Greek working class demand justice, not sympathy

We are including the article below under our "Latest News" section because it explains in stark terms the similarities between the situation in Greece and that pertaining here in Ireland.  For instance the reference to the hundreds of billions of euro held in Swiss bank vaults by Greek capitalists while a mountain of debt is being heaped on the backs of Greek workers.  The same is true here in Ireland as can be seen from news this morning that Ireland's five richest people, all of them billionaires, saw their net worth increased over the past 12 months.  Thus austerity is only for the working class.

The “Crocodile tears” must stop!

Dear comrades,


It is true that the development of the capitalist crisis in Greece which has been accompanied by an unprecedented assault on the rights of the working class and popular strata, as well as by the correspondingly intense sharpening of the class struggle, has caught the attention of the workers in other countries. Within this framework even bourgeois political forces, which bear enormous responsibility for this anti-people offensive, state that they “sympathize” with the Greek people, taking good care to conceal the causes of the problems which the people are experiencing: the capitalist crisis, the entrapment of the country in imperialist unions like NATO and the EU, the capitalist exploitation.

The representatives of the “New Left” are making statements within this context, like the letter of the President of the European Left Party (ELP) and GS of the PCF, Pierre Laurent, on the subject of Greece, which you published in the letters’ section (20/2/2012).

In reality the problem which the working class and the other popular strata are facing in Greece is not a problem of “democracy”, the imposition of anti-people measures from outside, by “European leaders and the IMF”, as P. Laurent writes. Nor is the coalition government of social-democratic PASOK and liberal New Democracy (ND) a “victim” of some “European leaders and the IMF”, as the situation is being presented through the distorting lenses of the President of the ELP.

The truth is that these measures, which are being taken under the pretext of the large public debt, have as their goal the strengthening of capital’s profitability in Greece, through the dramatic reduction of the price of labour power. We should not forget that at this very moment 600 billion euros (almost double Greece’s public debt) can be found deposited by Greek capitalists in Switzerland’s banks alone!

Therefore, these are measures which fully correspond to the interests of the capitalists in order to foist the crisis onto the people so that Greece can enter a course of capitalist development and so that the capital which has been accumulated in the previous period can find a profitable outlet. They are measures which were jointly decided on within the framework of the EU by the Greek government and the bourgeois class which is served by both governing parties and was not imposed by some “European leaders and the IMF”. All these measures to a greater or lesser extent existed in the programmes of PASOK and New Democracy, and moreover they had been timetabled by the EU treaties beginning with the Maastricht Treaty. This is why the working classes of Greece and Britain-and of course others- have amassed a great deal of negative experience regarding the EU and its anti-people role. At the same time when the representative of the ELP in Greece, Synaspismos, after voting for the Maastricht Treaty, fostered and continues systematically to foster illusions regarding the EU, presenting the participation of Greece in the EU as the only possible path, in opposition to the KKE which struggles for the disengagement of the country from the EU with people’s power.

The President of the ELP talks about the “supervision” of the Troika in Greece. Is he really not aware of the fact that Greece’s bourgeois class has consciously preferred for decades now to actively participate in the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU and that this participation within the framework of the interdependent relations which are created, provides for the ceding of sovereign rights to the EU and NATO? Does he not know that, for example, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) does not leave any room for development in the sector of the agricultural economy in the people’s interests? We should remind him that Greece before it joined the EEC-EU had a surplus balance of trade in agricultural products, while today, due to the CAP, it even imports those agricultural products which are cultivated in Greece, while hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized farmers have been added to the “army” of the unemployed.

The accession of Greece to the EU, which the President of the ELP avoids mentioning-instead blaming some “European leaders” in general terms-as well as the exorbitant military spending on NATO, the policy of capital’s tax exemptions in the context of the economy’s “competitiveness”, which was followed in the past by the PASOK-ND governments constitute the “sources” of the inflated public debt and deficits for which the Greek people bear no responsibility.

Of course, this “oversight” on the part of the President of the ELP does not concern us as we know that the ELP swears allegiance to the EU and is generously funded by it as a “European party”, that is to say as a party which accepts the “principles” of capitalist exploitation which distinguish the EU- the predatory alliance of the monopolies. Moreover ELP has made commitments to this in its statutes and founding documents!

The proposals of the ELP regarding “development”, an allegedly “pro-people social fund” etc do not call into question capitalist power at all. On the contrary, the ELP and international opportunism play the leading role in the creation of illusions by prettifying imperialist organizations such as the EU and the ECB, i.e. that they can allegedly become pro-people, when more and more workers not only in Greece understand that capitalism cannot solve the basic problems of the people.

The ELP by supporting the EU and the exploitative system has chosen sides. For this reason it constitutes a tool for the mutation of the CPs and the eradication of their communist characteristics. It does not challenge the opponents of the working class and the poor popular strata in Greece however many appeals it may make.

Nevertheless the experience and course of the working class struggles in Greece, in the front line of which are to be found communists and the class-oriented trade union movement, PAME, highlights that more and more workers are being radicalised when they bypass the “sermons” of the bourgeois and opportunists for class “collaboration” and “social cohesion”, when they ignore “their crocodile tears” regarding the burdens which the workers are shouldering.

It is on this path that the working class can achieve the ultimate goal of its struggle, the abolition of capitalist power and the construction of socialism.

International Relations Section of the CC

Published in the “Morning Star”, 5.3.2012

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics