Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Greek unions call strike December 1

Greece's two main unions GSEE (the General Confederation of Greek Workers)  - ADEDY (the Civil Servants' Confederation) have called a 24-hour general strike December 1 to protest government plans to pass new austerity measures including spending cuts, tax increase and state-asset sales.

The Movement for the Reorganisation of the KKE 1918-55 supports the strike and has released posters, flyers, etc. to support the struggle.
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PCEML: On the General Elections

Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist)
On the General Elections
In yesterday’s general elections, the strong turn to the right in the institutions that began on May 22 has been consolidated. The PP [Popular Party] achieved a comfortable absolute majority that, together with its control of City Councils and Autonomous Regions, will allow it to govern with an iron hand during the hard times to come.
The PSOE [Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party] with 110 seats has achieved the worse result in its recent history: a well-deserved punishment, inasmuch as its anti-popular and reactionary policy has been the key that has opened the door to the right, just as in his day Felipe Gonzalez and his government team did. On both occasions, right-wing social democracy has imposed a neoliberal and reactionary policy, leading to the harshest attacks against the labor, social and political rights of the workers majority; the latest attack: the reform of the monarchic Constitution, agreed on with the PP.
The United Left, in spite of the euphoria of its leaders, has not added anything close to the votes lost by the PSOE (an important part of these more than four million votes has gone to the UPyD [Union, Progress and Democracy], a dangerous reactionary force, which preaches a populist discourse) and is almost a million lower than its best result.
The abstention, which has grown more than 30% in the last fifteen years until it has now surpassed 9.5 million, has become the second highest electoral choice. Due to the lack of a well-known (and recognizable) reference, the left voters have abstained massively, also on this occasion.
The only exception was Amaiur, the coalition between Bildu and Aralar, which has been reinforced as the first electoral force in the Basque Country, achieving 7 deputies, which allows them to form a parliamentary group. And thus, the Abertzale forces have always maintained their political coherence. The success of Amaiur is the result of not yielding to the continuous pressure and threats of the regime; thus one cannot rule out a scenario like one in which the forces of the Spanish chauvinism of the Jose Antonio type want to deepen their policy of systematic negation of the political rights of such an important part of Basque citizens. We must be alert.
This is nothing new. The institutional map, as we pointed out in our analysis of the elections for the municipalities and autonomous regions, does not allow for soothing stories. The electorate has clearly moved to the right, while the left mainly continues to be divided and obstinate in continuing to respect the rules of game established during the transition.
This sweeping victory of a reactionary force replete with elements nostalgic for the Franco era and corrupt politicians may seem strange, at times like the present, on which the oligarchy is fighting to increase its attack against the popular classes. But the PP has not won due to its own merits. The new treason perpetrated by a “social-democratic” government has led many citizens to seek revenge with a massive punishment vote by looking towards the only force with the possibility of winning a majority. The recourse to the useful vote that the institutional left espouses to win the support of its voters has ended up turning against it.
Of course this is not encouraging news. The masses continue to be disoriented, their rejection of politics and politicians prevails, a visceral attitude that does not augur anything good.
We are now experiencing the consequences of the treason of the docile left, its systematic rejection of the social movements, its imposition of forgetting history and apoliticism, as instruments to guarantee the acceptance of a regime with phony democratic glitter, in which its representatives in the main institutions have acted in their immense majority of allies of consensus, carrying out a pragmatic and short-sighted policy, on the back of the needs and priorities of the people. The consequences of an anti-democratic electoral law, custom made - to guarantee control of the institutions by the most docile forces that accept the political framework of the monarchy.
The oligarchy seems to be afraid to exhaust the popular expectations too quickly, that the depth of the crisis and the brutality of the measures that they are going to apply will end up completely unmasking the regime and open up a period of social conflict that will drift into a more general confrontation; fear that in the class struggle that is sharpening, the popular camp will end up uniting its forces to respond politically in a fight that will finally overcome big capital.
But, in spite of the “conciliator” tone of Rajoy [leader of the PP and Prime Minister elect – translator’s note] in his first public address, nobody should expect a lull in the attacks. The speed will be determined by what fits the markets and its lackeys. But reality is stubborn and in the next months we will see how Rajoy and his team will deepen the policy of privatization and dismantling the social and political rights begun by Zapatero.
No one should have any doubt that, if they need to, the social liberal leaders will offer to reinforce their State policy. There are no essential contradictions in the reactionary camp: just as they united their forces to impose the reform of the Constitution, they will impose the orders they receive from those who really set the political agenda: the imperialist bourgeoisie.
After learning the result, Cayo Lara [leader of the United Left – translator’s note] declared that its parliamentary group will be spokespersons in Parliament for the fights in the street. We hope and trust that it will be so. The United Left cannot try to dominate the left, it cannot continue refusing to seek unity with other forces in a common program, nor can it persist in claiming that the main problem that the left has faced in these elections is an electoral law that punishes them compared to other forces with a smaller vote.
It is true that the perverse existing electoral law harms them in an inadmissible way, but the deep causes of the indifference of the popular classes with the left must be seen beyond that, in the fact that it lacks its own approach, independent and confronting the monarchic regime, which has conditioned (and it continues doing so) its policy in the institutions.
The left must draw a single and evident conclusion: it is more necessary than ever to advance towards unity. Not any kind of unity, but one that is based on a clear and forceful position of rejection of the regime, by an genuinely democratic framework and, thus, a republican one. To continue to fight dispersed, or even worse, serving as allies of liberal social leaders who have proven time and again that, in their commitment to the oligarchy, they are prepared to sacrifice their own political expectations, as Zapatero showed in his public statement on the electoral result, would be suicidal.
To start on the road to consistent unity of the left, the Republicans have been born, a federation that our Party fully supports and that, despite all the obstacles and pitfalls, has presented candidates in eight electoral districts and developed organizational nuclei in many provinces.
Since its first Assembly, held last October 1, the Republicans have insisted that their objective went beyond elections and made clear that their expectations of it were very limited. The result, however, has been hopeful; the electoral battle has allowed it to begin to launch an organization that is prepared to call its next assembly with the participation of the newly arisen nuclei.
Very harsh months are coming. The European Union of capital and war is taking steps to put an end to any remaining sovereignty of the member States. They demand total submission of all the States to the dictates of the central oligarchy: in Italy they have imposed a government of “technocrats” committed to big capital; in Greece a “government of national unity” in which, together with the social liberals and the rightists of New Democracy, the extreme right is taking part. In Spain, where the economic crisis is very far from touching bottom, the victory of the right, the dispersion of the left and disenchantment of the social majority threatens to generate an explosive situation. We are entering a period in which days can seem like years, with constant changes. The political image arisen from the elections of November 10 will not last long.
November 21, 2011
Secretariat of the Central Committee of the PCE (ML)
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Communist Platform: The Berlusconi Government is bankrupt

