Category: Syriza
SYRIZA government withdraws anti-strike amendment after Trade Unions’ militant reaction
| December 7, 2017 | 8:10 pm | Analysis, class struggle, Greece, Labor, PAME, Syriza | No comments

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

SYRIZA government withdraws anti-strike amendment after Trade Unions’ militant reaction
Workers-Trade Unionists invade the Ministry
of Labour in Athens.
The SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government was forced after militant mobilization by PAME and Trade Unions to withdraw a shameful amendment on workers’ strike and other labour issues only hours after they were tabled in parliament. Earlier today (Tuesday), demonstrators supported by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) invaded the Ministry of Labor in central Athens, as an act of protest against the antiworker-antipeople measures of the government.
The government’s amendment proposes that for a union to go on strike, at least 50% plus one of active union members must agree. In fact, this measure is a step towards the restriction of the workers’ right to strike and consists an escalation of the government-EU’s attack against the labour movement.
Mass mobilization by PAME and Trade Unions in downtown Athens against the antiworker-
antipeople policies of the SYRIZA-ANEL government.
Workers gathered outside the Ministry of Labour, Athens.
Once again, the “left” government of Alexis Tsipras has proved how ruthless it is when it comes to the satisfaction of the needs of the creditors and the capital. From its side, the KKE, from the very first time, declared “hands down from the right to strike”, thus calling the working people to intensify their struggle against the governmental measures and organise their counterattack with the nationwide strike on December 14th.
“Bread, Education, Liberty”: 44 years later, the legacy of the Polytechnic Uprising lives on

Friday, November 17, 2017

“Bread, Education, Liberty”: 44 years later, the legacy of the Polytechnic Uprising lives on
Like every year, on November 17th, rallies have been scheduled for today in  Athens and other Greek cities in order to commemorate and honour the 43rd anniversary of the students and workers uprising in Athens, which is historically known as the Polytechnic Uprising. 
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Communist Youth (KNE), as well as numerous labour organisations, students unions and women’s associations, have issued statements calling for mass participation in the march for the Polytechnic. 
A large rally has been scheduled to take place today (Friday) evening in downtown Athens, starting from the Polytechnic building and ending at the U.S. Embassy. Similar rallies will take place in major Greek cities, including Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, Larisa, Ioannina, etc. 
This year’s anniversary is important for an additional reason which is the deeper involvement of Greece in the imperialist plans of USA-NATO, under the responsibility of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. 
Below, you can read a brief historical review of the 1973 Polytechnic Uprising against the Greek Junta:
On the night of the 20th to the 21st of April 1967, the reactionary military circles of the country, which were closely connected to the secret services of the USA and NATO, conducted a military coup. The operation of the surrender of power to the army had been developed at the staff of NATO, under the code name “Prometheus”. Colonels G. Papadopoulos and N. Makarezos, who were actively involved in the preparation of the coup, became known as “the black colonels”.

During the fascist occupation 1940-44, several of these officers participated in the security forces and the mopping’up operations against communists; some of them even worked with Gestapo and were later connected to the secret services of the English and Americans. The military junta, headed by G. Papadopoulos, N. Makarezos and the generals S. Pattakos and G. Zoitakis, having planed a conspiracy with the king and based on the article 91of the Constitution of Greece, published a decree stating the transition of all of the power to the army and the abolition of a series of articles of the Constitution, concerning democratic rights. 

Having seized the power, the military dictatorship proceeded with the materialisation of the “Prometheus” operation. Every democratic liberty in the country had been abolished, a marshal law had been imposed, strikes and meetings were banned, harsh censorship was introduced, political parties and progressive social organizations were also banned. The army took upon it extensive authority, arrests and searches had been conducted. By the order of the dictatorship, thousands of political and social fighters of our country were arrested, first and foremost cadres of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the legal, until then, political party, United Democratic Left (EDA), through which, communists also fought. According to statements by the officials of the dictatorial regime, more than 40 thousand communists had been arrested till the May of 1967.

In order to deceive people, the colonels named their coup “national revolution”, which was supposed to have been conducted “for the benefit of all the classes of the Greek society”. The army and especially the officers, were declared “driving force of the revolution”, and the struggle against communism had been set as the main goal.

The coup became possible in Greece, because the military forces of the country were under the strict control of the reaction. The labour and democratic movement had not still reorganized its forces after the defeat in the civil war of 1946-1949. The development of the mass movement in Greece was impeded by the emergency laws, which first of all prohibited the action of KKE. The leaders of the “Centre Union” Party followed a policy of fragmentation of the democratic forces, disintegrating any common stance of the opposition, aiming at the repulse of the reaction, thus enforcing it. The opportunist elements that existed inside KKE during that period had succeeded in 1958 a decision to be taken for the dissolution of the illegal party organizations, to be taken, supposing that KKE, could, at the end, allegedly be replaced by a wider structure of the Left, EDA. EDA, despite its’ high election results, up to 28%, not only failed to develop a true alternative, but even failed to prepare the party forces and the popular movement before the coup.

