1. The Central Committee of the KKE met and agreed on the Party’s programme of action for the following period, based on the political and economic developments and with a view to the upcoming battle of the parliamentary elections.
It approved the main body of the Party’s candidates in the parliamentary, regional and municipal elections and elaborated key issues concerning the content of the political call in view of the election battles.
It discussed about the preparations for the 13th Congress of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), which has entered its final stretch and will be held on 10–12 February 2023, aiming at its success.
The Central Committee calls upon the members and friends of the Party and KNE to rally and act to organize and carry out a new, broad, political campaign aiming at the people in order to strengthen the KKE, which is the best response against the false dilemmas and blackmails that will intensify in the coming period in view of the electoral battle.
The multifaceted political, organizational and electoral strengthening of the KKE is a condition for raising the degree of organization, militancy and effectiveness in the intervention of the labour–popular movement in the developments, which is of vital importance, more necessary and urgent than ever. That is the spirit of militantly joining forces with the KKE, which is also reflected in the slogan “Only the people can save the people, on the path of the overthrow of capitalism, with a stronger KKE”.
At the same time, the KKE fights with all its might so that all the critical fronts of struggle concerning the life and future of the working people acquire mass characteristics and be strengthened. These fronts include high prices, energy poverty, labour rights and workers’ income, foreclosure auctions of primary residences, the protection of health, the consequences of Greece’s involvement in the imperialist military conflict in Ukraine being waged between NATO and Russia, and the aggravation of Greek-Turkish relations. In the framework of those fronts, the workers, the people and the youth are faced, among other things, with the problems and consequences of the anti-popular strategy of the government and the European Union, acting on behalf of capital.
2. The battles of the next period will be waged under conditions of international economic and geopolitical developments that will bring an even greater “harsh winter” for the peoples. Under these conditions:
· The imperialist war in Ukraine is escalating, between the Euro-Atlantic bloc on the one hand and Russia and its allies on the other.
· The conflict between the USA and China for supremacy in the world imperialist system is intensifying and the contradictions within “traditional” alliances such as NATO and the EU are becoming more acute.
· Greece’s involvement is intensifying both in military plans, with the latest development being —among other things— the plans to send S-300 missiles, and in the energy war and economic competition (LNG transport stations, EU sanctions packages against Russia, etc.). The risks for the people and the country are thus multiplied due to the sharpening of the contradictions in the region and the aggressive plans of the Turkish bourgeoisie, which is bargaining for its relationship with NATO and the EU.
The economic developments certainly lead to a further aggravation of the totality of workers’–people’s problems. The vast majority of the people in society, i.e. the working class, the lower middle strata in the cities and the countryside, women, the youth, pensioners, the disabled, and workers in the field of culture and sports, are fighting a daily battle for survival under worse conditions. The exploitation of the working class is intensifying, and its absolute and relative impoverishment is increasing. The so-called great achievement advertised by the ND government, i.e. the investments, not only did not address the problems of the workers, but on the contrary, they multiplied them. They did not bring about an improvement in the people’s income nor did they contain its deterioration because they are based on old memoranda and new anti-labour and anti-people measures, on tax breaks and state subsidies for capital, which are paid for by the people through taxation.
The lignite phase-out and the reliance on natural gas, the investments in certain Renewable Energy Sources and “green” electricity that have skyrocketed prices for workers, and the huge profits earned by the energy groups of the US monopolies that produce LNG and the shipowners that transport it, are precisely the heart of energy poverty. Investments in tourism turn people’s vacation into an expensive commodity, drive up the cost of people’s housing and small business premises, and are based on increasingly cheap labour in the sector. The expansion of e-commerce is sharpening competition, driving tens of thousands of small businesses to closure, accelerating the concentration of capital, while its huge profits are based on the miserable conditions of exploitation of workers in distribution and sorting. The one-sided orientation towards the export of agricultural products mainly benefits the big tradesmen–industrialists and the large agricultural capitalist holdings, while the massive import of agricultural products adds further difficulties to the life of small farmers, degrading the quality of basic foodstuffs for the people.
