Category: Greece
KKE: Statement regarding the meeting between PM Tsipras and President Trump in the United States

Saturday, October 21, 2017

KKE: Statement regarding the meeting between PM Tsipras and President Trump in the United States

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/kke-statement-regarding-meeting-between.html
Source: Rizospastis / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
 
Regarding the recent meeting between Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras and U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington DC, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece issued the following statement:
 
“The Tsipras-Trump meeting evolved into an- unbelievably cynic- confession that the aim of the trip to the United States was the deeper involvement of Greece in the dangerous plans of USA-NATO in the region, as well as into an outrageous “white-washing” of the Trump government’s barbaric policy from the side of Mr.Tsipras.
 
Only the fact that the SYRIZA-ANEL government received credit from the USA for supporting NATO plans and spending the 2% of the GDP for NATO military equipment, is enough for someone to realize that this meeting can only create new dangers for the Greek people and the other peoples of the region. 
The SYRIZA-ANEL government must immediately inform the Greek people regarding all the agreements and commitments it undertook. It is certain that it has agreed to extend and upgrade the US-NATO bases in Greece, especially the one in Souda, as well as to upgrade the F-16 aircrafts, which are related to NATO’s aggressive activities and not the defensive needs of the country, and for which the Greek people will have to pay 2.4 billion, while the government “bleeds” them in every possible way.
 
After all, as the Security Cooperation Organisation for Defense Security of the U.S. Defense Ministry says, the proposed sale will contribute to the U.S. foreign policy, by strengthening the security of a NATO ally, and will enhance the Greek Air Force’s ability to support NATO and continue its operations in the future.
 
Any U.S. investments will involve business corporations which will benefit from the labour jungle, the divestiture of public property and the exploitation of the country’s energy resources. They will be related to the greater dependence of the domestic defense industry on the U.S. war-industrial cluster. They will be related to energy projects, such as the extraction of valuable hydrocarbon deposits, from which the Greek people will have no benefit, as well as the transfer of U.S. natural gas by Greek shipowners.
 
Even the debt issue, to which only a little reference was made, is directly linked to rivalries between powerful capitalist centers (mainly USA-Germany) which do not challenge the antipeople measures and the restructures that are being promoted against the people.
 
It is evident that Greece is “upgraded” as a base for imperialist interventions and wars in the broader region and as a point of reference for U.S. policy in her dangerous competions with other powers, e.g. Russia. That is what the government and the USA mean when they say that Greece is a factor of stability and peace.

It is also evident that the SYRIZA-ANEL government claims- on behalf of the Greek capital- an upgraded role in the share of the prey of wars and interventions in the region, from the bazaars for the energy routes which are paved with the blood of the people, with refugees and poverty. For that reason, the rest of the parties unanimously supported Tsipras’ trip to the U.S., even by bidding for the commitments the government must undertake.

The arguments that the upgrading of the relations with the U.S. can protect the country’s sovereign rights, as well as peace and security, is fake and historically bankrupt. Equally deceptive is the claim that Tsipras’ trip to the U.S. will bring benefits for the country, because the U.S.-Turkish relations are currently being tested. 

Greece’s participation in NATO and the country’s involvement in interventions and wars, all these years, did not protect her sovereign rights. It is not a coincidence that Trump didn’t say a word both about the Cyprus Issue as well as about the Turkish violations in the Aegean, which NATO itself recognizes as a single operations space, without borders. Greece’s modern history has several examples of how alliances have been rearranged within seconds and our supposedly “robust allies” became a source of modern tragedies that the people have paid with their blood. 

The Greek people must react massively against the new agreements of the government with the U.S.; agreements which involve the people deeper in the geostrategic competitions and bring new big dangers. The people must turn their back to the embellishment attempt of U.S. imperialism which proves that the SYRIZA-ANEL government does not hesitate to offend even the historical memory and the struggles of the people in order to serve the interests of the capital and to sow the venom of subordination supposedly as one-way road. The people, with their struggle and solidarity, can open a radically different road, in rupture with the power of the capital and imperialist organisations such as NATO and the EU.
KKE comments on Tsipras’ visit to the US: The SYRIZA-ANEL government confirms its loyalty to NATO-USA

Saturday, October 14, 2017

KKE comments on Tsipras’ visit to the US: The SYRIZA-ANEL government confirms its loyalty to NATO-USA

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/kke-comments-on-tsipras-visit-to-us.html