The Berlusconi Government is bankrupt.
Let us continue united the fight against the capitalist offensive, to defend our economic and political interests!

The failure of the Berlusconi Government took place in the midst of the turmoil of Italian finance. His majority collapsed under the weight of two main factors.
a) The maneuvers of the international financial oligarchy and the ruling group in Italy, which needed to avoid infection from the debt crisis by adopting anti-popular measures faster and deeper; therefore they had to dump Berlusconi, who was now considered unreliable and too weak.
(b)) The capacity of resistance of the working class and popular masses who, in the struggles developed over the last two years, have prevented the consolidation of a reactionary regime, split the social bloc around Berlusconi, and made the consensus of the majority of the government fall to the minimum.
The workers movement and its struggles have made an important contribution to the fall of Berlusconi, but they were not decisive, confirming Marx’s famous slogan: “Either the proletariat is revolutionary or it is not."
This is because of its weaknesses and political, ideological and organizational limitations, as well as the grave responsibility of the reformists who, worried about the consequences, used all means to head off the decisive push of the working class,. The last gift to Berlusconi was to clear the road for the packet of urgent economic measures, another chapter of social plunder.
The end of the Berlusconi government is an important political step, which we welcome with satisfaction, but it is not the end of Berlusconism, that is, the predominance of neoliberal politics.
We must not have any illusions, much less stop mobilizing ourselves, because the picture that is before our eyes is worrisome.
First, we must observe that, while the country is under the commissariat of the EU-ECB-IMF, the government and parliament are under commissariats of "King George" Napolitano who, making himself interpreter of the diktat of the financial oligarchy, imposed the times and means for the solution of the governmental crisis and of the parliamentary discussion to approve the economic measures.
Although in an emergency situation, it foreshadows the passage to a presidential republic, a symptom of a further authoritarian involution of the bourgeois system.
With the expected appointment of Monti, Italy is moving closer to the formation of a government of almost all the bourgeois parties of the right and "left", which will form a single party of capital when it comes to saving the ruling class from mortal danger or defending its fundamental interests.
The "emergency" government that is being formed under the pressure of the "financial markets" will be as anti-popular, if not more so, than that of Berlusconi. It is born under the sign of the clear hegemony of the imperialist bourgeoisie.
The pedigree of the neoliberal Monti is clear: for years, he was EU Commissioner (appointed by Berlusconi and D'Alema), European President of the Trilateral Commission, member of the Bilderberg Group, consultant to the investment bank Goldman Sachs, centers of imperialist power.
The new Senator for Life is a representative of the financial oligarchy, responsible for and beneficiary of the crisis. Unlike Berlusconi, he supports the overall strategic, comprehensive and long-term interests of financial capitalism.
His program is the letter of Trichet and Draghi, the increase in competitiveness at all costs (that is, the increased exploitation of the workers), the attack on the rights and interests of the working masses, the increase in the working age, cuts to pensions, privatization and easier layoffs.
The gradual liquidation of democratic freedoms, as well as the reduction of national sovereignty and the economic colonization, will continue. All this in the name of "government of globalization and the crisis" and behind the screen of the "social market economy".
Internationally, the executive in preparation will continue to accept the leadership of US imperialism, to manage its relationship with the other European powers, thus perpetuating the role of Italy as a geo-strategic springboard and vassal country for aggression along the crisis zone from North Africa to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.
The government that the imperialist bourgeoisie wants to impose will have the support of the reformists, of the centrist parties linked to the Vatican and of most of the reactionaries of the PdL (the fall of their "knight" accelerates their internal discords). But it will not have support among the working masses, and this will be its weak point.
In this situation, the reformist and social-democratic leaders are confirmed in their role of props of capitalism, which in the course of the crisis are moving increasingly to the right. They conceal from the masses the class character of the government by calling it a "technical" one. The role of regulation and control of the struggles that the PD and the top levels of the CGIL will play (they spoke in favor of emergency government of Monti) will be crucial. However, this will open up the deepest contradictions in the rank and file and in the union.