The dispute between ND, SYRIZA, PASOK, and other bourgeois parties over which one represents the “middle class”, seeks to equate the needs of the upper sections of the middle strata with the problems faced by the vast majority of the popular forces of the self-employed and farmers, as well as the working class, to which they avoid any reference.
It turns out that “growth for all” is the greatest myth, since the people are constantly suffering losses, a fact that cannot be concealed even by the statistics.
If the workers are paying dearly in the growth phase, we can imagine how much they will pay in a slowdown of the economy on the way to recession in the coming months. Besides, analyses warn of an even deeper and more synchronized capitalist crisis in the EU and around the world.
The European Central Bank is preparing for a new increase in interest rates, with a direct impact on the repayment of mortgages and other loans, further burdening the incomes of already heavily indebted workers and people. Industrial production in the major industrial centres worldwide appears to be reduced. The volume of maritime transport is declining significantly and the forecasts of economic institutes point to a new crisis, deeper than the 2008 crisis. Pressure is mounting for a return to a “restrictive policy” and an end to “horizontal state aids” across the eurozone. “Cheap money” and the ability to borrow is bumping up against the huge increase of public debt in many EU countries. The familiar threat of the so-called failure to meet fiscal aims is emerging again and after the forthcoming elections it will constitute the new narrative on which cuts in state spending, even the current meagre ‘social policy’ spending, are based.
The developments of the past few years are indisputable and confirm that the “remedy” used for one problem becomes “poison” for another, proving that no proposal of bourgeois management can cancel the laws and contradictions of the capitalist path of development, which in any case are paid for by the workers themselves. It is also confirmed that the implementation of one or another formula of economic management is imposed by the very needs of the capitalist economy and not by the “ideology” and disorienting slogans of any government. That is why the “social-democratic SYRIZA” implemented austerity policies through memoranda and the “neoliberal New Democracy” implemented expansionary measures like their “foster siblings” in a number of EU countries and elsewhere.
The “expansionary policy”, worshipped by SYRIZA and social democracy in general, as well as the “cheap money” to support growth, have led to rising inflation, which is eating away at people’s income. Now, in order to contain inflation in the EU, a return to “restrictive policies” is being engineered, accelerating a new recession by raising interest rates, putting the working-class and popular families even further in debt.
The contradictions in the EU on the pace and form of austerity policies and the difficulties of the EU member states to reach an agreement on the natural gas cap issue reflect the different interests of the member states and business groups, and certainly not of the people. The temporary compromise reached on a cap at a very high price neither cancels the contradictions nor will it relieve the people of energy poverty.
The alternation of forms of bourgeois management and the transition from crisis to growth and vice versa further burden the workers and the popular strata, since each “new” phase is based on the anti-labour and anti-people measures of the previous one, as happened in Greece with the memoranda laws passed and implemented successively by the ND, PASOK and SYRIZA governments.
3. It is unfounded to say that the Greek economy can emerge unscathed by a European or global recession. The Greek economy is not developing in a bubble. Besides, the so-called great asset of the Greek economy, i.e. tourism, may suffer a significant decline in the event of a European or global crisis. It is revealed that the “outward-oriented policy”, which is the holy grail of all bourgeois parties, serves only the profitability of big Greek enterprises, while being a time bomb for the interests of the working class, the farmers, the self-employed small tradesmen and the people.
The government’s claim that energy poverty is an “imported problem”, a result of the war in Ukraine, is also a huge deception. Not only because the price spike preceded the war —and at the time governments attributed it to other causes— but also because Greece, as a strategic choice of the bourgeoisie and its parties, is fully integrated into the single EU market, the respective structures and mechanisms, such as the ECB, the emissions trading and the Energy Exchange, which are the catalysts for high prices.
The rest of the parties do not reject the theory of “imported high prices”; they only disagree on the percentage of deviation from the European average, speaking of “high prices caused by Mitsotakis”. Their stance on the one hand exonerates all the causes and mechanisms that give rise to soaring prices, which have been jointly shaped by SYRIZA and PASOK/KINAL. On the other hand, it provides a convenient alibi for a possible coalition government with their participation in order to put forward the same argument.