Regarding the five-days long visit of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the United States, where he will have a meeting with President Donald Trump, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece made the following comment:
“The trip of the Prime Minister to the USA- regardless of any communication tricks by the government- has one basic aim: The upgrade of the US-NATO bases in Greece and the deeper involvement of the country in the murderous plans of USA-EU-NATO in the broader region.
Whatever “quid pro quo” the SYRIZA-ANEL government asserts in this abject and dangerous bazaar, do not concern the Greek people but the investments and the profits of business giants, also through the sale of public property and energy wealth.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government can well be one of the most “law abiding”- towards NATO and the USA- governments.
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
Brutal murderous attack against immigrant workers by Golden Dawn Nazis

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Brutal murderous attack against immigrant workers by Golden Dawn Nazis

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/brutal-murderous-attack-against.html
Photo credit: KEERFA.
A murderous racist attack against two immigrant workers took place on Saturday afternoon at the town of Aspropyrgos, Attica. The assailants were identified as members of the “Golden Dawn” neo-Nazi criminal organisation. According to news sources, a group of five neo-Nazis bearing knuckle dusters ferociously attacked two immigrant workers of Pakistani orgin at a greenhouse.
The injured immigrants were transfered immediately to Tzanio Hospital and both are out of danger.
“The KKE denounces the new murderous attack of the criminal Nazis of Golden Dawn against immigrant workers at the Aspropyrgos area.
It is proved once more that the hate of Golden Dawn which turns against suffering people, workers – Greeks and immigrants- while on the same time they (Golden Dawn) assist the bosses and the big interests who want workers-modern slaves.
The government bears serious responsibility for this development. Not only for the obstructiveness of the trial, but also because gangs of fascists act undisturbed in areas, like in Aspropyrgos and the broader region. (The authorities) must immediately locate and arrest the attack’s perpetrators and their criminal mentors who belong to Golden Dawn’s leadership.
The workers, the people must condemn such actions and decisively isolate Golden Dawn and all those who nourish them”.
The 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s assassination to be commemorated in Greece
| October 8, 2017 | 8:18 pm | Announcements, Che Guevara, Greece | No comments

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s assassination to be commemorated in Greece

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-50th-anniversary-of-che-guevaras.html

With political and cultural events the friends of Cuba in Greece will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ernesto Che Guevara’s assasination. 
 
In Athens:
 
On Monday 9 October, “Alkyonis” cinema will host an event in honor of Che. The major speaker will be the Ambassador of Cuba in Greece Zelmys Maria Dominguez Cortina, while the president of the Hellenic-Cuban Association of Friendship and Solidarity Nikos Karandreas will deliver a greeting message. The event will also include the projection of the film “Donde nunca jamas se lo imaginan” by Manuel Perez. 
From 5 to 11 October, “Alkyonis” and “Studio new star art” cinemas will be hosting a documentary festival, with a total of 21 documantaries from all over the world, in honor of Che Guevara. 
 
In Thessaloniki:
 
The Hellenic-Cuban Association of Friendship and Solidarity of Thessaloniki and the Commission for International Detente and Peace (EDYETH) organize a political and cultural event on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the argentine communist revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara.
 
The event will take place on Wednesday 18 October, at 7.00 pm, at the Thessaloniki City Hall (Hall “Manolis Anagnostakis”). The event’s speakers, who will refer to the life and action of Che Guevara, are: Apostolos Skoufas, president of the Hellenic-Cuban Association; Nikos Mottas, secretary general of the Hellenic-Cuban Association and Nikos Zokas, president of EDYETH.
 
The Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba in Greece Ms. Zelmys Maria Dominguez Cortina will attend and deliver a greeting message, while the event will also include audiovisual and music tribute to the legendary revolutionary. 
 
La Asociación Heléno-Cubana de Amistad y Solidaridad de Tesalónica y el Comité para la Paz Internacional de Tesalónica (EDIETH) organizan un acto político-cultural con motivo del 50 aniversario del asesinato del comunista revolucionario argentino Ernesto Che Guevara.
El acto tendrá lugar el miércoles 18 de octubre, a las 19.00 horas, en el Ayuntamiento de Salónica (sala “Manolis Anagnostakis”). Los oradores del evento, que se harán referencia a la vida y la acción del Che Guevara, son: Apostolos Skoufas, Presidente de la Asociación Heléno-Cubana; Nikos Mottas, Secretario General de la Asociación Heléno-Cubana y Nikos Zokas, Presidente de EDΙETH.
La Embajadora de la República de Cuba en Grecia Sra. Zelmys Maria Dominguez Cortina asistirá y dirigirá un mensaje de bienvenida, mientras que el evento incluirá también el tributo audiovisual y musical al legendario revolucionario.
In Piraeus:
 
Event by the Piraeus Sectoral Organisation of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) honoring Che Guevara, on Sunday 8 October at 7.00 pm in “Kremlino”, in Piraeus. Speech will be delivered by Manolis Rapanakis, member of the Bureau of the CC of KNE. 
Dangerous games – Does the US plan to install nuclear warheads in Greece?
| September 25, 2017 | 7:50 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Greece, Syriza | No comments

Monday, September 25, 2017

Dangerous games – Does the US plan to install nuclear warheads in Greece?

