Category: Syriza
KKE: Statement on the 72 years since the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Sunday, August 6, 2017

KKE: Statement on the 72 years since the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On the occasion of the 72 years since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued the following statement:
“This year marks the 72nd anniversary since the U.S. imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an act which did not serve any military need against the- already defeated- Japan, but the intimidation of the people, of the Soviet Union and the then rising socialist system and communist movement. Thousands of people lost their lives from the dropping of the atomic bombs, while thousands continue dying every year as a result of radioactivity’s consequences. 
Today, 72 years later, the people continue facing the most repulsive product of capitalist barbarity, the imperialist war. The sharpening of the antagonisms between states and monopolies, for the distribution of markets and energy resources, across the world and especially in our region, consist the cause of military interventions, of the dozens local and regional wars, of borders’ redrawing, with the people being the victims and thousands of refugees and uprooted ones. They increase the risk of a generalized imperialist war. They confirm the need for the workers-people’s movement to be firmly in the direction of the struggle against imperialist war and its causes. 
All the above prove how fake and misleading is the argument of the SYRIZA-ANEL government that Greece consists “an ‘islet’ of securityand stability” in a burning region. And all these when the current government, like the previous ones, willingly and actively participates in all the dangerous plans of the USA, NATO, EU in the region. The government has legitimized NATO’s presence in the Aegean, expands NATO’s bases in Greece and has supported all NATO’s decisions which, within the context of competion especially with Russia, move towards actions that can cause a real holocaust to the people of Europe and general. 
Capitalism cannot be humanited, it can neither give solutions to the basic problems of the people nor secure peace for the people. The imperialist wars will exist as long as the power is in the hands of the capitalists.
For that reason, the struggle for disengagement from NATO and all the imperialist organisations, the struggle for the defense of the country’s borders and sovereign rights, for the disengagement from imperialist wars and interventions, is inseparable from the struggle for the overthrow of the capital’s power, with the sovereign peoples and their power. 
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
* On the 72nd anniversary of the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Greek Committee of International Detente and Peace (EEDYE) organises in Athens an event in honor of the victims, Tuesday 8 August 2017, at 8 pm at the Acropolis. A similar political event will take place in Thessaloniki, also on Tuesday 8/8. 
Tsipras-Varoufakis: Loyal servants of the capitalist system

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tsipras-Varoufakis: Loyal servants of the capitalist system
By Nikos Mottas*
During the last few days we are witnessing a highly hypocritical “blame game” between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. In his latest book titled “Adults in the room”, Varoufakis tries to present himself as a “fighter” who resisted Europe’s “deep establishment”.
In his “political thriller”, the ex-finance minister describes how the Tsipras government handled the negotiations with its creditors, outlining the role each government official played during that period. As for his former collaborator, Varoufakis writes among other things: Alexis Tsipras appears totally overwhelmed, unable to collide with his own consultants who were pro loan agreement, in some cases he was totally manipulated by the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ Troika”.
From his side, in a recent interview with the “Guardian”, the Greek PM launches an indirect attack against Varoufakis. We quote from the interview: “I have made mistakes … big mistakes,” he says, adding that his biggest error may have been “the choice of people in key posts”. Asked if that is a direct reference to his first finance minister, the maverick economist Yanis Varoufakis, the leftist rejects the notion, saying he was the right choice for an initial strategy of “collision politics”, but dismisses the plan he presented had Greece been forced to make the dramatic move to a new currency as “so vague, it wasn’t worth talking about”.
The “blame game” between Tsipras and Varoufakis– two politicians whose role as servants of the bourgeoisie has been undoubtedly proved- has nothing to do with the actual interests of the Greek people. Both of them share immense responsibility for deceiving the people, both before and after the January 2015 elections.
Regarding the role of Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis, let us remind the following:
As an opposition party, SYRIZA had promised to tear up the austerity memorandums, which the previous governments had signed with the foreign lenders (the EU, the ECB and the IMF), and which contained the antiworker-antipeople measures. It was February 2015, just a few weeks after SYRIZA’s electoral victory, when the then Finance Minister Varoufakis revealed that the government agrees with 70% of the “reforms” included in the memoranda and disagrees with 30%, which it describes as “toxic”.
As an opposition party, SYRIZA had established a fierce rhetoric against privatizations. After being elected in the government, according to the statement of the then Finance Minister, Y. Varoufakis, the position had changed: “We want to move on from the rationale of cut price sales to the rationale of their development in partnership with the private sector and foreign investors”! So, the government of Tsipras and Varoufakis had adopted privatizations in order to reinforce the private sector but also tried to present other forms of privatizations, like, for example, public private partnerships and concessions to business groups, etc as being beneficial.
The- highly advertised by Tsipras and Varoufakis- “negotiations” between the Greek government and the creditors had a specific content which wasn’t related to the “end of austerity”, as SYRIZA and other opportunist or social democratic parties were claiming. That specific content was- and still is- an inter-bourgeois game, related to the needs of the monopoly groups which arise from the negative consequences of the deep capitalist crisis.
Regarding the so-called “revelations” of Yanis Varoufakis and the “blame game” between the former finance minister and PM Tsipras, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has made the following comments:
If the revival of the discussion about 2015 proves something, that is how the dominant circles of the system and the EU “used” SYRIZA and its fake radicalism in order to continue the antipeople policy that New Democracy and PASOK didn’t finish, as well as to sow frustration within the people.
It also proves that the real pro-people alternative does not exist in the various sectors of the capital that lead the people to bankruptcy, inside or outside the eurozone, for the sake of capitalist profitability, but towards a radically different way of development, in favor of the popular needs” (23/7/2017).
The KKE also states: “The transformation of SYRIZA into a “pure blood” bourgeois social democratic party cannot be explained neither with Mr. Tsipras’ statements of repentance nor with “political thriller” like the ones of Varoufakis. That was the specified ending of a party which undertook the management of the antipeople capitalist way and the service of the capital’s needs, something that the KKE had predicted from the very first moment” (24/7/2017).
Indeed, neither Mr.Tsipras nor Mr.Varoufakis have the right to pose as “defenders” of the people’s rights. Their role is well-known to the working class of Greece. Both SYRIZA and the new political platform of Varoufakis (DiEM25) are loyal servants of the capitalist system: despite any particular differences, their goal is common and that is to foster illusions among the working class about a supposed “pro-people” management of capitalist economy.
The capital- the bourgeois class- has the ability to use a variety of (supposedly) “radical” political representatives who are eager to serve the aim of people’s manipulation. The interests of the working class do not lie in the demagoguery of any Tsipras or Varoufakis, but in the strengthening of the struggle against the bourgeois class and the capitalist shackles, for worker’s power and towards the construction of a new society, the one of socialism-communism. 
* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’.
Anti-workers rage by SYRIZA’s newspaper “Avgi” challenges the right to strike!
| July 17, 2017 | 8:06 pm | Labor, Syriza | No comments

