individual
rights and liberties have been taken in the EU as well,
with the coordination of police and judicial authorities,
the establishing the single European extradition warrant
for all EU countries, the collaboration of EU and US
security services and judicial authorities with the
extradition of suspects to the USA, the reinforcing of
measures of repression and the surveillance of �suspects�
in all EU member states, along with the setting up of a
European army as a rapid intervention force to serve the
interests of European capital.

In the Arab states: Measures of repression have been
similarly intensified and the governments of the Arab
countries have signed the Arab Convention for the
Suppression of Terrorism.

In India as well the Vajpayee government has proceeded with
the enactment of the so-called P.O.T.O. - The Prevention of
Terrorism Ordinance.

Corresponding measures have been instituted in the Russian
Federation lately on the pretext of confronting not only
terrorism but also �extremism�. Similar measures have been
instituted in most other countries as well.

Military interventions and the threat to use nuclear
weapons everywhere

The first intervention of US imperialism following the
Sept. 11 attacks was made, with the help of Great Britain,
on October 7, 2001 against the people of Afghanistan.
President Bush listed the countries that constitute the
so-called �Axis of Evil� and are directly targeted by him,
while with the new nuclear doctrine he announced, the
missiles will be aimed at countries such as Russia and the
P.R. of China. Countries that do not have nuclear arms but
which challenge US interests, such as Iraq, Iran or even
Cuba, could likewise be subject to nuclear strikes. At the
NATO Summit of the Ministers of Defence in Brussels,
Rumsfeld stated that complete and fully verified evidence
doesn not constitute a prerequisite military action to be
undertaken against a state which has been characterized by
the USA as being �suspect�.

The situation in Palestine is particularly acute, with the
attacks by the Israeli army continuing in the occupied West
Bank and the self-administered Palestinian areas. The
Israelis have made many arrests, including those of leading
cadres of the Palestine liberation movement. They are
confined in wretched conditions, and public opinion must be
more actively mobilized to protest these conditions and to
demand their release.

Likewise acute is the situation prevailing between India
and Pakistan over the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, in an
area which is particularly sensitive, also due to the
imperialist intervention in Afghanistan, providing yet
another excuse for a more active intervention of the USA in
the region.

We would take this opportunity to note the declarations
against Iran made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Israel, Mr. Peres, during his visit to India, and his
invitation to the Indian government to associate India with
NATO, all of which seems to suggest broader plans that are
extremely dangerous for the peoples and for peace in the


During this period the US is making intense preparations to
intervene in Iraq, while it is also beefing up its presence
in Georgia and other Central Asian countries as well as in
the Philippines.

Along with the EU, the US welcomed the unsuccessful coup d'
etat against President Chavez of Venezuela and has in every
way strengthened the reactionary forces in Colombia. It
seems that they are moving into a new phase of
implementation of the �Colombia Plan�, the objective of
which is to wipe out the guerrilla forces and to crush the
liberation movement.

NATO: Enlargement - Cooperation with Russia. The activation
of Article 5 of NATO for the first time since it was
established means that all member countries are now in a
state of war, with the enemy defined by the general term
�terrorism� and with nearly all the countries in the world
cooperating to face it. The US, however, reserves for
itself the exclusive right to determine the countries
against which its new murderous attacks will be launched,
and besides the �Axis of Evil� there are another 60
countries on the list.

The new and dangerous relationship between Russia and NATO
has proceeded in this recent period, while the fresh
enlargement to be made during the NATO meeting to be held
in Prague in November 2002 is under preparation.
In essence we shall have NATO re-established in the role of
imperialism's world policeman, the global executioner of
the world's peoples, with the official backing of its
member states and tolerated by many others.

Likewise under way is the establishment and operation of
the European Union Army, which will constitute the EU
military interventionist force to protect its interests and
will have close links and cooperation with NATO and its
rapid intervention forces.