The regime of the 21st of April of 1967 was an overt terrorist military-fascist dictatorship of the domestic and foreign monopolies. A characteristic particularity of the military-fascist regime has been no other than the close involvement of the American imperialism, in the preparation and the establishing of the dictatorship. 

The anti-dictatorship struggle
Straight after the coup, KKE strengthened its’ struggle for the rallying of all of the democratic and patriotic organizations. It summoned all the patriots, despite their party belonging, at factories, neighbourhoods, villages, universities, schools and state institutions, to organize in resistance committees, in order to overthrow the fascist dictatorship. On the initiative of KKE and EDA, the Patriotic Anti-dictatorship Front (PAM) had been formed on the May of 1967. Later, other anti-junta organizations made their appearance, such as PAK and the “Democratic Defence”.

KKE at deep illegality and in spite of the blows it had endured not only from junta, but also from the opportunists who had split the party in 1968, managed to regroup the party organizations, created the “Unified Trade Union Anti-dictatorship Movement” (ESAK) and set up its’ youth organization, the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), which was going to play an avant-garde role in the Polytechnic uprising in 1973.

The uprising of the Polytechnion
The sharpening of the socio-economic contradictions in Greece and the rise of the anti-dictatorship movement, in 1973, lead to the deep crisis of the regime. The dissatisfaction grew even in the army, the regime’s main support. 
In the mid of 1973, the demonstrations  of the workers embraced one branch of the economy after the other. One federation after the other gave notice of termination of their collective contracts and demanded a 45-50% rise in their salaries. These mobilizations were characterised by the vivacity and unity of workers, independently of their political beliefs and lead to the isolation of juntas’ people in the trade union movement. 
The struggle of the university and technological institutions students was an important parameter of the political developments in Greece, especially in 1973. Their main demands were the progressive reforms in the educational system, the restoration of trade union, academic and political liberties. The students of Athens, Thessalonica, Patra, Ioannina, conducted meetings, assemblies, demonstrations with slogans such as: “Democracy”, “Down with fascism”, “Down with the dictatorship”, “One is the leader, the sovereign people”, “Freedom to the political prisoners”. 
Because of the worsening of the financial standing of the poor peasantry, mass manifestations started to break out through the whole of Greece, and took the form of refusal of handing the goods over to the trade. The solidarity with the political prisoners and their families’ movement, aiming at the release of the political prisoners, also developed.
In order to diminish the pressure towards the regime, the military dictatorship, Papadopoulos went on to remove several of their collaborators from the government and to form a “political” government headed by the leader of the ‘Progressive Party’ S. Markezinis. The main task of the new government (October 8 1973) was to prepare ‘parliamentary elections’. 
The political manoeuvres of Papadopoulos did not lead to the stabilization of the situation the in the country. The anti-government manifestations persisted. It is worth mentioning that the opportunist fraction that split from the party in 1968 and created the eurocommunist ‘KKE-interior’ supported the manoeuvre of ‘politization’ of the dictatorial regime. A top moment had been the uprising of the students of the Polytechnic University of Athens and of the young workers of Athens, on the 14-17 November 1973, which gave the final blow to the attempts to disguise the regime. The main slogans of the uprising were: ‘Bread, Education, Liberty’, ‘National Independence’, ‘Down with Papadopoulos’, ‘Out the Americans and NATO’ e.t.c. Large masses of workers supported the students and the young workers. The students’ mobilizations acquired the form of university building occupations, in Thessalonica and Patra. Demonstrations had also been organized in Trikala and Drama. 
In Athens, the students managed to create a radio station and inform people from the building of Polytechnic of the mass manifestations. KNE in Athens and the Anti-dictatorship Students’ Union (Anti-EFEE), played a special role in the organization of the struggle.
On the 17th of November, at night, tanks had been thrown at the revolted students and workers. At that night, 56 people were killed, according to official records. According to police records, 1103 citizens and 61 policemen had been injured. As it became known after the fall of the dictatorship, 34.000 bullets had been used by the police, in addition to the 300.000 cartridges of all kinds, used by the army, so as to repress the revolt. In the days of the revolt, the regime went on to arrest 2.500 people, although it announced merely the arrest of 866, having made the following presentation of their social status: 475 workers, 268 students, 74 pupils, 49 Polytechnic students.
Although the revolt had been drowned in blood, the overall reaction to the regime grew. Eight months later (24 July 1974), the dictatorship fell under the weight of its treason and adventurism in Cyprus, where the coup, that it had organized in cooperation with the secret services of NATO, aiming at the extermination of the progressive regime of President Makarios (15/7/1974) led to the Turkish invasion and occupation of the 37% of Cyprus. 
Then, mass demonstrations against the dictatorship had been held in a lot of cities of Greece. The pressure of the masses had been so great that the Greek oligarchy, decided to remove junta and to hand the power over to a coalition of bourgeois parties, in which right-conservative elements persisted, in order to avoid the worst. This coalition had been but an expression of the compromise among the junta supporters, the imperialist circles of NATO and USA, as well as of the bourgeois political powers of Greece, for the ‘legal’ handing over of the power to the latter. 
At the same time, and without waiting for the release and return of the comrades in exile and from abroad, the illegal organizations of KNE and KKE regained legality. The legal activity of KKE had been won de facto and the circulation of the daily party’s newspaper ‘Rizospastis’ began. The new bourgeois government was forced to abolish the anti-communist law 509, through which the political activity of KKE had been prohibited for whole decades, since 1947. 
Each year, activities are held in honour of the students and workers, who revolted in the November of 1973. The culminating moment of these annual manifestations is the demonstration to the US embassy on 17th of November. 
Communist Party of Greece: Strongly condemns EU’s sanctions against Venezuela