Monday, July 17, 2017

Anti-workers rage by SYRIZA’s newspaper “Avgi” challenges the right to strike!
In an anti-workers delirium that even the right-wing, neoliberal press would envy, SYRIZA party’s newspaper “Avgi” launched a vociferous attack against the working people’s right to strike! In an article published on 28/6, the newspaper shamelessly attacked the striking mobilizations of the municipal sanitation workers by reproducing the most reactionary arguments of the bourgeois press. Trying to justify the anti-people, anti-worker policy of the SYRIZA coalition government, “Avgi” characterizes the strike as the “ultimate medium” (!) which, according to the newspaper, should not be used frequently by the workers.
Using the arguments of the capitalists and big employers, the newspaper of SYRIZA tries to fuel “social automatism” (turning labor sectors against each other) and undermine class solidarity. In order to do this, the paper attacks the strikers for “keeping society hostage” and blames the workers-peoples’ mobilizations for being “harmful” for the “national interests”! According to “Avgi”, the “national interest” is the interest of the bourgeoisie which the SYRIZA government faithfully serves.
The newspaper intentionally tries to undermine the solidarity among workers of different sectors thus condemning those who strike against the barbaric policy of the government as “enemies” of the economy and development. But the point where “Avgi” openly challenges the right to strike is when it writes the following: “Some crucial for the social and national interests sectors do not have the right to strike” (!). Yes, the official party newspaper of SYRIZA reaches the highest levels of reaction, showing its real role as a social democratic instrument of the bourgeois class.
Apparently, the article of “Avgi” echoes the deeper intentions of the Tsipras’ government to restrict the right to strike. Being in the service of the big capital and an enemy of the working class, the SYRIZA-ANEL government is ruthless in accomplishing its anti-people role. The working class movement in Greece have no other choice but to stand firm in class solidarity and respond dynamically to such hideous provocations.
Greek tourism industry: Unpaid labour, starvation wages and huge profits for the monopoly groups