The attempt to manipulate the people with various subsidies that pay a pittance and deceive the people aims to redivide poverty between the poor and the poorer, by perpetuating anti-popular taxes and sparing the profitability of business groups.
4. It is daily demonstrated that both the proclamations on the “contemporary” state and “the state based on the rule of law” aim to enhance a decayed, anti-popular state of the few to oppress and exploit the majority of the people, that is, the state of the dictatorship of capital.
The phone-tapping scandal, the Kaili and Patsis-type phenomena of corruption, the intensification of repression and state violence that go hand in hand with the anti-popular policy are, among others, some elements of this decay and reactionary turn.
The carrot of manipulation is combined with the stick of repression, which takes on various forms such as police violence and arbitrariness, the prosecutions against militants, the people’s houses that go under the hammer by the state, and the institutional morass of monitoring and phone-tapping that all governments have formed with the ultimate aim of tackling people’s reactions. Of course, it is also being used to settle political and business scores, which is what we are seeing happening at the moment, as are the successive government measures to control information.
The people’s response to state violence and repression takes place through the struggle for the abolition of all reactionary laws and institutions, the various special repression units, such as the riot police, university police, etc., and not through their alleged —general and abstract— “democratization”.
This state cannot ensure “justice for all and everywhere”, as SYRIZA claims, because the interests and the power of capital cannot in any case identify with the workers’–people’s needs. This is the same state that is selectively “incapable” of protecting the people and their needs from natural disasters and other dangers, as was amply demonstrated with the pandemic, because it prioritizes capitalist profits. That is the case with the government’s recent law on the national health system, which calls on patients to dig even deeper into their pockets and turns hospitals into a place for the “vultures” of private healthcare to attract customers. At the same time, it is a state capable of fast-tracking the interests of capital. It is the same, hostile state that leaves children exposed to the violence of poverty, school dropout, underage work, abuse and entrusts them to all kinds of private individuals and NGOs.
5. Particularly the scandal involving former PASOK/KINAL MEP, E. Kaili, reveals the true face of the EU; it is a European Union of business interests and lobbies that provides a breeding ground for scandals and corruption.
This did not come as a surprise for the KKE, since it has been revealing evidence and documents about the activities of lobbyists and the “blood ties” they have developed with the EU and its institutions for years now. These scandals are not an isolated incident or a rare exception. Institutionalized business lobbies act within the EU and the European Parliament, which, together with informal ones, are estimated at 25,000 to 30,000. In the European Parliament, legislative texts, directives and specific wordings are very often written directly or are dictated by representatives of such lobbies and then signed and tabled as amendments by MEPs.
This decay was whitewashed by the MEPs of ND, SYRIZA, PASOK/KINAL and Greek Solution, who adopted the resolution where it is cynically admitted that “the ability of interest group representatives to influence decision-making in Parliament by way of arguments is a vital part of European democracy”!!!
These revelations must be utilized to draw conclusions of crucial importance for the working class, to awaken the workers’–people’s consciousness, to realize that this is the notorious “European democracy” and the “European values” that all the other parties jointly praise.
6. The totality of developments shows that possibilities are being formed so that popular discontent is not entrapped in false and blackmailing bourgeois dilemmas. It shows that the ruling class is not omnipotent and that its power may face cracks and shocks. Without disregarding the negative correlation of forces, the mass labour–popular mobilizations in a number of countries, despite their still weak orientation, as well as the recent strike on 9 November in Greece, confirm that the peoples’ numbness must not be taken for granted and that the popular movements will not always be exploited as a stepping stone for both the overthrow and coming into power of anti-popular governments.
