Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dimitris Koutsoumbas: “EU solidarity is a joke, capitalism itself has bankrupted”

With an article published in the weekend edition of the KKE’s newspaper “Rizospastis”, General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas refers to the COVID-19 situation and the political consequences of the current pandemic.  

Under the title “The end of myths and illussions”, the article draws important conclusions about healthcare in capitalism, highlighting the fact that the pandemic shows the limitations of the capitalist system itself. 

Among other interesting issues, the GS of the Communist Party of Greece points out that the COVID-19 pandemic have led  to the collapse of two myths. The first one is related to the supposed peaceful co-existence of public and private sector. He writes: “This myth is refuted by the profiteering of the private (medical) centers on Coronavirus tests, which are affordable only to those who can pay, but also deprive state planning of valuable assets while, at the same time, increasing the risk of dispersal”. 

The General Secretary of the KKE also points out: 

“This myth is also refuted by the fact that for the supply of basic materials and drugs the state depends on the “war” that takes place in world market, by the big companies which found the opportunity to do thriving business. The necessity for an exclusively public and free Healthcare System and the abolition of bussiness activity, has been dramatically demonstrated”.

Dimitris Koutsoumbas writes that the government must proceed immediately to the requisition of private health units and their incorporation in the central state planning, the opening of all ICUs, the recruitment of the necessary healthcare personnel, to supply hospitals with all the necessary tools and materials. 

“A second myth that is being demolished is the one that refers to the ‘return  to normality’ and the high growth rates. All these now are giving their way to the admission that the Greek economy is also getting in deep recession”, writes D. Koutsoumbas.

The KKE General Secretary points out that the slowdown of the economy in the EU and other big capitalist countries, increases the risk of a new capitalist crisis. The current pandemic is not its main cause but only the catalyst, writes Koutsoumbas, adding that Greece’s economy will be affected also due to its dependence on tourism industry. 

European solidarity, a joke

The communist leader slams EU’s response on Coronavirus outbreak, writing that “the famous ‘european solidarity’ can only be heard as a joke, even among the country’s bourgeois circles”. He furthermore adds: “Especially when, in the European Union of “freedom of goods’ movement”, Germany and France even banned the export of the necessary sanitary material to other countries! 

Dimitris Koutsoumbas writes: “It is also proved in this way, even in tragic moments for the people of Europe, that the EU is not a people’s union, but a ‘wolf-pack alliance’ and a ‘lion’s pit’, an imperialist union of states, highlighting the necessity of, not just a tougher stance against it like various bourgeois parties are saying when they are in opposition, but of a policy and strategic choice that will lead to the disengagement from he EU, with the power and ownership [of wealth] being in the hands of the working class, of the people of each country”.

The General Secretary argues that above all “the pandemic is highlighting the limitations of the capitalist system”. He writes: “It turns out that the contemporary needs, social goods, such as Heathcare, cannot be left to the mercy of the markets and profit. This rottenness cannot be concealed through adjectives used by some, such as “neoliberal capitalism”, “extreme capitalism”, etc, in order to hide the fact that they fully support the capitalist system itself”. 

The superiority of socialism

Public hospital doctors protest at the Greek Ministry
of Healthcare demanding measures for the people's health
in face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Athens, March 19, 2020.
In his article, Dimitris Koutsoumbas points out that “in contrast to the rottenness of bankrupted capitalism, what emerges is the superiority of socialism that had ensured healthcare to all, even in the previous century and in countries which began to build it under conditions of severe underdevelopment in all levels”. 

He adds: “The figures in Soviet Russia, 30 years ago, are relentless: more than 1.1 million doctors, exclusively free healthcare for the entire population, 1.387 hospital beds per 10.000 inhabitants, numbers which cannot even compared to the prevailing situation in our country, in the EU countries”. 

“Even today – the KKE leader writes – the mission of Cuban doctors in Italy, the existence of health infrastructure in countries such as Germany, which were compelled to have such due to the socialist system in the then German Democratic Republic (DDR) and even the management of the pandemic in capitalist China which demonstrates her socialist leftovers, show that socialism has still left its powerful social imprint three decades after its overthrow”.