Monday, July 1, 2019

Dimitris Koutsoumbas' interview on ANT1 News: On Turkey, Varoufakis and the July 7th elections

On Friday afternoon, the General Secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas gave an interview to anchor Nikos Chatzinikolaou and the news program of ANT1 TV. 

The General Secretary pointed out the need for the strengthening of the KKE in the upcoming general elections of July 7th, saying that the Communist Party is the only one that can prevent anti-people measures. He stated that the Party has immediate law proposals for the relief of the unemployed people, for lower salary at 751 euros, for the Social Insurance System and other issues related to the country's popular strata. 

Koutsoumbas added that a powerful KKE will be capable to prevent anti-worker, anti-people measures but also to develop the struggles that will pressure for policies in favor of the working class and the popular strata. This is the way through which the path towards a real "people's government" can be achieved. He mentioned that if, for example, the KKE had achieved a 15% in the elections, the bourgeois governments could not pass memorandums and anti-people policies. 

The KKE General Secretary also refered to the party of former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis characterizing it a "single-use party", adding that it objectively functions as a political "embankment". Dimitris Koutsoumbas pointed out that in 2015, Varoufakis, then Finance Minister of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, led the country to the 3rd memorandum and extended the previous two ones. 

Regarding the relations of Greece with neighboring Turkey, on the occasion of the recent activity of Turkey at the Cypriot EEZ, Koutsoumbas said that these developments create concern and must be dealt with composure, but not compliance or yeldingness. Furthermore, he slammed the current government for "burying its head in the sand" (ostrich-like policy) regarding the agressiveness and provocativeness of the ruling class of Turkey against Greece's sovereign rights. 

The KKE General Secretary commented on the stance of the EU towards Turkey, characterizing the result of the recent EU Summit as "dissapointing", adding that there was not any sanction but "empty words" from the EU Commission. He underlined that the situation leads to a "de facto partition of Cyprus", reminding that for 45 years Turkey occupies 40% of the island. From that point of view, Dimitris Koutsoumbas expressed concern over the possibility of a heated incident within Greece's territorial waters such as, for example, in the area of Kastelorizo. 

During the interview, regarding the upcoming July 7th general elections, the journalist asked: "Those who have been dissapointed by the implementation of memorandums by SYRIZA during the last four and a half years, will they come to you (KKE) or will go to Varoufakis?"

Dimitris Koutsoumbas said: "The point is that they must go neither to Varoufakis or other similar "single-use" parties that have appeared in the pre-electoral period. We now know, there is an experience during the last years, how parties like Potami, ANEL, Enosi Kentroon (Center Union), DIMAR and LAOS before, appeared and ended, like "shooting stars" which played their role in order to extract votes from radicalism [....] This is the role Varoufakis plays according to us. He objectively functions as a mound towards the KKE. But we believe that the Greek people are experienced enough". 

In the question if he considers Yanis Varoufakis and his party a "systemic force", the General Secretary of the KKE responded: 

"Not just a systemic force, but a dangerous one. Besides, the course itself of this well-known "golden boy", man of Soros, as he himself has said, was characteristic as to where it led the Greek economy during the first half of SYRIZA government, when he was Minister of Finance. In fact, he prepared the 3rd memorandum, signed the previous ones...".

Regarding the elections, the KKE General Secretary said that the Party has immediate law proposals for a variety of issues, including the relief of the unemployed people, the Social Insurance system, the restoration of the collective agreements, etc. 

The KKE will be there, said Dimitris Koutsoumbas, adding that a strengthened Communist Party will be able to overthrow such (antipeople) measures and, of course, will be able to develop the struggles, to keep pressing for measures in favor of the people.