Intensity of anti-communism

In the conditions prevailing today, anti-communism and the
persecution of communists have intensified, while the
numerous obstacles placed in their way hinder the activity
of Communist Parties. Lithuania is a typical example, where
the CCL remains banned. It has published several
underground issues of its newspaper �TIESA� (�Truth�).
Nikolas Burakiavichius, First Secretary of the CC of the
CCL and university professor has been sentenced to twelve
years' imprisonment at forced labour on trumped-up charges.
The Communist Party has also been banned in Latvia, where
communists, former members of the CC, of the Soviets of
workers' collectives and of organizations of veterans of
the anti-fascist struggle may not stand as candidates for
parliamentary or even municipal elections, nor may they
work in state bodies or services.

In Slovakia there is, moreover, new legislation which
criminalizes Communist Party activity and prohibits any
reference being made to anything whatsoever associated with
communism and its ideology and policies.
In the Russian Federation the Communist Revolutionary Party
of Russia has been banned because the word �revolutionary�
forms a part of its title. Similar phenomena can be
observed in other countries where the Communist Parties are
under ground and communists suffer persecution and
imprisonment. We believe that an extremely broad campaign
should be carried out against these moves and that we
should express our solidarity with our sorely - tried
comrades in whichever way is most suitable for each of us.

Regarding the debate about the �rise of the extreme right�
We should also reflect on the tactics of imperialism,
especially those of the bourgeois parties, in setting new
obstacles in the peoples' consciousness by evoking the
danger of the extreme right and neo-fascism.
Extreme right and racist views do not arise within the
peoples as a response to whatever consequences there may be
of the migratory wave. They constitute an inherent part of
the bourgeois political system and sometimes even a
fabrication of said system, intended to limit radicalism
and to entrap the peoples in false dilemmas. In our
opinion, the French experience is instructive. The front
against extreme right -wing and fascist-type views, racism
and chauvinism can be effectively formed only by the
anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly movement that is developing
with a line of cooperation and solidarity with the workers'
communist movement.

The Communist Parties, the democratic, anti-imperialist,
anti-monopoly movement and the movements against capitalist

Certain issues which are of concern to us:

The war on terrorism. It is obvious that the legislative
framework being prepared will make it very easy for any
resistance movement that struggles against capitalist
globalization to be characterized as �terrorist�, along
with anti-imperialist movements struggling against
imperialist intervention, wars and NATO, the growing
movements against the anti-popular, reactionary policies of
the EU and any social and national liberation movements.

We believe that we must fight views that emanate mainly
from the propaganda headquarters of imperialist centers,
which say that terrorist acts such as that of September 11
are a response from the poor and exploited peoples to
imperialist oppression and to the predatory exploitation of
the rest of the world. Such views constitute the other
aspect of the repressive measures aimed against the
movements and peoples that resist and fight the imperialist
world order. They are a coordinated attempt to slander
those movements.

No, the struggle of the peoples and movements for social
liberation and national liberation have no relation to
terrorist methods. In no case whatsoever do we accept that
the popular struggle constitutes terrorism.
Mobilization and the machinery of repression.
Measures of repression and persecution have been
strengthened in our country, where communists are taking a
vanguard role in the broad, multiform movement that is
growing to get NATO out of the Balkans and to prevent it
from expanding to new countries and to stop any
participation of the Greek government in imperialist
adventures along with the deployment of troops abroad. This
struggle is confronted by state repression and
criminalization. No day passes without an activist being
brought to trial.
The machinery of repression, as shown by developments in a
number of other mobilizations such as those in Seattle,
Goteborg and Genoa, requires our special attention and
vigilance in dealing with them and in avoiding
provocations. The experience in Greece shows that it is
possible to form a broader peoples' movement in the
struggle against state repression.


The internationalization of the struggle.
We place great importance on the internationalization of
the struggle and on the mass participation in and support
of mobilizations against capitalist internationalization,
or globalization as it is usually called, with the huge
mobilizations like that of Genoa and those against EU
Summits, such as that in Barcelona, now in Seville and
tomorrow in Copenhagen, culminating in those already being
prepared here in Greece, with the forming of the movement
�Thessaloniki Action 2003�, for the EU Summit to be held in
June 2003 in Thessaloniki.