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/dangerous-games-does-us-plan-to-install.html

On the 20th of September, the daily newspaper “Rizospastis”-organ of the CC of the KKE-on its front page highlighted the continuing suspicious and conspicuous silence of the government in relation to this accusation made by the KKE.


“Rizospastis” denounces the plans to transfer US nuclear weapons to Greece, which it characterizes as “playing with fire”. At the same time, it reveals that the coalition government of the “left” party SYRIZA and the allegedly “patriotic” ANEL has agreed to provide upgraded services at the naval-airforce base of Souda, after the recent renewal of the agreement with the USA regarding its use. It is also discussing “hosting” US marines from Incirlik.
 
In addition, it notes that in recent months, US officials visited military installations in mainland Greece, seeking an “expansion” of cooperation with Greece regarding other hardware, beyond what is “hosted” at the Souda base.

Finally, it should be noted that on the 19th of September a mass meeting was held in Patras (the 3rd largest city in Greece, which is 40 km from Araxos), at the initiative of the Construction Workers’ Union and with the participation of dozens of trade unions and mass organizations, with the aim of organizing the struggle of the people in the region against the installation of US nuclear weapons in Araxos. As was stressed at the meeting, the labour-people’s movement of the region will respond in the face of decisions that entangle our country even more deeply in dangerous plans.


Patras’ City Council: 
“No” to the installation of nuclear weapons at Araxos.

 
In a recent development, last Thursday, the City Council of Patras unanimously decided to issue a statement calling the government to give a clear answer regarding the possibility of nuclear warheads’ installation on Greek territory. 

Furthermore, adopting the proposal made by the city’s mayor, Kostas Peletidis, the Council expressed its concern over the issue and positioned itself against the possibility of nuclear weapons’ presence in the area.

Sources: inter.kke.gr & rizospastis.gr
Update on Greek Debt Crises–Why Syriza Continues to Lose
| September 24, 2017 | 3:36 pm | Greece, Jack Rasmus, Syriza | No comments

Update on Greek Debt Crises–Why Syriza Continues to Lose

Update on Greek Debt Crises–Why Syriza Continues to Lose

This past August marked the second anniversary of the Greek debt crisis and the third major piling on of debt on Greece in August 2015 by the Eurozone ‘Troika’ of European Commission, European Central Bank, and the IMF. That 2015 third debt deal added $86 billion to the previous $230 billion imposed on Greece—all to be paid by various austerity measures squeezing Greek workers, taxpayers, retirees, and small businesses demanded by the Troika and their northern Euro bankers sitting behind it.

Studies by German academic institutions showed that more than 95% of the debt repayments by Greece to the Troika have ended up in Euro bankers’ hands.

But the third debt deal of August 2015, which extends another year to August 2018, was not the end. Every time a major multi-billion dollar interest payment from Greece was due to the Troika and their bankers, still more austerity was piled on the $83 billion August 2015 deal. The Troika forced Greece to introduce even more austerity in the summer of 2016, and again still more this past summer 2017, to pay for the deal.

Last month, August 2017, Syriza and its ‘rump’ leadership—-most of its militant elements were purged by Syriza’s leader, Alex Tsipras, following the August 2015 debt deal—-hailed as some kind of significant achievement that the private banks and markets were now willing to directly lend money to Greece once again. Instead of borrowing still more from the Troika—-i.e. the bankers representatives—-Greece now was able once again to borrow and owe still more to the private bankers instead. In other words, to pile on more private debt instead of Troika debt. To impose even more austerity in order to directly pay bankers, instead of indirectly pay their Troika friends. What an achievement!

Greece’s 2012 second debt deal borrowed $154 billion from the Troika, which Greece then had to pay, according to the debt terms, to the private bankers, hedge funds and speculators’ which had accumulated over preceding years and the first debt crisis of 2010. So the Troika simply fronted for the bankers and speculators in the 2nd and 3rd debt deals. Greece paid the Troika and it paid the bankers. But now, as of 2017, Syriza and Greece can indebt themselves once again directly to the bankers by borrowing from them in public markets. As the French say, everything changes but nothing changes!