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Greek tourism industry: Unpaid labour, starvation wages and huge profits for the monopoly groups
What lies behind the luxurious and idyllic facade of Greece’s tourism industry? The answer is that tourism consists another field for monopolies’ profitability, based on unpaid workers, layoffs, unsourced workers, starvation wages, lack of collective agreements etc. 
This is the actual meaning of “economic growth” that the SYRIZA-ANEL government, as well as the New Democracy and the other bourgeois parties, promote. 
Even if thousands of tourists arrive in Greece every day, hundreds of employees work daily to the tourism industry with humiliating salaries and exhausting shifts that last from dawn till dusk. The average – daily room rate on all 4-5-star hotels is equal to the salary of a waiter! In a tourist country like Greece, where 25 million of tourists are expected this summer, hotel workers cannot afford a decent vacation and relaxing period. This is Capitalism.
On July 20 workers on Hotel-Tourism-Catering in Greece are going on Strike against the worsening of the working conditions and demand the reinstatement of Collective Contracts for the whole sector, especially the big, 5star hotels, owned by big multinational corporations.
PAME (All-Workers Militant Front), the forces of which actively support the preparation of the strikes, inform and participate in the initiatives for the success of the mobilization, calls all labour unions to express their solidarity with the strike of the Hotel-Tourism-Catering workers.
The Unions’ call to the strike follows:
 Workers in tourism, hotels and catering industry in Greece
Cookswaitersmaidscleaning personnelsalesmen, receptionists, travel agents, and all other employees to hotels, catering companies, restaurants, etc
We cannot stand anymore the starvation wages, with no collective agreements. Working non-stop overtime shifts, without insurance and social security and sometimes even without getting paid for months.
Dozens of trade unions of tourism, hotels & catering industry from all over Greece, are calling you to join and protest with us:
  • The “fairytale” of the SYRIZA Government and employees that all workers in tourism benefit from the growth of Tourism in Greece does not convince anyone of us who suffer from their policies.
  • They lie when they claim that we are working, that we are well-paid employees and we work under descent working conditions.
The reason is that the workers in tourism & catering industry in Greece, not only suffer from unemployment, but also are part-time workers, poorly paid- if not unpaid- and our health is brutally abused to their modern 5star hotels!!!
Even worse, we live the exploitation daily to the chain catering companies, where we get hired & fired in a blink of an eye, when workers cannot work under extreme pressure.
We will not remain silent!
Hundreds of us work only on seasonal jobs. Many work only 3 days per week.
At the same time, other colleagues have to work non stop for more than 10hours per day as “outsourced workers” through outsourcing “slave-trade”companies.
Young people that now work first time in tourism sector, full of dreams, end up sleeping in containers during the tourist season, working for free in order to “get experienced”.
And if by chance they are paid something, that is not enough, not even for their transportation from/to the working place. On the same time, the situation for the employees with contracts is not much better.
Nowadays Greece faces a unique growth, with an income exceeding every year €15 billion coming from our job while most of us do not have the necessary to survive. While welcoming 30million tourists every year in a country with more than 10.000 hotels and hundreds of restaurants, café, bars, very few of us have ourselves the “luxury” to go on holiday with their families.
This is the tourism they want to impose, a tourism that destroys & vanishes every single small working place and businessman who tries to compete the big business group of companies. This is the development they want to bring everywhere. And this is the truth.
Workers at Athens Ledra Hotel. Athens Ledra, one of the biggest 5-star hotels in the centre of Athens, suspended its operation just on the beginning of summer high season, end of May 2016. The owners of the hotel, who became richer, all these years that tourism is growing in Greece, literally abandoned the 230 employees without salary for more than 3 months. The employers decided to invest their funds to other business activities (constructions, energy etc), where the government grants are bigger. Pure capitalism.

  • We must take over.
  • We must raise our voice.
  • We must strengthen our resistance and our demands along with the trade unions that care about the workers and their rights.
  • Through a massive participation to the strike, in order to impose to the employers to accept collective agreements, all around the country
  • By demanding to live and work in a descent way, with a salary enough to cover our needs
  • By demanding the abolition of any new way , which the employers find, every now and then, in order to impose cuts to our salaries
  • By gaining, through our fight, protection & insurance measures for the unemployed colleagues and their families, during the entire duration of the unemployment
  • By demanding the abolition of the outsourcing companies that act as modern “slave traders”, in order all of us to have job with rights.
  • By fighting for human working conditions, health and safety in the working place
We shall take initiatives in order to inform all our colleagues around Greece for the demands we have and expose the employers and the extreme exploitation we’ ve been through We shall become better on revealing what is their “growth”, which steps on us and our lives for their profit. We must demand our growth, which will bring a life with dignity and rights for us and our families, for everyone. We must fight for our lives, in order to be able to go on holidays, enjoy cultural activities and recreate ourselves, not by buying all these as a luxury, but as a common right being deprived by the majority of the people today
With The Class Trade Unions On The Front Line
We Fight For Our Needs.
July 20 National Strike In Tourism.
KKE Gen.Secretary D.Koutsoumbas: “People’s struggle against capitalism is what brings hope”

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

KKE Gen.Secretary D.Koutsoumbas: “People’s struggle against capitalism is what brings hope”
On July 3 2017, a pre-agenda discussion in Parliament was held at the level of the party leaders on the issue of the economy, at the request of the President of ND, K.Mitsotakis, on the occasion of the recent agreement in the Eurogroup regarding the completion of the second “review” of the Greek economy.

As was expected, the Prime minister A.Tsipras, the President of ND K.Mitsotakis and the leaders of the rest of the bourgeois parties attempted to use confrontational language in order to conceal their strategic convergence around the basic demands of capital, swapping accusations about who “undermines” the aims of capital and who serves them better.

In contrast, the GS of the CC of the KKE, D.Koutsoumpas, noted that the real hope for the working class and people is not to be found in the plans and negotiations of the capitalists. Dimitris Koutsoumpas underscored that the biggest memorandum is the capitalist development path itself. He noted that the fairy tales about “just development” in capitalism, which allegedly benefits both the monopolies and the people, are collapsing every day in the workplaces, where the harsh exploitation of the workers is realized.

The GS of the CC of the KKE noted that the euphoric atmosphere, which the government is trying to create amongst a people that has been driven to its knees by the policies of all the governments until now, is provocative and outrageous. In reference to Eurogroup agreement on the 15th of June, he underlined that this confirms that capitalist development does not mean the “end of the sacrifices” for the people, but signals the beginning of a new round of the intensification of the exploitation of the workers. a constant anti-people offensive.