Our efforts to help with the exchange of experience by
organizing meetings of communist and workers' parties are
headed in the same direction, as are our support for and
contribution to the holding of meetings of struggling
anti-imperialist forces to upgrade coordination and joint

We know of the attempts made to exclude parties and
especially communist parties from some meetings and
mobilizations, and to impose conditions on communists to
water down their fight against capitalism. There are also
attempts to replace references to imperialism and the
imperialist system with references to �globalization� based
on a non-class understanding, and with references to the
monopoly and hegemony of the USA, a position which
undermines or does not recognize that the other imperialist
forces and interstate organizations are also responsible.
Those attempts also include the adoption of a series of
positions and demands which in fact try to create a �more
human face� for this inhumane exploitive system.
For all those issues mentioned above there is a need for an
intense enlightenment of the people and an ideological
front so that the movement against the international
capitalist organizations, against the new world order, will
be well - aimed and effective, in order not to be
manipulated, but to be open for class oriented movements
and for the organized anti-war struggle.

The need for coordination is greater than ever

Under the present conditions of further
internationalization of our struggle, it is natural for the
issues of alliances and coordination of our forces to
acquire particular significance. It has already become
clear during our previous meetings that important
experience has been accumulated from the policy of
alliances implemented by our parties. These alliances
regard the struggle waged by the parties in various
countries, spearheaded by the fight against the monopolies
and the New World Order and the struggle for democratic
liberties, which is particularly tough in a number of
countries. Of course, the policy of alliances is
implemented under conditions that vary from country to
country, just as there are differences regarding the
direction in which these alliances move, depending on the
specific conditions in which each party operates. Our
experience to date shows that alliances are not limited to
parties alone, but that there are also types of alliances
formed with movements as well. It seems that the alliances
which give impetus to and contribute to the growth of
action movements and struggles in specific countries where
our parties are active are also very important. As things
progress, the possibility of alliances being formed on the
political level as well will become clear on the basis of
these struggles.

In any case, as regards the issues of alliances and
cooperation, quite a few parties have from time to time
mentioned the need for Communist Parties to maintain their
independence within these alliances and have expressed a
number of concerns as to how attempts are made within these
alliances for Communist Parties to become diffused and lose
their identity. From this point of view we believe that on
the international level as well the issue of Communist
Parties maintaining a distinct presence is extremely

In our opinion each party's policy of alliances and
cooperation and the need to maintain the independence of
its role do not conflict but rather are mutually
supportive. The distinct presence and coordination of the
CP's in turn strengthen those movements.

Proposals for better cooperation

The question of the distinct presence of Communist and
Workers' Parties must be highlighted, as it is not always
easy to move from the national to the worldwide level for
joint action, as regards the coordination and the common
action both of our parties and of the broader Democratic
Anti-monopoly, Anti-imperialist Patriotic forces.

From the experience accumulated so far, including the most
recent, we would note the concerns and thoughts that have
arisen as to the need for meetings to be held on the
regional and continental levels as well as by each grouping
of movements.

We could work in this direction more actively and
collectively, elaborating proposals aimed at seeking:

to hold regional meetings of Communist and Workers'
Parties, during which more specific issues would be
to organize meetings of our parties in connection with
large international events, such as that held in Montevideo
before the Porto Alegre Forum
to have broader meetings of anti- imperialist, anti-
monopoly forces per region

With a view to this, the need to develop an active policy
of solidarity and support amongst CPs but also amongst
peoples' parties in general becomes clear. This would
include support for initiatives taken by various CPs or
movements, such as, for example, that being undertaken by
the CP of Bohemia-Moravia in Prague against the enlargement
of NATO, as well as others taken by other movements with
which we must, indeed, develop our ties, such as those
movements that demonstrate against capitalist

There are also a number of proposals aimed at facilitating
coordination and joint action, which could be discussed
under the second topic of the meeting.

