Category: Syriza
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

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/tsipras-government-dismisses-10000.html
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.

On the dangerous and provocative remarks by New Democracy’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the dangerous and provocative remarks by New Democracy’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/on-dangerous-and-provocative-remarks-by.html

Adopting the “arguments” of Golden Dawn’s neo-Nazis, the president of the centre-right New Democracy (ND) party Kyriakos Mitsotakis made some dangerous and provocative remarks blaming the “Left” as the one responsible for “terrorism” in Greece. 

 
In an article published on ‘politico.eu’ under the title “Greece fears revival of far-left violence”, Mitsotakis fully adopts the rhetoric of Golden Dawn’s fascist thugs: “We are the only country [in Europe] that has domestic terrorism of the extreme left” said Mitsotakis who tried to downgrade the criminal activity of the Nazi Golden Dawn. 
More specifically, ‘Politico’ points out: However, Mitsotakis played down the impact of Golden Dawn on Greek society, saying it was “so extreme and so vulgar” that it was marginalized. “It’s as if they don’t exist” he said. “The violence has been almost exclusively from the left in recent years”.
 
With the above statements, Kyriakos Mitsotakis shamelessly “exonerates” the criminal role of Golden Dawn, a Nazi-fascist organization which is responsible for numerous murderous attacks on immigrants and workers. 
 
Apparently, Mitsotakis’ interview and his anti-left remarks consist another episode in the bourgeois bipartite “dogfight” between SYRIZA and New Democracy. However, it becomes clear that his effort to blame the “Left” as the womb of terrorism goes far beyond than the SYRIZA-New Democracy political rivalry: In fact, with his hideous and unacceptable remarks, Mitsotakis puts in target the workers-people’s movement, equating it with the activity of provocative groups (e.g. November 17).
 
Of course, Mitsotakis’ remarks on ‘Politico’ were hailed by the Golden Dawn Nazis who congratulated him for his statements: “Here is the big truth Mitsotakis said- well done to him” the neo-Nazis wrote in their website.  
 
Comment by the KKE regarding Mitsotakis’ remarks:
 
Commenting on Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ interview and his remarks on “terrorism”, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) pointed out:
 
“The effort of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to create dangerous associations, by actually connecting the activity of provocative groups with the workers-people’s movement, on the one hand strengthens the environment of repression and on the other hand adopts the arguments of Golden Dawn, the criminal activity of which he totally silences”. 
SYRIZA: The “left” servants of NATO

Thursday, June 22, 2017

SYRIZA: The “left” servants of NATO

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/syriza-left-servants-of-nato.html

By Nikos Mottas*.

 
In the name of the so-called “geostrategic enhancement” doctrine of the country and following the path of the previous governments of New Democracy and PASOK, the SYRIZA-ANEL government has been proved NATO’s “best student”. Since its formation on January 2015, the governmental alliance between the social democratic SYRIZA and the nationalist ANEL party has aligned itself with the dangerous plans and goals of the imperialists.
The criminal decisions made in the recent NATO Summits in Brussels, as well as in the one in Warsaw a year ago, bear the signature of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. In an effort to serve the interests of the Greek capital, the SYRIZA-ANEL government works towards a more intense involvement of Greece in the interventions and imperialist wars in the Middle East and North Africa. That includes the expansion of the activities of the NATO-US forces in the Souda naval base (with the Greek side covering the enormous NATO’s expenditures) and the more planned utilization of other military bases and command centres in order to promote the euro-atlantic plans, within the framework of the US-EU competition with Russia over natural gas and oil, energy pipelines, the control of markets and strategically significant regions.
 
It is characteristic that just a few months after it rise to power, the government of Mr.Tsipras signed a 500 million dollar deal with the US company Lockheed for the maintenance of old airplanes for the needs of NATO. While it crushes the people, the working class with more and more austerity measures, the government of SYRIZA finds both money and time in order to correspond to the demands of the NATO imperialists.
 
