6th IMCWP, Opening Speech by Communist Party of Greece

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • Greece, Communist Party of Greece 6th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October 2004, Contribution of CP of
From: SolidNet, Monday, October 18, 2004
http://www.kke.gr , mailto:cpg@int.kke.gr

International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties,
Resistance to imperialist aggressiveness. Fronts of
struggle and alternatives
Athens, 8-10 October 2004

by Aleka Paparigha, General Secretary of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE)

We would like to welcome you once again to Athens and to
thank you for being here. We are certain that reaching at
this meeting, we have all acquired greater experience from
our efforts and struggles in our own countries. We are
certainly richer as a result of our participation in
international and regional activities. We are better able
to observe and evaluate the course of the peoples' movement
against imperialist aggressiveness, to see what problems
exist, and where we should be focusing our attention.

Our Party estimates that the peoples' opposition to
imperialist aggressiveness, which entered into a new phase
after 11th September 2001 on the pretext of the terrorist
attack against the US, continues and is growing stronger.
It is important that movements have appeared and are
developing, hotspots of resistance by the peoples and by
progressive radical forces which, through the demands and
goals of their struggles touch the entire spectrum of
imperialist policy by focusing on a number of crucial
problems such as: unemployment and poverty, imperialist
wars and interventions, profitability and the profiteering
nature of capital. They project goals against
militarization, against repressive measures, violence and
racism, in favour of democratic freedoms and civil rights,
and against the policy of persecuting those who fight
against the new world order.

During this period we are facing the US "Greater Middle
East", which has been adopted, despite the one or the other
differentiation, substantially by the G 8, NATO and the
European Union, aiming in the complete reformation of the
region according to the imperialist interests. There is
also the aggressiveness of Imperialism against Lebanon,
Syria, and Iran and the ongoing criminal invasion of the
government of Israel against the Palestinian people, the
developments in the area of Darfour in Sudan and in
Nigeria. Furthermore there is the new plan of the USA
against the socialist Cuba that also meets the consent of
the European Union.

However, despite the intense repression, Imperialism has
not yet managed to finish off national liberation struggles
and revolutionary movements by either political or military
means. The Palestinian Intifahda that goes on, the
resistance to the occupation forces in Iraq that grows
stronger, the people's victory in the recent referendum in
Venezouela, all those constitute facts of broader
significance and point out that the peoples' struggles
against the imperialist domination and aggression continue

One element that characterizes the trends of peoples'
growing awareness during recent years is the
intensification of struggles all over the world against
NATO, the EU, the IMF, and the World Bank. Regional forms
of capitalist unification are being challenged, and this
trend is growing.

Regional coordination of different movements (such as the
hemispheric alliance against the FTAA, EU anti-summits,
campaigns against NATO, etc.) is developing.

For the first time, the policies of the EU are being
challenged by movements of other continents, and by broader
organisations (eg, as noted in Johannesburg, Mexico, etc.)

In the EU countries in particular, movements are developing
with a more clear political orientation. The legitimation
of the EU in the eyes of the peoples is waning (European
elections, Euro-scepticism, the Swedish No). Slogans
"against the Europe of capital and war" are widespread in
most demonstrations against EU summit meetings.

Progressive radical forces appear with positions that
challenge the "one-ways" indicated by imperialism today,
many of which are touching the issue of social change.

This growing popular questioning, this radicalism and these
struggles have been nourished by many different sources: by
the struggles of the working class and the labour movement,
by the gradual recovery of the anti-imperialist movements
and the outbreaks of national liberation movements, and by
the struggle of the peoples who are confronting directly
the imperialist intervention.

We are of the opinion that these movements that appear with
different forms of action could become more effective and
could escalate their struggles more efficiently if there
were a better condition in the trade union movement,
particularly in its leading bodies.

A solid and strong movement cannot be developed on a
national and international level as long as the movement of
the vanguard social force, the labour movement, and its
leading bodies are trapped in the logic of managing the
system, and have no perspective to radical change.