What the Greek debt deals of 2010-2015, and the never-ending austerity, show is that supra-state institutions like the Troika function as debt collectors for the bankers and shadow bankers when the latter cannot successfully collect their debt payments on their own. This is the essence of the new, 21st century form of financial imperialism. New, emerging Supra-State institutions prefer weaker national governments to indebt themselves directly to the banks and squeeze their own populace with Austerity whenever they can to make the payments. The Supra-State may not be involved. But it will step in if necessary to play debt collector if and when popular governments get control of their governments and balk at onerous debt repayments. And in free trade currency zones and banking unions, like the Eurozone, that Supra-State role is becoming increasingly institutionalized and regularized. And as it does, forms of democracy in the associated weaker nation states become increasingly atrophied and eventually disappear.

Syriza came to power in January 2015 as one of those popularly elected governments intent on adjusting the terms of debt repayment. But after a tragic, comedy of errors negotiation effort, capitulated totally to the Troika’s negotiators after only seven months.

The capitulation by Syriza’s leader, Alex Tsipras, in July 2015 was doubly tragic in that he had just put to a vote to the Greek people a week beforehand whether to reject the Troika’s deal and its deeper austerity demands. And the Greek popular vote called for a rejection of the Troika’s terms and demands. But Tsipras and Syriza rejected their own supporters, not the Troika, and capitulated totally to the Troika’s terms.

The August 2015 3rd debt deal quickly thereafter signed by Syriza-Tsipras was so onerous—-and the Tsipras-Syriza treachery so odious—-that it left opposition and popular resistance temporarily immobilized. That of course was the Troika’s strategic objective. Together with Tsipras they then pushed through their $83 billion deal, while Tsipras simultaneously purged his own Syriza party to rid it of elements refusing to accept the deal. Polls showed at that time, in August-September 2015, that 70% of the Greek people opposed the deal and considered it even worse than the former two debt agreements of 2010 and 2012. Other polls showed 79% rejected Tsipras himself.

To remain in power, Tsipras immediately called new Parliamentary elections, blocking with the pro-Troika parties and against former Syriza dissidents, in order to push through the Troika’s $83 billion deal. This week, September 20, 2017 also marks the two year anniversary of that purge and election that solidified Troika and Euro banker control over the Syriza party—-a party that once dared to challenge it and the Eurozone’s neoliberal Supra-State regime.

The meteoric rise, capitulation, collapse, and aftermath ‘right-shift’ of Syriza raises fundamental questions and lessons still today. It raises questions about strategies of governments that make a social-democratic turn in response to popular uprisings, and then attempt to confront more powerful neoliberal capitalist regimes that retain control of their currencies, their banking systems, and their budgets–such as in the case of Greece. Even in the advanced capitalist economies, the message is smaller states beware of the integration within the larger capitalist states and economies–whether by free trade, central banking integration, budget consolidations, or common currencies. Democracy will soon become the victim in turn.

The following is an excerpt from the concluding chapter of this writer’s October 2016 book, ‘Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges’, Clarity Press, which questioned strategies that attempted to resurrect 20th century forms of social-democracy in the 21st century world of supra-State neoliberal regimes. It summarizes Syriza’s ‘fundamental error’—a naïve belief that elements of European social democracy would rally around it and together they—i.e. resurgent social democracy and Syriza Greece—would successfully outmaneuver the German-banker-Troika dominated Euro neoliberal regime that solidified its power with the 1999 Euro currency reforms.

Syriza and Tsipras continue to employ the same error, it appears, hoping to be rescued by other Euro regime leaders instead of relying on the Greek people. Tsipras-Syriza recently invited the new banker-president of France, Emmanuel Macron, who this past month visited Athens. Their meeting suggests Tsipras and the rump Syriza still don’t understand why they were so thoroughly defeated by the Troika in 2015, and have been consistently pushed even further into austerity and retreat over the past two years.

But perhaps it no longer matters. Polls show Tsipras and the rump Syriza trailing their political opponents by more than two to one in elections set to occur in 2018.

EXCERPT from ‘Looting Greece’, Chapter 10, ‘Why the Troika Prevailed’.

Syriza’s Fundamental Error

To have succeeded in negotiations with the Troika, Syriza would have had to achieve one or more of the following— expand the space for fiscal spending on its domestic economy, end the dominance and control of the ECB by the German coalition, restore Greece’s central bank independence from the ECB, or end the control of its own Greek private banking system from northern Europe core banks. None of these objectives could have been achieved by Syriza alone. Syriza’s grand error, however, was to think that it could rally the remnants of European social democracy to its side and support and together have achieved these goals—especially the expanding of space for domestic fiscal investment. It was Syriza’s fundamental strategic miscalculation to think it could rally this support and thereby create an effective counter to the German coalition’s dominant influence within the Troika.