At the same time, D. Koutsoumpas lambasted the country’s participation in the NATO plans that serve the aims of big capital, with the danger that the Greek people will pay an even higher prices for the interests of capital.
The GS of the CC of the KKE stressed that real hope for the working class and people can only be created by coming into conflict and rupture with the current development path. With a powerful KKE, the revitalization of the movement, the Social Alliance, with a proposal for a way out in favour of the people.
PAME: We will not bleed for their profits in peace! We will not become flesh for their weapons in war!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

PAME: We will not bleed for their profits in peace! We will not become flesh for their weapons in war!
The following text is the introduction speech, on behalf of the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), at the Balkan Anti-Imperialist Trade Union Meeting which was held on June 25th in Thessaloniki, Greece. 
Dear Colleagues,
on behalf of the PAME Executive Secretariat, we welcome you to our today’s meeting “With Workers From All Countries For A World Without Exploitation, Wars, Refugees“.
We particularly want to welcome colleagues from our neighboring countries who came under very difficult conditions, such as colleagues from Syria and Palestine. But also colleagues and organizations who wanted to be here with us today, but because of many obstacles they did not succeed. It is our great pleasure to welcome colleagues from 14 trade unions from 10 Countries of the region, here in the city of Thessaloniki.
A city of particular international importance for the class trade union movement of our country, as it was the city where the first major, internationalist, class-oriented trade union organization of our country, the legendary FEDERACION. An organization that had workers of all nationalities, Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Israelis, etc., an organization that did not bend in hatred calls of the imperialists of the First World War, but held up the flag of the working class.
In this city yesterday, thousands of workers and hundreds of unions were demonstrating with PAME, a rally that clearly gave the message “Outside NATO-Stop Imperialism-Long Live the Friendship of the Peoples”. A demonstration that we believe is of great importance as it is a continuation, like our current meeting, in the Campaign Against Imperialism signed by hundreds of trade unions and trade unionists from Greece and abroad.
PAME took this initiative of joint co-ordination and stepping-forward against the imperialist war, the interventions, the various conflicts that unfold in our neighborhood and around the world. Within this campaign, PAME has taken a series of initiatives to inform and mobilize Greek workers, to support and strengthen friendship with the peoples of the region.
On May 1st, thousands of workers were gathered in Greece and other countries, such as the concentration of colleagues from Nakliyat Is in Turkey, where the resolution of the Trade Unions against the imperialist war was read and voted by strike gatherings. We had the pleasure of welcoming colleagues from Turkey at the 1st of May Demonstrations in Lesvos, Samos, Kos, Alexandroupolis and Komotini. The Ambassador of Palestine welcomed the PAME Meeting in Athens. While in previous events in Ioannina, Larissa, Thessaloniki, Patras, we expressed our Solidarity to the peoples fighting, to the peoples of Syria and Palestine. Also colleagues from the Birlesik Metal Is Trade union from Turkey were present in the Metal Trade Union Strike in Perama, Athens.
We want to thank particularly our colleagues from Turkey as Turkish fighters come under difficult conditions, overcoming obstacles and dangers to send the message together from both sides of the Aegean: We will not bleed for their profits in Peace! We will not become flesh for their weapons in the war! Peoples have nothing to divide, we have the same sufferings, the same needs. The enemy is one and the same, imperialism!
Also note that this initiative does not stop there. On 1 and 2 July 2-day-events will take place in Samos, Lesvos, Kos. PAME, the class-oriented movement of Greece will continue, will strengthen these actions.
Dear Comrades,
All Workers Militant Front took the initiative of this Anti-imperialist Campaign, implementing the decision of our 4th National Congress, that the working class must be alerted, prepared and fight both against the anti-working policies of the Capital and its Governments, and against the conflicts of the imperialists. In the center of their competitions are:
  • How to share the damages of the crisis and how they will benefit from the capitalist development, which all agree that is weak, with big problems.
  • Which monopolies will take the lead in the course of the competition
  • Who is going to take control of the markets, the energy sources of gas, oil and even water, the energy pipes and commercial transport routes.
That’s why this position does not arise from a pacifistic logic, a general anti-war mood, but comes from the experience of the world working movement summarized by Brecht in 5 simple words:
“Their war kills
Whatever their peace
Has left.”
For us, therefore, it is not a coincidence, but a characteristic of our movement, the class unions of Greece, that PAME was born in 1999 in the flames of the war in Yugoslavia. It is no coincidence that PAME’s action, from the very beginning, linked the struggle for the defense of wages and workers’ rights, with the struggle against imperialism, imperialist interventions and wars. Today, completing nearly two decades of unwavering class and anti-imperialist struggle, we feel justified because we have correctly predicted developments. We were rightly placed as a class movement against the plans of imperialism against the division of Yugoslavia and made every city and place of work, a place of resistance and struggle against the imperialist intervention. Correctly, here the forces of PAME in Thessaloniki then sent the NATO hubs to the downtown-markets, changing the signs. We correctly positioned and called for a General Strike against the US invasion of Iraq. We were right to inform the workers against the so-called “anti-terrorist” US-NATO-EU campaign after the attack to the Twin Towers. A campaign, almost twenty years later, that is the Trojan Horse of War and the intervention of the imperialists around the globe.
Today, therefore, on the one hand, we feel justified for this estimation, for our predictions, but at the same time we feel the responsibility we have as a class, struggling trade union movement to go forward. To anticipate developments, to prepare the working class, to inform it so that it can resolutely deal with the plans of its exploiters.