The change of horses will not resolve the crisis, which is one of world capitalism and the entire ruling class. None of the economic, political, social, environmental or cultural problems that affect the working masses and the youth will be resolved. On the contrary, the working and living conditions of the majority of society will be worsened.
Behind the decline of Italian capitalism, behind the structural problems, which come from far away and affect the working masses, there is the whole bourgeois drive to defend its privileges and its ineptitude towards its own ruin.
In this situation we reaffirm the necessity of the policy of the proletarian united front. We need unity, but not unity with collaborators and opportunists. The only valid policy to put in order and prepare the counter-offensive is to promote the welding together and reorganization of the forces of the class into a single anti-capitalist front, which expresses a program of uncompromising defense of the interests of the exploited and supports their organizations such as the workers and peoples Committees.
On this basis there will be built a broad popular front, to unite around the proletariat the social classes and strata oppressed by the financial oligarchy.
We must push forward a policy of united front against neoliberalism and social-liberalism, to not pay for the debt and the crisis, against military expenditures and the politics of war, for the withdrawal from the EU and NATO.
The building of the front is primarily a process of political unity of the working class and the popular masses, forged in the struggle against the reactionary policy of the bourgeoisie, to place the crisis back on the heads of the capitalists, of the rich, of the parasites.
This fight for political unity must be conducted in meetings, in discussions with the different forces of the left and class unionism, but especially in joint struggles against any bourgeois government, on the basis of the political needs that we share.
This confirms the vital need to work for an alternative policy of revolutionary rupture with this policy and the system that produces it.
The government that we need to fight for is a government of the workers and all other exploited working masses. A government that expropriates the capitalist monopolies, seizes the wealth of the parasites, socializes the main means of production and exchange, supports the control and oversight by the working class, demolishes the oppressive bourgeois machine and gives the workers the rights and freedoms that they are entitled to. A government that serves the struggle of the proletariat to strike the bourgeoisie, to hasten its final defeat.
The interests of the working class are for a revolutionary way out of the crisis. Italy will be reborn, it will be a free and prosperous country, respected and admired; it will make its contribution to the economic and social reconstruction of the world, only with socialism.
But without the Communist Party, one cannot achieve the transition of workers and all the exploited to revolutionary positions; one cannot lead the struggle towards a new society.
To look to the future means therefore to focus attention on the function of the Communist Party, indispensable tool for leading the process of emancipation and liberation of the exploited and oppressed masses.
The reconstruction of a vanguard political organization of the working class requires the active and direct commitment today of the sincere communists and the best elements of the proletariat.
Let us work together to push forward this process, breaking once and for all with opportunism and unifying ourselves on the basis of Marxist-Leninist principles and proletarian internationalism!
November 11, 2011
Communist Platform
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Friday, November 11, 2011

The reformist leaders of the "K" KE-PAME: Impact force of the capital upheld the reactionary bourgeois parliament

Photo: Members of PAME in the role of Riot police uphold the Parliament using sticks and helmets
Thousands of workers who were striking and protesting, anti-fascists of various political orientations, even members and followers of "K"KE and PAME in Syntagma Square outside the Greek Parliament the second day (October 20) of the 48-hour general strike were surprised when they saw the reformist leaders to assume stewardship of the reactionary bourgeois parliament and ensuring the "Order and Security", i.e the imposition of bourgeois legality, with the "excuse" of safeguarding their "own" concentration (ie that the concentration of PAME), apparently replacing the riot police and the civilian Army which is used by the bourgeoisie when the police is inefficient and unable to to defend the reactionary bourgeois regime.