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Communist Party of Greece: Strongly condemns EU’s sanctions against Venezuela
The Press Office of the Central Committee of the KKE issued a statement on the sanctions adopted by the European Union against Venezuela. The statement is as follows:
“The KKE denounces the unacceptable decision of the EU Foreign Ministers to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela. This decision is directed against the people of Venezuela and demonstrates once again the antipopular-reactionary character of the European Union, as well as the tactic of interfering in the internal affairs of other states, which has often taken a form of intervention, even with military means.
The government of SYRIZA-ANEL has enormous responsibilities regarding this event, because it turns out that this decision of the EU Foreign Ministers was taken unanimously. It seems that the full alignment of the government with the imperialist plans of US-NATO and the EU is taking place at all levels.”
KKE: Tsipras government’s “social dividend” consists crude and shameless propaganda
| November 14, 2017 | 8:11 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Syriza | No comments

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

KKE: Tsipras government’s “social dividend” consists crude and shameless propaganda
In an effort to disorient public opinion from the agenda of the upcoming new antipeople measures, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras made an unscheduled television appearance on Monday night to announce a €1.4bn “social dividend” to be paid next month to more than 3m Greeks who have been hit hardest by the country’s seven-year recession and the antiworkers-antipeople policies implemented by the governments of ND, PASOK and SYRIZA. The handout would include €720m in one-off payments for low-income Greeks and €315m in rebates for earlier cuts in healthcare payments, Premier Tsipras said. 
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued a statement denouncing the Prime Minister’s announcements as “crude and shameless propaganda”. More specifically, the statement of the Press Office of the CC of the KKE writes:

“When the SYRIZA-ANEL government is preparing a new round of antipeople prerequisites that crushes even the last welfare allowances, when it brings in the Parliament a budget of tax-robbery, when it launches the electronic auctions against people’s properties, when it targets more decisively the right to strike, the nightly appearances of Mr Tsipras in order to distribute “social dividends”- from the Greek people’s poverty surplus- can be interpreted only as crude and shameless propaganda.
However, the greatest mockery is the one that members of the SYRIZA-ANEL government talk about on a daily basis and which the Prime Minister repeated, about the relief of the people and fair development, [an argument] which is collapsing in front of the barbarity that the people are living, as a result of the policy that this government also implements thus receiving for that congratulations by the EU and the IMF. 
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
Demonstration of PAME in Athens: Workers send message of resistance to Tsipras’ government
| November 10, 2017 | 7:25 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Greece, PAME, Syriza | No comments

Friday, November 10, 2017

Demonstration of PAME in Athens: Workers send message of resistance to Tsipras’ government
With a large demonstration in central Athens, thousands of working class people send a message of resistance and counterattack against the new measures prepared by the SYRIZA-ANEL government, the quartet and the capital. 
The demonstrators, who corresponded to the initiative of the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), gathered at Syntagma Square thus sending an organised and militant message to the antipeople triangle of government-EU-employers. 
The rally of PAME was also attended by the Secretary General of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas who made the following statement to the media: 
“The economic crisis and capitalist development have as a common denominator the crash of workers-people’s rights. Optimism does not exist in the hollow words of Mister Tsipras or Mister Mitsotakis about “fair development”. Optimism for our people exists only in the growth of class struggle, the quick recasting of the labor movement, the social alliance, the struggle in all fronts and the multiform strengthening of the KKE”.
Similar demonstrations, organised by PAME and workers unions, took place in many cities throughout Greece, including the second largest city Thessaloniki.
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
Greece’s government sold ammunition to Saudi Arabia – The KKE denounces the agreement