The view that the imperialist aggressiveness, with its
economic, social and political content, is just another
option of political management plays a deterrent role. In
reality, the aggressive line that we witness today
constitutes an internal need of the capitalist system at
the stage of imperialism. The peoples have no reason to
hope in a society dominated by monopolies. They cannot hope
in an imperialism supposedly free of crisis and war, of
conflicts, and of the fight for distribution of markets.
Nobody can hope to live in conditions of imperialism where
its general trend will not be more and more reactionary.

Unfortunately, many times trends in the direction of
militancy, contention and ferment are obstructed or
entrapped in the logic of incorporation to the capitalist
system and of dispute that is harmless to it.

In recent years, there have been more than a few cases in
which trade union leaderships in Europe have played the
role not of the class vanguard but of the intermediary in
order to achieve consensus between the forces of capital
and the forces of labour.

We are not ignoring the correlation of forces, but we
cannot agree with the view that says that the trade union
movement today has to play the role primarily of
negotiating how much the working people will lose.

As you know, our party is currently going through a
pre-Congress period. The main issue that the Congress will
deal with is how KKE can proceed to a new phase of
counter-attack so as to contribute to the growth of the
class struggle in Greece and to the maturation of the
people's awareness of the need for a deeply rooted solution
in the level of power. At the same time, we will work even
harder to increase our internationalist contribution to
both the communist movement and the broader
anti-imperialist movement.

Daily struggles are taking place in Greece: mobilisations
and strikes are breaking out everywhere these days. But
they are not sufficient to mark gains, neither to make
struggles more effective. And all this is valid because
today, based on the correlation of forces and to the nature
of capitalist restructuring, the working people are putting
forward reduced demands. As we all know, unfortunately,
capitalists and the ruling class are rejecting even the
most defensive demands of the working people today, since
for the ruling class, the main point is monopoly profit,
its general aggressiveness, in order to incorporate the
movement fully into the system.

KKE taking of course into account the correlation of
forces, the need to rally together, and the real problems
of the working people has worked out a comprehensive
platform of struggle which addresses the logic of monopoly
profit and the logic of imperialist aggressiveness, a
platform of struggle that embraces the right to work,
salaries, pensions and wages, as well as all issues that
determine the level and quality of life, such as the
problems of education and health, sports and the
environment, hygiene and security in the workplace, the
issue of culture and drugs.

We include the problems arising from the issues related to
Greece's political and military dependence. In addition, we
project our goals of struggle and overall opposition to
Greece's participation in imperialist wars and in
multifarious interventions against the peoples, based on
the imperialist strategy against terrorism. Our attention
is focused on the last NATO decisions made in Prague and
Istanbul, and on opposing the EU Constitution.

On the basis of those problems which express the common
interests of the working class and of the poor petty
bourgeois strata, we are putting forward our position about
the formation of the Anti-imperialist Anti-monopoly
Democratic Front, which has as its perspective the people's
power and the people's economy.

We believe that the internationalised struggle will grow
stronger to the degree that in every country the
anti-imperialist anti-monopoly direction of struggle is
reinforced and the issue of a deeply rooted alternative is

We assess that the international activities which have been
developed showed the existence of progressive radical
forces within the mobilisations that are opposed to or
confront some forces which participate in these activities,
but which move within the logic of incorporation into the
system. It must also not escape our attention that the
conflict between the forces of incorporation to the system
of the progressive radical forces does not arise solely and
exclusively from the existence of ideological and political
differences within the movements. It is also introduced
from outside, since in international activities, a
systematic effort is made by governmental mechanisms and
even by the bosses to control the movement. And we should
not overlook the fact that, because of the existence of
inter-imperialist conflicts, some forces are trying to use
the movements to claim a greater share of the market.

It is, for instance, very convenient to seek "another
Europe" without clarifying somebody's position on this EU
of monopoly capital and war that exists; breaking with it
constitutes the minimum condition for any thought about
"another Europe".