In all countries, governments, regardless of hue, sign, progressive, conservative, or even “left”, participate in imperialist competitions, interventions and wars, with one or another imperialist camp. Their main concern is to defend the interests of the ruling class of their own country, their business groups in the international chessboard. Their declarations of peace and security are rapidly increasing as far as their war budget is growing. As much as they swear to the contrary, the figures disprove them. Doubling of war expenditure for the US, five times for China in the coming years and 10times for the EU military research.
Workers in the world are witnessing the spread of warfare in more and more areas, especially in our neighborhood. The Balkan peoples pay for the consequences of border change, state dismemberment and the continued cultivation of nationalist hatred, US-NATO-EU-Russia boots in the region. In Eastern Europe, in Georgia, in Ukraine the war between NATO and Russia were expressed, while in Romania the massive NATO military exercise “Noble Jump” takes place, escalating tension.
NATO’s General Secretary said specifically a few days ago: “Since 2014, we have increased our forces since the Cold War. We have tripled the composition of the NATO Response Force to 40,000 men. We set up eight armies in Eastern Europe. In the Baltic States and Poland we have promoted 4 multinational Battle Formations. We are strengthening our presence in the Black Sea, with a multinational brigade based in Romania, enhanced naval and air presence, and the UK are sending additional patrol aircraft. At the same time, we are strengthening our capabilities in cybersecurity. “
While at the recent NATO Summit in Brussels, despite the oppositions of the interests of the imperialists, they decided:
  • Completion – by accelerating moves at all levels – of the implementation of the dangerous decisions of the 27th NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016, the reinforcement of NATO forces across the line from the Baltic to the Black Sea, combined with the installation of the “anti-missile shield” in the context of dangerous competition with Russia.
  • Strengthening the NATO engagement in the imperialist war in Syria by taking part in the coalition of states led by the US that bloodshed the people of Syria to meet their own strategic interests.
  • The demand for excessive NATO spending by reaching the 2% of GDP target for all member states.
  •  Military presence with NATO forces, the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • The continuation of the imperialist intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq.
They are decisions that smell gunpowder and blood for the peoples. Decisions that confirm the criminal nature of the imperialist organization.
At the same time, the EU is strengthening its militarization. It establishes a European Army, European Headquarters, emergency forces (the Eurocorps), and promotes the European Defense Union as well as the European Defense Fund.
NATO and the EU are transnational imperialist unions, of which the peoples can only wait for exploitation and poverty, war and refuge for the many and immense wealth for the very few and in our country it is our duty to strengthen our struggle against them.
At the same time in the Middle East, the people of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan are experiencing the consequences of these imperialist interventions. The people of Syria’s martyrdom are in the swirl of multi-year imperialist intervention and antagonisms involving a series of imperialist powers. On the one hand, the US-EU-funded jihadists and the oil giants of the Gulf, the USA, and others that are willing to participate, including the Greek Government. At the same time, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and more distinctly China and other countries. As crows are waiting to feed on the flesh of the Syrian people.
We can see today that the outbreaks are spreading. The developments between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, where one accuses the other of supporting terrorism, countries dominated by the obscurantism and religious fanaticism of the emirs, who led the Jihadists’ support, the interventions in Syria and Yemen, the more general planning in the region, rearranging their alliances, demanding the control of their areas and their wealth.
At the same time, the working class at international level is experiencing the continuation of a brutal attack against its rights. For the profits of business groups, the European Union and governments of each country, legislate anti-labor measures. They cut wages or give rise to very small increases in relation to multinational inflation and profits. The internationalization of important, key services is being promoted internationally. Hospitals, schools, telecommunications, harbors, roads are all assigned to business groups, resulting in downgrading of services for the peoples and the high, prohibitive for the working class, cost. An important attack is the rights of workers to trade union action, the right to organize in trade unions and the right to strike.
We saw it, in France with the El Khomri law, in England with the negotiations for BREXIT where the people will be the victim, in Turkey, where especially after the coup attempt almost every labor claim is considered a “national danger”, in Italy with the notorious JOBS ACT, in the Balkan countries with the EU accession process, the attack on labor rights is escalating.
In Greece specifically the Government of the so-called “Left” SYRIZA, who co-establishes with a nationalist party, ANEL, has just legislated, in the past few days:
  • Freezing already reduced pensions by the end of 2022
  • Reversals to the Strike Law and trade unions that will signify newer obstacles to their actions
  • Reducing the tax-free limit so that even the poor, the impoverished must be taxed
 These measures follow up on his anti-labor measures 4th Memorandum imposed by SYRIZA in May, which includes new wage cuts, new barbaric taxation, collective lay-offs. At the same time that the SYRIZA government is crushing the Greek people at the same time Greece’s military  expenditure is 2,38% of GDP and is second only to those of US with 3.61% among all NATO members.
In the name of the geostrategic upgrading of the Greek bourgeoisie, the SYRIZA-ANEL co-operation fully adopts the NATO and EU war plans and improves its involvement. At the recent NATO summit this government committed to taking a more active role in planning. The barbarity of anti-people, anti-worker policy is the one aspect of a class policy that plutocrats, who gave birth to the crisis, implement for the growth of their profits, the expansion of their business interests, in order to gain in the race with their competitors. The other facet of the same policy is the geostrategic upgrading operation of the Greek bourgeoisie in the wider region that increasingly resembles the eye of the tornado.