We must remind that, among other things, the SYRIZA-ANEL government under Prime Minister Tsipras:
  • Has provided- and provides- military bases (Souda, Aktion) for the facilitation of the USA and NATO forces in the wars in Syria, Libya and Iraq. 
  • Maintains Greek military forces in imperialist missions abroad (from Afghanistan to Bosnia and from Libya to Mali), thus engaging Greece deeper into the dangerous inter-imperialist plans in the broader region.
  • Under the pretext of the refugee issue, the government agreed to the enhancement of NATO’s naval presence in the Aegean Sea. Such an action is connected to the sharpening competition in the wider region of the Middle East. The SYRIZA-ANEL government, like the previous bourgeois Greek governments, argue that NATO consists a force of “peace” and “stability” in the Aegean Sea and the Greek-Turkish relations. However, it is the opposite that happens: NATO not only does not recognize any borders between its member-states but, furthermore, it reinforces the aggressive plans of the Turkish bourgeoisie for the “greying” of the Aegean and the promotion of “disputes” over islands, sea borders etc. What does NATO, or the EU, say about the systematic violations of Greece’s airspace by Turkish fighters?
  • Actively participates in joined military exercises of NATO, as well as other bilateral and trilateral exercises with the USA and Israel, while it provides any facilitation (ports, airports, camps, military and other infrastructure) for multiple NATO military training in the Balkans (e.g. the recent “Noble Jump” military exercise in Romania). Within this framework, the government uses Greek soldiers as “assistant staff” to NATO’s forces.
  • Following the policy of its predecessors (New Democracy, PASOK), the government spends 2.4% of the GDP in military expenditures. At the same time, their policy has increased youth unemployment up to 50%! The “left” government of Mr. Tsipras cuts wages and pensions but when it comes to military expenditures, demanded by NATO, it shows remarkable obedience.   
Defense Minister P. Kammenos- the nationalist
governmental partner of Tsipras- with NATO’s Gen.
Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

For its policy, the SYRIZA-ANEL government has received multiple “congratulations” and praises from the NATO, the USA and the EU. The intention of the Greek government to support and facilitate the imperialist plans of NATO in the region of Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans was confirmed, once again, during a meeting between Greek and US officials in Athens on June 8th. Praising the government for its willingness to serve the aims of the imperialists, the deputy commander of the EUCOM (US European Command) Lt. General Timothy Ray said: “Souda (base) served us during the Cold War and today continues to support our missions in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, in Northern Africa. Greece is a factor of stability in times of insecurity and instability […] today, more than ever, we ask from Greece to continue playing her leading role in ensuring security in Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans”.

 
The U.S. ambassador in Athens Geoff Pyatt also expressed his pleasure for the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and underlined: “With her unique geostrategic position and her Armed Forces, Greece supports our missions, especially throught Souda, which gives us a strategic advantage and the capability to confront challenges with flexibility and efficiency in the broader region”.
 
Lies, deception and illusions.
 
For those who have followed the rapid political transformation of SYRIZA, from a small opportunist leftist coalition into Greece’s major social democratic party, the above stance consists no surprise. After all, during the last seven years, SYRIZA has been proved an extraordinary case of political deception and ideological manipulation. Foreign policy is another field where SYRIZA and its leadership has turned black into white.
 
The supposed “radical anti-imperialism” of SYRIZA as an opposition party has been fully transformed, thus proving the real illusionary political character of social democracy. More specifically:
 
On May 2012, in its electoral program, the party of Alexis Tripras was stating among other things:
 
Our policy includes…The closure of all the foreign military bases in Greece. Immediate abolition of the bases of Souda and Aktio. We want neither Greece is NATO, nor NATO in Greece and we are fighting for its (NATO’s) dissolution”.
 
After its electoral victory on January 2015, SYRIZA did exactly the opposite from what it had promised: Not only the US and NATO military bases remained, but the SYRIZA-ANEL government (through Defence Minister P.Kammenos) proposed the opening of a new NATO military airbase in the island of Karpathos (21/5/2015)!
 
On July 2013, the “Political Declaration” of SYRIZA’s congress was stating: “the disengagement from NATO, the abolition of the foreign military bases, the prevention of the military collaboration with Israel and the application of the doctrine “no Greek soldier in war-zones abroad” consist the axes of our Foreign Policy”.
 
The convenience and rapidity with which SYRIZA changed its positions would be a a ridiculously entertaining issue, if it wasn’t so seriously dangerous for the country’s people. After its electoral victory SYRIZA “forgot” all the above statements and became an obedient ally of the imperialists. Under Alexis Tsipras, Greece becomes more and more involved in NATO’s dangerous imperialist plans, the Greek-Israeli military co-operation has been strengthened and the government is determined to participate actively in future NATO missions.

The supposed “radical leftist” Mr.Tsipras – the one who has signed NATO Summit’s decisions in Warsaw and Brussels and who emerges as the “best student” of the murderous alliance – is the same person who, during a nationwide televised press conference in Thessaloniki on September 2014, was stating: “Our assessment was and still remains that in the new international balances of a multipolar world, this military formation (NATO) which reflects the Cold War era has no reason of existence”. 
 