A number of political forces, in particular the
socialdemocracy, but also certain liberal forces, try to
disorient and incorporate dissatisfaction and struggles,
and to turn the content and goals of struggle towards
prettifying the system rather than radically challenging

These forces put their weight, through the various
"forums", into creating unified structures in the
movement on an international and regional level, in the
name of unity and common action. These structures, in our
opinion, cannot be neither exclusive nor single ones inside
a movement that develops in different ways. In such a case
it will create obstacles to militant unity and common
action, as they provide an opportunity to some forces to
control and entrap, to deceive and drain. We believe that
today the existence of more structures in the international
movement that develops is inevitable, as well as
ideological and political confrontation is also inevitable
within the ranks of international activities, mobilisations
and movements, because of different strategic views about
the nature of the period we live in, about the system of
contradictions that moves social evolution, about the role
and relations between classes and strata, and about the
direction of struggle and the perspective.

It is our estimation that together with the pressures for
incorporation into the system, the ferment causing the
appearance of new progressive radical forces has not
stopped, and indeed this tendency seems to be growing. The
crisis contains a dynamic which under certain conditions
can radicalise broader social strata. However, to express
this politically, something more is required than the
organisation of struggles around the various problems. It
is, in our view, urgent that a respective political
consciousness is being developed. This is one of the
central issues for the communist movement.

In these processes, it is essential for a communist view to
exist particularly in our era, in which anti-imperialist,
anti-monopoly struggle and the struggle for the democratic
freedoms and rights of the working people are more closely
linked today with the struggle against the fundaments of
this exploitive system and the linking of the demands of
this struggle with the foundation of the alternative which
is socialism. The strategy of the imperialists aims, on the
one hand, to address the difficulties encountered today by
the capitalist system of reproducing its social capital
and, on the other hand, to prevent any challenge to the
system from progressive radical and revolutionary
positions, and to prevent the emancipation of the peoples
in favour of socialism.

It will not be easy to internationalise the class struggle,
solidarity, and common action by the people, and above all
this cannot be done solely through international
mobilisations in the form of anti-summit meetings. Why, for
example, is the situation not mature enough today to
undertake more systematic activity in the coordination of
sectoral, regional and international mobilisations, strikes
or other dynamic forms of struggle, or mass and dynamic
manifestations of solidarity in regions in which military
aggression is being used directly?

There is an urgent need, in our view, for closer bilateral
and multilateral meetings between our parties with a view
to discussing and collaborating on issues that arise,
taking precisely the view that this movement does not grow
in a straight line, but that there are asymmetries,
particularities and peculiarities in the development of
national movements.

Proposals for better cooperation:

The issue of the distinct presence of the Communist and
Workers' Parties on a national, regional and global level
should be highlighted. It concerns both the coordination
and common action of our Parties as well as the
coordination and common action of broader Democratic
Anti-Monopoly Anti-Imperialist Patriotic Forces.

From the experience that has been acquired, especially the
most recent, we note some thoughts about meetings that are
required on a regional and continental level, as well as by
content of movements. We could work in this direction more
actively, with proposals that have been worked out more
collectively and will aim at:

a) regional meetings between Communist and Workers' Parties
in which particular issues will be examined.

b) meetings of our parties in view of major international
events, utilising the experience acquired during the
previous period.

c) striving for broader meetings with anti-imperialist,
anti-monopoly and democratic forces in each region.


Snapshots From The Developments And Struggles In Greece In

March 7th General Elections in Greece
KKE increased its forces, both in votes as well as in
percentage, despite the conditions of acute polarization.
KKE increases its MPs by one, electing 12. The elections
brought ND in office.

Party % 2004 % 2000 Votes Seats
Nea Dimokratia (ND) 45.38 42.74 3.331.187 165 (125)
PA.SO.K. 40.57 43.79 2.977.651 117 (158)
K.K.E. 5.91 5.5 431.800 12 (11)
Synaspismos 3.25 3.20 238.432 6 (6)
LA.O.S. (extreme right) 2.19 - 160.393
DI.K.KI. 1.79 2.69 131.342
other. .. ..