At the same time that the government, for the benefit of the large capital, takes constant and wild measures against the working people, it celebrates the new installments the country is taking. At the same time that the country gets a blooded-up grant of € 8.5 billion based on wages-pensions-rights slaughter, it gives back literally to the massacres of the peoples every year 4 billion euros, which corresponds to Greece’s participation in NATO. These amounts go to NATO warfare, support upgrades and acquisitions of the Armed Forces in NATO-based figures and bodies. That is why the government received the congratulations of the USA President.
NATO is not a factor of stability and security! Wherever it goes, it carries death and destruction. It puts the peoples one against the other. It is the killing machine of the imperialists, it does not recognize borders and sovereign rights.
Consequently, the participation of the country in these imperialist organizations and alliances is anything but beneficial for our sovereign rights, the borders and the interests of the Greek people, who pay high price for this participation in the circumstances of a particular economic crisis.
NATO is currently expanding its army and fleet from the Baltic to the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, defending the interests of the predatory alliance, the interests of its own monopolies in the region against their competitors. In this routine, the NATO Armada trips to the Aegean, while FRONTEX has acquired powers at the land and sea borders of the country.
Greece participated and participates in imperialist aggressive projects. Greek troops were found and are found outside the country’s borders. Our country participates in 13 NATO missions abroad, either permanently in the Indian Ocean, the Horn of Africa and Suez, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mali, Lebanon and Libya.
Lately, more and more NATO troops are developing in Europe, doing exercises. The most recent is the 3rd Armored Brigade in Poland with hundreds of armored vehicles and 3,500 soldiers who have the eye in Russia. At the same time, the Americans call for additional facilities and access of their Armed Forces to Greek bases, looking forward to accessing Larissa, Aktio, Andravida, Skyros.
The NATO headquarters in Thessaloniki, where we held the big nationwide demonstration yesterday, is one of the NATO Force Structures. It is one of the National Land Forces and has multinational staffing, working through Memoranda of Cooperation. These are funded by the national budgets of the countries in which they are based. These headquarters are “High Standards, they have a role to play for participating in a Rapid Reaction Force, and beyond Thessaloniki, there are military headquarters in Milan, Valencia, Istanbul, Strasbourg, Lille, Munster, Raintalen.
The “NobleJump” NATO exercise, which is being held today, is another proof that the SYRIZA-ANEL government offers “land and water” to the murderers of the peoples, it provides NATO with ports, airports, highways and even camps in Evros to pass . It is prepared to take on more active roles in imperialist plans to secure a share of capital from interventions and wars. In addition to the above mentioned exercise, at the same time, the NATO ships, the ships of death, sail freely in the Aegean and our harbors. After “USS Mesa Verde” and “USNS Trenton”, a catamaran type and designed to support, among other things, Special Forces operations, it anchored in Neo Ikonio. The intense mobility in the port has already triggered mobilizations in Piraeus by mass organizations and trade unions.
In addition to troop activity, a number of conferences are taking place, such as the 8th Annual NATO Maritime Prevention Training Center Conference held in Souda last week, or the 70th anniversary of the Defense Cooperation Office that governments advance in Greece and the USΑ, the tripartite summit in Thessaloniki, Greece-Cyprus-Israel.
At the opposite of this activity, PAME, the class trade union movement, openly supports the reactions of Greek soldiers serving their military service. With constant letters, soldiers from several camps in the country oppose plans, NATO exercises, they are thundering that they will not become meat for imperialist cannons, they will not be assisting personnel in NATO troops.
We are addressing workers, the unemployed, the poor farmers and the self-employed across the country, not tο appease them, as the government and the other parties do, but to discuss with them about these dangerous developments in our region that “smell gunpowder”.
We are addressing them in order to discuss what our answer should be, i.e. the response of the working class of the people from the point of view of our own interests. Let us discuss what supposed necessity puts us in NATO, in these plans, the obligations arising from our participation in these alliances, i.e. what are the interests of our people for our troops to be involved across the earth. What borders do the military, naval and air forces involved in these missions defend?
What is the need for Greek coverage in the US imperialist attack on Syria? What is NATO’s role in the Aegean? What makes it beneficial to us? Is it a factor of stability?
The presence of EU-NATO in the Aegean is encouraging Turkey’s provocation, with continuous violations of the sovereign rights of Greece, as well as of the Cyprus EEZ. In these NATO’s specific forces in the Aegean, also participate  Turkish forces, ships, planes that fly and sail with the NATO’s flag and permission over the Aegean islands. It is practically applied the NATO’s fixed guideline, which does not recognize national borders in the Aegean, but it considers it as a single operational area. It is this exact line that encourages the demands of the bourgeoisie of Turkey. This is one of the reasons why the violations and the Turkish provocations have multiplied since NATO came to the Aegean and we are counting violations every day.
The nationalism is growing in Albania, in the Balkans altogether, a wanted UCK former governor is running for Kosovo’s prime minister, racist murderous criminal organizations are being supported and funded, like the Golden Dawn in Greece. Issues of minorities and borders are again being raised. The imperialists are re-dividing the earth.