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Greece’s government sold ammunition to Saudi Arabia – The KKE denounces the agreement
Another shameful agreement by the- supposedly- “left” government of SYRIZA. This time, the Greek Ministry of Defense agreed to sell ammunition to Saudi Arabia, a country with a very dark role in the promotion and implementation of imperialist plans in the broader region of the Middle East. 
The agreement between Greece and Saudi Arabia was denounced by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Press Office of which issued the following statement:
“The KKE through its parliamentary representative Thanasis Pafilis, in the relevant committee of the Parliament’s defense committee which met on this matter, not only voted against but also denounced the agreement.
The KKE firmly opposes agreements of military character that the Greek governments sign with countries which participate in interventions against other people, such as the case of Saudi Arabia.
We call the government to publish the meeting’s record that expose the stance of ever party, so that the Greek people will be informed in a responsible way.”
From Souda to Alexandroupolis: Tsipras’ government transforms Greece into a huge US-NATO base
| November 6, 2017 | 6:46 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Syriza | No comments

Saturday, November 4, 2017

From Souda to Alexandroupolis: Tsipras’ government transforms Greece into a huge US-NATO base

The U.S. ambassador in Greece Geoffrey Pyatt made some quite revealing remarks about the interest of the United States regarding the strategic role of Greek ports and maritime industry, during a speech at the 17th Navigator Maritime Forum. 

Here is part of the report by the Athens News Agency-Macedonian News Agency (bold letters are ours):

Commenting on Prime Minister Tsipras’ recent visit to Chicago and Washington, he said it strengthened Greek-U.S. ties and that “the message Americans heard throughout the visit, at the very highest levels, was that Greece is back, open for business and a pillar of stability in its region.” 

 Pyatt said this partnership includes enhanced bilateral investment cooperation, including an overall strategy where Greece serves as a regional hub and supplies energy from diverse sources to Europe, spurred by increased U.S. investment in this sector, as well as U.S. investment in Greek shipping, ports, and shipyards.   

“In particular, I hope we will be able to celebrate a major U.S. investment in the Syros shipyard in the very near future,” he said, referring to U.S. company ONEX which has expressed an interest in investing at the Syros shipyard.  

“I am glad to see that deal making progress and look forward to celebrating a major U.S. investment there in the coming weeks,” he added.  

The ambassador stressed however that privatizations of state-owned assets must be done in an open and transparent way, based on free and fair competition.  

“We saw this here already with the privatization of the 14 regional airports, where the winning bidders had a known track record of doing business in Greece and Europe.  It was clear where their financing came from and who their shareholders were,” he said, referring to Fraport’s deal to manage and operate the airports. 

An investment and privatization system based on transparency and the rule of law will help build confidence in Greece as an investment destination, and create momentum that can sustain the Greek economic rebound. I am confident that if Greece continues to commit itself to building such an environment, American investors will take a fresh look at Greece,” he said. 

The U.S. is also interested in the port of Alexandroupolis, he continued. “The strategic position of this port is on full display right now: elements of the US Army’s 10th Combat Air Brigade are using it as a staging area for Blackhawk helicopters and cargo moving back to the U.S. from Romania- demonstrating, as I discussed with the Mayor of Alexandroupolis this summer, the potential of that port to play a much bigger role in regional infrastructure and connectivity,” he said. 

*  *  *

Privatisations, investments by U.S. monopolies and, of course, strategic importance of Greek infrastructure for the imperialists of US-NATO-EU. Regarding ambassador Pyatt’s remaks, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued the following statement:
“Like a government spokeman, U.S. ambassador in Greece announced the transformation of part of the Alexandroupolis port into a U.S. military base, while, for two weeks, the SYRIZA-ANEL government is defiantly silent towards the KKE questions about the agreements with the Trump government.
Seems that Tsipras’ trip to the U.S. starts to bear fruits, the extend of the “political striptease” of shame begins to unveil and the government must inform the people about all the commitments it undertook.
Mainly, however, the Greek people must fight these shameful agreements which involve them in big dangers, within the frame of NATO-USA-EU imperialist plans in the region that go hand by hand with the overall antipeople policy”.
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.