In our opinion, issues such as this could be taken up
during our meeting but also during our bilateral contacts
so as to assess the possibility or usefulness and means to
implement these proposals. Similar proposals have been put
forward for a fund to be set up in order to aid joint and
other actions.

We have had positive experience from previous regional
meetings as regards the implementation of a number of
proposals that had been made for certain tools to be found
to help us to be rapidly informed and to aid our
coordination. There the idea of establishing a rapid
briefing centre arose. Our party tried to respond to this
and so today SOLID - NET is a reality and in the time that
it has been operating seems to be meeting the needs we had
wanted to by setting up the website. SOLID - NET along with
RED - NET, our US comrades' site, are today able to provide
information on the basic CP documents as well as
fundamental concerns and thoughts.

In addition, the rapid information centre is operating,
with a number of announcements, denunciations, appeals for
solidarity and assessments made by parties with regard to
arrests and other problems, which, as soon as they reach
SOLID - NET, are forwarded on by e-mail to all parties
having an e-mail address and by fax to those that do not.
This helps communist parties to be informed more quickly
and to respond to pleas for solidarity to be expressed to
parties or movements facing difficulties - in other words,
it improves our reflexes.

In addition to these efforts, an Information Bulletin is
put out containing material from the meetings of our
parties in English, Russian and Spanish, thus addressing a
need for information in a way that is proceeding

In the conditions of imperialist aggressiveness prevailing
today, we consider that our efforts to deal with problems
jointly should be strengthened, along with the coordination
and boosting of our common action.

To summarize:

It is, in our opinion, urgent for us to develop our
interventions in a more coordinated way with regard to a
number of issues, such as:
in condemning imperialist wars and interventions on the
pretext of confronting terrorism
in revealing and dealing with state terrorism and
repressive laws that are, in essence, being applied against
the peoples and movements that resist and fight back
against the new world order
in supporting, in particular, the struggle being waged for
basic democratic rights and liberties in a number of
countries where the situation is particularly acute
in reinforcing our struggle against the establishing of a
new International Law that would reflect the justice of the
more powerful
in safeguarding the principles of non- intervention in the
internal affairs of independent, sovereign states and of
respect for the territorial integrity and independence of
in safeguarding the right of the peoples to choose in a
sovereign way their own path of governance development and
to determine their own future.

We must strengthen our opposition to NATO and to the
consequences of its aggressive policy in the region, as
well as to every attempt made to enlarge it eastwards and
southwards (the Mediterranean).

We must oppose the creation of rapid intervention forces
and of a separate European Union army.

We must oppose the FTAA-ALCA, the Colombia Plan, the plans
of USA and EU to subjugate the economies of the Arab
countries (Magreb - Masrek).

We must undertake active initiatives to coordinate our
action, to demystify �globalization�, taking into
consideration the new and growing movements against the
policies of imperialist governments and multinational
enterprises. We must intensify our coordination and our
struggle against the policies and decisions of the G - 8,
the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary
Fund and the World Bank, which express the predominance of
the imperialists and monopoly capital, which are taking aim
at the working people's rights and at countries and peoples
that stand against their plans.

We must develop a broad movement to safeguard the working
peoples' gains and the right to health and security for
everyone, and to deal with flexible forms of employment and
with joblessness. We must boost our coordination and
cooperation with the class organizations of working people
who resist and fight back against the offensive of capital.

There are great possibilities to develop coordination with
our parties' Communist Youth organizations and with the
youth movement for its living conditions, education and a
secure future, and with the women's movement to defend
their gains and secure their rights, to safeguard peace and
condemn imperialist wars.

Respecting each party's independence, our party is
steadfastly and persistently promoting and supporting every
effort that contributes to the unity, coordination and
joint action of the Communist movement, to every initiative
aimed at developing a militant, broad and mass
anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly movement against the
aggressiveness and barbarity of imperialism, to confront
its policies and to create the prerequisites for the
peaceful development of the peoples, social justice and