In the wider region of the Balkans, pipelines are being promoted, resources are being exploited in the name of the EU’s goal of gaining energy self-sufficiency and be independent from the Russia’s natural gas supply. As Turkey questions the half of the Aegean, as Albania’s provocations about the Great Albania and Tsamouria are continuing, the TAP pipeline is being built in a friendly co-operation between Greece, Turkey and Albania. The businesses about the energy that are being built across the Eastern Mediterranean are escalating the competition for which business group will prevail over its competitors, they intensify the controversy among capitalist states about who owns the rights of expoitation, in which designated EEZs, who will have the control of critical energy passages. And that’s the cause of the ongoing competitions in Balkan countries such as FYROM, Serbia, Kosovo, etc. with inter-bourgeois contradictions in each country and with the involvement of forces such as the USA, Russia and the EU. Contradictions that are also associated with border changes, taking advantage of the poison of nationalism.
In any case, the peoples of the region will be harmed, entering into great adventures. For the peoples the issue of energy, the new pipelines and deposits are false hopes, because while the pipes around these peoples are rapidly appearing, the people are still paying heavily the electricity, the oil, in total, the energy.
Consequently, our participation in these imperialist organizations is far from beneficial for our sovereign rights, the borders and the interests of the Greek people, who, in the period of the economic crisis, pay a heavy cost for this participation. The Greek people, like the peoples of the neighbouring countries, have to demand the disengagement of Greece from the imperialist interventions and adventurisms, the closure of the NATO bases, such as of Souda, which the Greek government is upgrading and is also expanding the infrastructures (in Larissa, Aktio, Andravida), the return of Greek troops from missions abroad, disengagement from the looting of the capital in the wider region. To throw off together the poison of nationalism and racism that infects the workers and the youth.
As the joint declaration of the Trade Unions and the Unionists against the imperialist war:
“The all-out attack that condemns the working class in every country in unemployment, poverty, misery is the one side of the class policy.
The other side is the unjust, imperialist war that they wage in the interests of the big business groups.
Faced with the possibility of a generalized warfare in our region, we are now building a wall of protection for the working class of our countries, our peoples, in joint action and solidarity with each other and with our trade unions at the forefront of this struggle. “
Through the mobilization of thousands of workers from Greece yesterday, through today’s meeting of trade unionists from 10 countries, PAME continues its efforts in this direction.
We consider it our task, we consider a first-line issue for the trade unions of each country, on the one hand, to strengthen the struggle for workers’ rights, and on the other hand, to increase the vigilance of the working class against nationalism, xenophobia, racism and fascism. Against the hate incitements that our exploiters cultivate to keep us divided and to exploit us.
That is why we consider it very important that the 17th Conference of the International Congress of the WFTU, which was held successfully in Durban, South Africa, about a year ago, has set the tone for the decisions that the world working movement must be vigilant about imperialism. To strengthen its struggle against the NATO and the imperialist organizations.
At the same time we should be concerned as trade unions, about the role of the ITUC, which not only supports the US-NATO imperialist interventions, but also plays an active role in order to be supported by the workers of each country, as in the case of Libya, and as it is doing today, for example, in Syria.
Under these circumstances, it is necessary for the working movement of each country to prepare the workers so that they do not support foreign flags which are against their interests. As during the “imperialist peace” the workers should not accept to cut their salary for the profitability of their bosses, so in wartime they should not accept “to kill the peoples to feed the boss”.
We have a duty to strengthen the struggle against nationalism, xenophobia, imperialist plans within the working class of each country. Strengthen the solidarity with other peoples, the solidarity with refugees and immigrants, the exclusion of the fascists. These problems cannot be left outside the trade unions because the workers have no interest in bleeding for the bosses. We shall not let our countries become a huge base for the imperialist massacres, and our children, the soldiers used for their cannons.
In this direction, it is necessary for the trade unions, that along with the struggle for salary, social security, free healthcare and education, they integrate the struggle against the imperialist plans.
They must strengthen their struggle against imperialist organizations, NATO and the EU to strengthen their struggles against the anti-workers governments in each country, against business groups.
We have nothing to divide among the working class of other countries, with other peoples. On the contrary, the common interest of struggle for a life without wealth and poverty, without bosses, unites us- that is the life that we own. Our struggle will be effective as long as it links the defence of the borders and sovereign rights, the struggle for the peoples to live peacefully, with the struggle to overthrow the barbarous exploitative system that has been proven to cause and nourish poverty, unemployment, wars and refugees.
That’s why we fight for:
  • • No involvement in the imperialist interventions and wars outside the borders. No involvement in NATO and EU slaughterhouses.
  • • Closure of all foreign military bases. NATO out of the Aegean and the Balkans.
  • • No involvement in the political- military alliance of the capitalists.
  • • Struggle against the change of borders.
  • • Struggle against the abolition of trade union rights and other freedoms.
  • • We say no to the war expenditure for military action outside the borders, we demand funding to satisfy the needs of the working class, of workers’ family.
  • • Struggle against nationalism, racism, chauvinism
  • • Solidarity with the refugees, the immigrants, solidarity to all peoples.
  • We do not stand behind the foreign and hostile to us flag of the capitalists and their allies. We raise the flag of the interests of the working class.
We are fighting against the unjust wars, to eliminate what causes them.
Solidarity is the weapon of peoples.
Tsipras’ government dismisses 10,000 workers, promotes privatization in garbage collection