The bourgeois staffs in the EU and Greece know that the dire consequences of the implementation of capital’s strategy for the people will be more evident in the coming period. That is why they seek stable governments “for the following day” that will implement the strategy of capital and the EU commitments, that will promote the Euro-Atlantic plans in the Mediterranean and make painful compromises for the sovereign rights of the country; governments that will seek to effectively counter any radical mood that can lead to an upsurge in the labour movement. They are concerned about social explosions, the possible rise of radicalism, the momentum that workers’ struggles can gain with a stronger KKE on their side.
The goal of this “governmental stability”, which for the people means greater instability and insecurity, is served by both New Democracy and the other parties, regardless of the way each one pursues it. ND seeks to form a single-party government. SYRIZA utilizes the same old story of a “progressive” government that we have experienced in Greece and in other countries and has proved to be the best ally of “neoliberal” policies and a vehicle for conservatism and disappointment. In a similar vein acts PASOK/KINAL, which, behind the slogan of “independence”, hides its pursuit to play the role of the wild card, either in a government with ND or with SYRIZA, depending on developments.
The stability of the governments of capital means inability on the part of the labour–popular movement to react against the anti-labour and anti-popular attack.
Stability for the people presupposes a strong KKE, a strong labour–popular movement and at the same time weak anti-popular governments. The sooner that the people impede the various anti-popular government plans, better conditions will be formed for the obstruction of anti-popular measures and for achievements; new possibilities will open up on the path of a radical overthrow. That is why every single vote for the KKE, coming from all the people who recognize the KKE’s credibility, consistency, stability and militancy under all circumstances, counts.
7. The people now have the experience to avoid being trapped in false dilemmas. Those who have been fostering such blackmails over time are the same people who — when the system needed so— put aside their differences to jointly support the anti-popular bourgeois stability. That was the case with the coalition government of PASOK, ND and the far-right LA.O.S party. That was the case with the the coalition government of ND, PASOK and DIMAR. That was the case with the coalition government of SYRIZA and the far-right ANEL party. That was the case in 2015, when ND, PASOK and POTAMI rushed to make up for the loss of SYRIZA’s parliamentary majority to pass the third memorandum.
The same may happen again since their “common agenda” includes the EU commitments, the new “super-memorandum” called the Recovery Fund, the “green transition” strategy leading to the devaluation of domestic energy sources, the commitments to NATO and the US, such as the allocation of at least 2% of GDP per year for NATO needs and armaments and involvement in wars.
That is why in this four-year period of the Mitsotakis government, SYRIZA and PASOK/KINAL voted for most of the critical anti-popular bills brought before Parliament by ND.
Their pre-election disagreements do not concern the basic, strategic issues, but individual aspects that have nothing to do with the interests of the people. SYRIZA complains about the high VAT, but as a government played a crucial role for its increase. It complains about energy poverty but was the initiator of the Energy Exchange and the closure of lignite plants. It talks about the return of 51% of the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEI) to the state. However, during the SYRIZA government, DEI formed the energy cartel, in the context of the liberalized energy market and by selling electricity to individuals at below-cost prices. After all, there were increases in electricity prices burdening the popular household even when 51% of DEI was owned by the state. That is because, in the context of the liberalized energy market, every enterprise —wholly or partially state-owned— seeks maximum profitability for its shareholders and competition with the rest.
The proposals of both the Greek Solution and the MeRa25 follow the same path, that is why they do not decisively reject their participation in a government either with ND or with SYRIZA respectively. Particularly the bombast of MeRA 25 against “Mitsotakis SA” and the “oligarchs” in essence leaves untouched the nature of ND as a party of business groups and seeks to hide its own great contribution to the “oligarchy” (i.e. to capital). This contribution is none other than a supposedly pro-people “transformation of the EU” and above all the elevation of “debt” as the main cause of the crisis and the people’s problems, exonerating the capitalist mode of production, a symptom of which is also the high state debts.
The same strategy of capital is served by various far-right and fascist-prone formations, which attempt to contain popular discontent by obscuring the real causes of the situation faced by the popular forces today and by fostering racism and vulgar anti-communism.
8. The KKE presents to the people its positions and its Programme of Power-Governance based on the people’s needs, its proposal in conflict with the corruption of the EU and the modern dictatorship of capital.