In its first communiqu� KKE underlined that "Working people
must hold no illusions about the policy that the government
of ND will implement. At the same time they have nothing to
expect from the opposition of PASOK, since PASOK already
offered its support and consent to critical issues. The
strengthening of the mass popular movement and the rallying
of popular forces around major fronts of struggle become
today even more urgent and necessary tasks, in order to
accelerate the building of the Anti-imperialist
Antimonopoly Democratic Front which constitutes the
alternative for the people. KKE will contribute its outmost
to these tasks."

March 31- National Strike
The first strike after the new government took office in
Greece. The demands concerned the signing of the national
collective labor bargaining and a wide range of demands
connected with it. Several industrial sectors "froze" by
the industrial action and thousands of workers participated
in the rallies and manifestations of PAME demanding basic
salary of 1.100 and minimum pension of 880.

May 9 Former army officers speak out for peace and against
launched, with an appeal against NATO and in defense of
peace endorsed by more than 400 retired officers from
different countries (Bulgaria, Germany (both ex FGR and ex
GDR), Russia, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Ukraine, Portugal, Czech Republic, Canada).

June 13 Elections for the European Parliament
The elections show substantial increase for the KKE polling
9,5% of the nationwide vote and elected 3 MEPs. The
electoral rallies of KKE in main cities of Greece counted
with the solidarity and participation of comrades from the
AKEL, CP of Bohemia and Moravia, CP in Denmark, Socialist
Party of Latvia, CP of Luxembourg, Portuguese CP, CP of
Turkey and the Italian communist review "L' Ernesto".

EU poll 2004 EU poll 1999
Party Votes % Seats % Seats
K.K.E. 570.669 9,5 3 8,67 3
Nea Dimokratia (ND) 2.598.891 43,1 11 36,00 9
PA.SO.K. 2.053.778 34,0 8 32,91 9
Synaspismos 250.202 4,2 1 5,16 2
LA.O.S. (extreme right) 248.001 4,1 1 --- ----

"Rizospastis" commenting the electoral results, notes that
the ballots deliver a strong message of discontent, of
popular disaffection and condemnation of the imperialist
wars, and the anti-popular policies promoted by EU and the
national governments.

July 10-11 KNE mobilizes against NATO's engagement in
National antiimperialist mobilization of KNE (Communist
Youth of Greece) with motto "NATO and multinationals our of
the Olympics!"

July 27-28 Anti-NATO rallies in Istanbul (Turkey)
KKE and KNE participate in the big mobilizations in
Istanbul against the NATO summit

August 10 13 Workers Lost their Lives at the Olympic
PAME holds a memorial protest for the 13 construction
workers who lost their lives at Olympic works' construction
sites in front of the Parliament.

Olympic Games the aftermath
Olympic games left a huge burden upon the working people,
with the estimated cost reaching 10 billion euro. At the
same time, new undemocratic measures were taken in the name
of security, including the armed forces & NATO involvement
in domestic security for the first time, while the
government plans to privatize the Olympic installations.
The day after the Olympic games friends found the working
people facing substantial increases of prices and a wave of
lay-offs in several factories.

August 28 - Colin Powell pulls out of Athens
US Secretary of State Colin Powell cancels plans to attend
the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in face of the
popular protest. A group of KKE members displayed a large
banner on the Acropolis hillside over Athens saying "Powell
Killer Go Home" and urging people "do not forget: civilians
are being slaughtered in Najaf, a wall is being built in

September 16-19 - 30th Festival of KNE Odigitis
The Festival of KNE-Odigitis, the biggest youth cultural
and political event in Greece, celebrated its 30th
anniversary this year with more than 200 local festivals
all around Greece apart the main festivities in Athens.