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tsipras’ government dismisses 10,000 workers, promotes privatization in garbage collection
Sanitary workers protesting near the Acropolis
in Athens.

Why there are tones of garbage in the streets of Athens and other Greek major cities these days? The answer is because the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government- within the framework of its anti-people, anti-workers policy and following the demands of the EU strategy- moves towards the dismissal of 10,000 sanitary workers, while it promotes the privatization of the garbage collection sector in municipalities. 

Greece’s local authority staff union federation POE-OTA launched a protest last week, after a court ruled against the new extension to late 2017 of the short- term contracts of more than 10,000 people working in trash collection in municipalities throughout Greece.
POE-OTA responded with work stoppages, strikes, and sit-in protests at landfills, rightfully demanding permanent employment of workers to replace the fixed-term contracts, which put workers in risk of being fired in a country suffering chronic unemployment of about 25% of the working force.
In a communication trick, Interior Minister Panos Skourletis submitted to the parliament on Monday a proposal for hiring 2,500 permanent municipal sanitation workers. The proposal was immediately rejected by POE-OTA as insufficient. The government’s mockery towards the sanitary workers is more than clear: It proposes the hiring of 2,500 municipal sanitation workers, while it prepares the dismissal of more than 6,500 of them! 
“Given that sanitation services are a daily operation in urban centers, we request permanent personnel earning salaries allowing them to make a living with dignity. There is no need for short-term workers which are recycled by governments and mayors under the formula ‘You leave, you are hired’. As a result, each time people are offered fewer workers’ rights and smaller wages,” Christos Panagiotopoulos, a protesting worker was quoted by the Chinese news network Xinhua on Monday.
In this anti-workers strategy, the SYRIZA-ANEL government is actually supported by the opposition party of New Democracy and all the bourgeois political forces, including many of the municipal authorities. In Thessaloniki, mayor Yannis Boutaris– known for his animosity towards the labor movement- unleashed a fierce attack against the striking workers and threatened them by signing an emergency tender awaiting a relevant short-term contract to the private sector. Such a move by Boutaris would cost to the city’s taxpayers approximately 192,000 euros for three days! The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) slammed the anti-worker delirium of mayor Boutaris thus accusing him of promoting the governmental strategy and the interests of private contractors.

“Fraud- hostage- dismissal- unemployment… This is the course of the government’s policy in the case of the municipal sanitation workers, the policy followed by the SYRIZA-ANEL government during the last 2.5 years” writes the Sunday edition of “Rizospastis” on 25th June. 

“In particular, the sector of sanitation and waste management consists a very promising “investment” sector for monopoly groups” points out the article of “Rizospastis” and continues: “Many are those who are lurking to strench their hands, since in this case “garbage is treasure”. What nowadays appears to be a “gordian knot” in the labor relation of the contract workers, consists a first-class opportunity to promote privatization projects. It is also no coincidence that many media, according to their favorite method, rushed to zoom at the “piles of garbage” in Athens, in order to connect the issue with the tourist season and pass the “message” about the need for privatization. After all, specific mayors are already moving towards this direction openly”.

KKE: “The people must support the struggle of the sanitation workers – The waste collection and management is state’s responsibility.”

In a statement, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) expressed its support to the struggle of the workers and denounced the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, as well as the role of New Democracy and part of the mayors who promote the privatization plans. The KKE states that the waste collection and management is state’s responsibility and must be financed from the government’s budget. “Today”, the KKE statement points out, “the SYRIZA-ANEL government dismisses thousands of contract workers, hiding behild the constitution’s provisions. Instead of ensuring the right to stable and permanent labor of all these workers, (the government) is mocking them, promising supposed solutions which perpetuate labor insecurity and lead to dismissals”.

Full support to the struggle of the sanitation workers was expressed by the five communist mayors – of the cities of Patras, Chaidari, Petroupolis, Kesariani and Ikaria – who denounced the governmental mockery. The five mayors asked from the government to transform the temporary contracts of the municipal sanitation workers into permanent ones.  

And a 24-hour strike and a new rally in Athens was called for Thursday.