The KKE had exposed the “multidimensional foreign policy” of SYRIZA as an instrument of serving the bourgeois interests a long time ago, when Tsipras’ party was rising as Greece’s “radical” opposition. Here is a characteristic part of an article published in ‘Rizospastis’ daily on December 18th, 2012 under the title “What SYRIZA says about foreign policy”:
 
When SYRIZA talks about a “multidimensional foreign policy” it means friendships with imperialist powers, according to their contradictions and what interests the domestic bourgeoisie or some powerful portions of her. SYRIZA also says that the aim of its foreign policy is to “politically enchance both Greece’s participation in the european institutions as well as her geopolitical value”. Even if we skip the unevenness in capitalist development, which makes impossible the equal participation of capitalist states in inter-state Unions, who is benefited by Greece’s strengthening in european institutions? And on behalf of whom (the government) will be negotiating a supposedly “more powerful” Greece in the bodies of the imperialist Union? Apparently, not on behalf of the people […] Therefore, SYRIZA’s agony is for the interests of the domestic bourgeois class and on behalf of her it promises a stronger Greece, like the previous governments did, either “liberal” or social democratic ones”.
 
What has been demonstrated in practice is that the SYRIZA-ANEL government is another anti-people government, which under “left” slogans served in an equally faithful way the bourgeoisie, the imperialist unions of EU and NATO as the previous governments had done. Foreign policy consists another field where SYRIZA has been totally and irreversibly exposed as the “left” servant of the bourgeois interests.
 
The working class, the popular strata of Greece, shall not forget nor tolerate the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Together with the workers of all countries, Greece’s workers-people’s movement must organise its counterattack and intensify the common struggle against the wolf-pack alliances of NATO and EU, the imperialist wars, the bourgeois classes and their warmongering policies for their own profits.

* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’, a PhD candidate in Political Science, International Relations and Political History.

Greek soldiers declare NATO forces “unwelcome”

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Greek soldiers declare NATO forces “unwelcome”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/greek-soldiers-declare-nato-forces.html
THEY ARE NOT WELCOME!
With an open letter, soldiers from military camps in Evros and Thrace in Greece express their protest against the facilitations that Greece’s Armed Forces provide to NATO’s exercise “Noble Jump”.
More speficially, the soldiers denounce the SYRIZA-ANEL government for providing Greek “territory and waters” to NATO’s forces and underline that the governmental policy consists “a provocation for the soldiers, who are children of the Greek people, especially after the reactions of soldiers and the popular movement which, for at least 20 days, with statements, demonstrations, reports and letters from Greece and Cyprus, have expressed their opposition to NATO”.
In their letter, the soldiers write: “We are not assistant staff to NATO forces”. 
 
“We express our opposition to the use of ports, airports, roads, camps and other infrastructure of our country by NATO’s military forces. They must not set their foot in our country’s soil. They are not welcome”, the Greek soldiers conclude in their open letter.
The above letter of soldiers consists part of an escalation of anti-imperialist mobilizations and actions within the working-people’s movement against Greece’s participation in NATO’s dangerous plans. A few weeks ago, members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) had created a human chain in Egnatia motorway, close to the city of Kozani, thus blocking the way to a NATO convoy which was passing through northern Greece in order to participate to the “Noble Jump” military exercise in Romania.
Numerous anti-NATO demonstrations took place this month in Alexandroupolis and other cities, while a large anti-imperialist rally, organised by the All-Militant Workers Front (PAME), will be held in Thessaloniki on Saturday 24th June.
Source: Rizospastis / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
KKE blasts Tsipras’ government for accomplishing “dirty missions against the people”