Syriza went into the fight with the Troika with a Greek central bank that was the appendage, even agent, of the ECB in Greece, and with a private banking system in Greece that was primarily an extension of Euro banks outside Greece. Syriza struggled to create some space for fiscal stimulus within the Troika imposed debt deal, but it was thoroughly rebuffed by the Troika in that effort. It sought to launch a new policy throughout the Eurozone targeting fiscal investment, from which it might benefit as well. But just as the ECB was thwarted by German-core northern Euro alliance countries, the German coalition also successfully prevented efforts to promote fiscal stimulus by the EC as well. The Troika-German coalition had been, and continues to be, successful in preventing even much stronger members states in France and Italy from exceeding Eurozone fiscal stimulus rules. The dominant Troika German faction was not about to let Greece prevail and restore fiscal stimulus, therefore, when France and Italy were not. Greece was not only blocked from launching a Euro-wide fiscal investment spending policy; it was forced to introduce ‘reverse fiscal spending’ in the form of austerity.

Syriza’s insistence on remaining in the Euro system meant Grexit was never an option. That in turn meant Greece would not have an independent central bank providing liquidity when needed to its banking system. With ECB control over the currency and therefore liquidity, the ECB could reduce or turn on or off the money flow to Greece’s central bank and thus its entire private banking system at will—which it did repeatedly at key moments during the 2015 debt crisis to influence negotiations.

As one member of the Syriza party’s central committee reflected on the weeks leading up to the July 5 capitulation, “The European Central Bank had already begun to carry out its threats, closing down the country’s banking system”.

The ECB had actually begun turning the economic screws on Syriza well before the final weeks preceding the referendum: It refused to release interest on Greek bonds it owed under the old debt agreement to Greece from the outset of negotiations. It refused to accept Greek government bonds as collateral necessary for Greek central bank support of Greece’s private banks. It doled out Emergency Lending Assistance, ELA, funds in amounts just enough to keep Greek banks from imploding from March to June and constantly threatened to withhold those same ELA funds when Troika negotiators periodically demanded more austerity concessions from Greece. And it pressured Greece not to impose meaningful controls on bank withdrawals and capital flight during negotiations, even as those withdrawals and money flowing out of the country was creating a slow motion train wreck of the banking system itself. The ECB, in other words, was engineering a staged collapse of Greece’s banking system, and yet Syriza refused to implement any possible policy or strategy for preventing or impeding it.

For a more detailed analysis of the respective strategies and tactics of Syriza and the Troika in 2015 and after, and the role played by individual leaders and organizations, see the concluding chapter of Jack Rasmus, ‘Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges’, Clarity Press, October 2016, pp. 231-57. Dr. Rasmus is also author of the recently published, ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes?: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression’, Clarity Press, August 2017.

Statement of the KKE regarding the “dispute” between SYRIZA government and Eldorado Gold
| September 13, 2017 | 8:23 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Greece, Syriza | No comments

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Statement of the KKE regarding the “dispute” between SYRIZA government and Eldorado Gold

Regarding the “dispute” between the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government and the canadian miner giant Eldorado Gold about the company’s investment in northern Greece, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece issued the following comment:
“Once more, we are facing the danger of unemployment which is hanging over the workers, proving through this tragic way that neither the workers’ rights nor the environment’s protection can be permanently safeguarded, through investments by business corporations which the only thing they seek is their biggest possible profitability.
For that reason, both the workers as well as the region’s inhabitants must not participate to the bazaars between the government and the multinational company, to business conflicts in the region and to the political confrontation about which party serves better the interests of the investors.
Especially the case of Eldorado Gold has to do with the exploitation of a precious, non-renewable mineral such as gold.
The socialization of the country’s mineral wealth consists the basic prerequisite for its utilization having as a criterion the interests of the workers and the protection of the environment.”
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
* * *

Eldorado Gold to suspend all investment activities in Greece.

The Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold announced on Monday that it is suspending all investment activities in Greece, including the operation of its mines in Skouries, Olympiada and Stratoni, development works and its research projects in Greece.
“Despite continuous efforts made by Eldorado and its subsidiary Hellas Gold to cooperate constructively with the Greek government, the environment and energy ministry and other state services, there are ongoing delays in the issue of routine licences for the construction and development works at Skouries and Olympiada in Halkidiki,” said Eldorado’s announcement.
The company said that it will re-evaluate its investment options in Greece after the approval and issue of the required licences, in cooperation with a supportive government that is open to discussion on the use and implementation of the best available technologies.
Source: ANA-MPA, 11 Sept. 2017.