The Programme of the KKE scientifically documents that the people today can live with contemporary rights and a quality of life corresponding to the 21st century, to the possibilities of our era. The scientific central planning of the economy, the socialization of the means of production, the all-round utilization of workers and scientists, the institutions of workers’–people’s power, and the disengagement from imperialist unions can advance the development of the country based on ensuring people’s welfare.
The Programme of the KKE includes the disengagement of the country from NATO and the EU, with the people sovereign in power, saving valuable resources and shaping mutually beneficial international relations with all peoples and their countries. Among other things, it proclaims the abolition of entrepreneurial activity in the energy sector. That is the only way to ensure the utilization of all energy resources in the country, with the aim of energy sufficiency and the elimination of energy poverty for the people. It proclaims the abolition of entrepreneurial activity in the healthcare sector and other social services, which the people have paid dearly for, particularly during the pandemic.
Only the Programme of the KKE addresses the political problem of the country. The socialist economic and social organization is the novelty in the 21st century and secures the workers’–people’s interests.
Only the Programme and the positions of the KKE provide an answer to the urgent workers’–people’s problems. The time has come to reject the well-known and bankrupt notion of the so-called lesser evil, which calls upon the people to suffer losses in order to protect the interests of the few. The people can and must think outside the current box of the EU and the power of capital, which is the common denominator of all the parties of the system, to be able to breathe a sigh of relief and assert their rights.
The participation in, support for or tolerance of a bourgeois government on the part of the KKE does not constitute a real pressure to resolve people’s problems but the exact opposite. The only effective pressure that can be exerted on such an anti-popular government is by the working class, the people, and their movement, i.e. by the grassroots, together with the KKE that will be at the forefront of those struggles and play its independent leading role at all levels, without commitments. Only as a result of popular intervention can positive measures be achieved, because the class struggle itself and the improvement of the correlation of forces on the path of the overthrow can bear certain results, as the entire history of the labour movement has shown.
The KKE has positions and a Programme of confrontation with the strategic, political and economic, key issues; that is why it is a guarantee in the daily struggle concerning all the problems that the people face. Because the KKE has no commitments to the EU, the capitalist employers, the power of capital and its various multi-tentacled mechanisms; it disputes the current path of development and the notion of the “economic resilience”; it does not accept that its hands be tied within the framework of an anti-people’s government. For this reason, it can lead a great workers’–people’s counter-attack concerning both the present, that is the urgent problems of the people, and, above all, the prospect, aiming at a real popular victory and overthrow, with the people as the protagonist and a much stronger KKE.
Because, today, the target of cheap energy presupposes opposition and a rupture with “green growth”, the abolition of the Energy Exchange and the CO2 clause, in order to reopen the lignite plants with measures to protect the environment.
The protection of people’s housing from foreclosure auctions requires a confrontation with the “stability” of the banks and the profits of the funds.
The protection of the people’s income today requires a confrontation with capitalist profitability and competitiveness itself; it requires a struggle for substantial increases in wages and pensions.
9. From this point of view, the communists are at the forefront of all the crucial fronts of struggle: For the increase of wages and pensions. For Collective Labour Agreements. For the abolition of anti-popular taxes. For the cancellation of debts, the abolition of taxes and true relief measures for the self-employed and farmers. For the protection of people’s housing from evictions and foreclosure auctions by funds and banks. For the abolition of the institutional framework formed by ND, SYRIZA and PASOK/KINAL. That is what the KKE struggles for both inside and outside the Parliament, with concrete proposals that the other parties reject.
When workers have taken matters into their own hands, when they have rejected the notion of solutions “from above”, they have had small and larger victories. That is why the KKE calls upon the people to turn their backs on would-be “saviours” and “protectors” of the government, both old and new.
We firmly believe that the slogan “Only the people can save the people, on the path of the overthrow of capitalism” can be put into practice. We need a stronger KKE because it is the only party that endows this slogan with substance, vitality and perspective.
The CC of the KKE