Friday, June 16, 2017

KKE blasts Tsipras’ government for accomplishing “dirty missions against the people”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/kke-blasts-tsipras-government-for.html
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
After the decision of Thursday’s Eurogroup, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued the following statement:
“Yesterday’s Eurogroup welcomed and ratified the antipeople measures of the second review and the 4th memorandum- the largest package of measures, as it characteristically says- confirming that the SYRIZA-ANEL government is the government of “dirty” special missions against the people.
The disbursement of the installment, which will mainly go for the repayment of loans, the “wishes” for the debt after 2018 and the promises for development-investment packages lead to lasting memorandums, to the establishment and escalation of the antipeople policy, to the blood surpluses until 2060.
The only benefactors are the capital, the investors who will benefit both from the people’s crash and the new privileges they are given. This is the subject of the negotiation behind the narrative of “development” that the government puts forward.
For the employees, the young people, the pensioners, the professional workers, the voted measures, the cuts in wages and pensions, the overthrows in labor rights, alongside all the rest which will be required as prerequisites for the any debt regulation, apply in full. So, for the people the result is “zero to the quotient”.
The climate of euphoria that the government is trying to create to the people who are kneeling and bleeding because of the policy of all governments so far, is provocative and outrageous.
The fragile compromise between Germany, France, Italy, the USA- through the IMF- and the other EU countries, which actually has to do with the management of the excessive debts of other EU member-states, is reflected in the “acrobatic” and contradictory formalities of the decision for the debt regulation in the future, after the end of the program, as well as in the conflicting statements of the “protagonists”.
The above cannot hide that, even if there is a debt reduction, the people know what they must wait for and do not believe the known fairytale that their sacrificies supposedly work (for their benefit). The real hope can only be born through rupture and clash with the current way. With a strong KKE, revitalization of the movement and social alliance”.
Political Knavery: SYRIZA government crushes people’s rights, votes for extra austerity measures

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Political Knavery: SYRIZA government crushes people’s rights, votes for extra austerity measures

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/political-knavery-syriza-government.html
“Butchers” of pensions, salaries, workers rights.
PM Alexis Tsipras (right) with Finance Minister
Euclid Tsakalotos.
With the 153 votes of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government’s MPs, Greece’s parliament approved on Friday a handful of additional antipeople austerity measures demanded by creditors in order to unlock more than €7bn of aid and complete a much delayed second review of the so-called bailout progam. 
 
Once again, the government of Tsipras proves its role in doing the “dirty job” on behalf of the creditors and the big Capital. 

The extra austerity measures, which were added to draft legislation on fishing regulations in an attempt to speed up their passage through parliament, are related to further cuts in pensions and “freezing” of the collective contracts until 2022, taxation issues and electronic auction of properties. 
“The (political) degradation of the government has surpassed any limits” commented the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) the MPs of which- in a symbolic gesture – left the Parliament Hall after voting down the measures. During his intervention, the KKE MP Nikos Karathanasopoulos denouned the governmental measures and called the “workers to uprise, to counterattack, to condemn the policy of the government which consists a continuation of the previous governments’ policy, not only in its content but also in the way of its legislation”
 
The SYRIZA-ANEL government, through its Finance and Labour Ministers Euclid Tsakalotos and Efi Achtsioglou, invoked the debt issue (and the supposed facilitation of the Greek public debt) in order to justify the new harsh antipeople legislation. However, as KKE’s Karathanasopoulos mentioned, its the popular family that pays for the debt facilitation, adding that “the people are bleeding for a debt that they didn’t create and for which they are not responsible”
MP Karathanasopoulos also warned that the upcoming agreement between the SYRIZA-ANEL government and the creditors in the Eurogroup meeting of June 15th will be towards an antipeople-antiworkers direction.
 
In the meantime, hundreds of protesters responded to the call by PAME (All-Workers Militant Front) and gathered outside the Parliament’s entrance on Friday evening, demonstrating against the new slaughter of their rights. 
 
Statement of the CC of the KKE regarding the latest dangerous developments in the Middle East

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Statement of the CC of the KKE regarding the latest dangerous developments in the Middle East

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/statement-of-cc-of-kke-regarding-latest.html
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
 
In a statement regarding the latest developments in the Middle East, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) stresses the following:
 
“Yesterday’s US bombings against forces of the Syrian army, combined with the diplomatic crisis in Qatar and today’s attack in Iran’s Parliament, consist a dangerous escalation of the imperialist interventions and competitions in the region of Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.
 
Precisely these interventions of the USA-NATO-EU, in their antagonism with other powers in the broader region, such as Russia, are the ones which led to the dismemberment and destabilization of countries, the support of jihadist groups like ISIS, aiming at the control of the natural resources and energy routes of the region.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government bears huge responsibility for Greece’s involvement in this carnage, under the pretext of the country’s “geostrategic upgrade”, which is in fact related with the participation of the domestic capital in the war’s prey. 
 
For the Greek people and the other peoples of the region, the dangers are immense and for that reason, the disengagement of the country from the imperialist plans must become a popular demand of struggle.”