The October issue of Anasintaxi has an article with our position on the matter in Greek which can be found in
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

N. Zahariadis: People of Greece Will Achieve Victory

For Lasting Peace. For a People’s Democracy!
No. 49 (109), Friday, December 8, 1950

People of Greece Will Achieve Victory

N. Zahariadis

General Secretary, Communist Party of Greece
In August of the last year, around Vitsi and Grammos, the main forces of the Greek democratic army were forced to retreat, and under pressure of the numerically superior monarcho-fascist troops, relinquished the armed struggle.
Following this, the Greek exploiters and the foreign invaders noisily proclaimed that, henceforth, a new period of calm, peace and restoration would set in for Greece.
The past year has utterly refuted these allegations of reaction. The situation in Greece has deteriorated in every respect. Industrial output stagnates around 50-60 per cent of pre-war. The number of unemployed exceeds 200,000. The agrarian crisis dooms agriculture to increasing degradation. Foreign trade is declining. Enormous quantities of tobacco, raisins and others agricultural produce, which form the bulk of export, cannot be marketed due to American competition. The deficit in the balance of foreign payments is growing steadily. Despite constant injections of American aid, finances are always threatened by bankruptcy. Inflation is strangling economic life in the country. In the last for months, food prices have risen 50-100 per cent. Stagnation in trade and unbearable taxes, which were increased on American orders and which in recent months soared to record dimensions, worsen further the already hard position of the working people.
Monarcho-fascism has also failed to achieve any improvement in political life. The puppet governments, manipulated by the American imperialists, change just as frequently as before. Discord in the monarcho-fascism camp is becoming more intense. The rampant embezzlements and plundering, the scandals within the government, embezzlements of public property, contraband and corruption, which involve not only all monarcho-fascist parties but also highly-placed American officials, poison the atmosphere in the country and testify to the decay and rottenness in which the ruling classes are immersed.
The only sphere where life and animation prevail is militarization of the country in accordance with the requirements of the American war plans. There is ample, concrete and irrefutable evidence showing that the American imperialist aggressors have picked on the Balkans as a sector for war adventures, timed for the near future. They are using monarcho-fascist Greece, like Titoite Yugoslavia, as a base for their military adventures. Greek rulers are servilely fulfilling all the demands of the Americans in preparing for war. All the means of the State budget are now devoted chiefly to war preparations. The numerical strength of the army is being increased from 300,000 to 500,000. Dozens of new airfields are under construction and the American and British naval and air forces based on Greece are always carrying out manoeuvres.
The war and militarist hysteria is now taking a more concrete shape. The “Greece-Yugoslavia-Turkey-Italy” square is being knocked together as the Mediterranean-Balkans continuation of the North Atlantic aggressive pact. This square is being glued together from two triangles. One “Athens-Belgrade-Ankara” is directed against Bulgaria, and the other – “Athens-Belgrade-Rome” against Albania. American and British politicians, diplomats, and generals are developing feverish activity for the purpose of accelerating this imperialist, aggressive link-up. Monarcho-fascist Greece is the most docile and the main weapon for preparing war in the Balkans. This is spoken of openly and brazenly by the mercenary reactionary press: “Americans supply the dollars, we – the blood”.
Thus, a direct and deadly menace threatens our country and our people. The people see the abyss into which they are being plunged by the American imperialists and the Greek monarcho-fascists. Guided by the Communists, they are struggling against hunger and war, for the life and peace.
A broad strike movement of the factory workers, civil servants and office workers, a powerful movement against repressions and terror, for a general amnesty, is developing and gaining momentum in the country.
The peace movement is spreading in Greece. It is underground but breaking down the obstacles and gaining legality because of its strength. Scores of the best representatives of the intelligentsia, languishing in prisons and concentration camps, signed the Stockholm Appeal. The Appeal was also signed by thousands of honest Greeks, including soldiers and officers, ministers of the church, merchants and industrialists. The movement for peace is revealing itself with particular force now that the menace of American war adventures in the Balkans is becoming imminent and telling. Our people protest against the American aggression in Korea and against the dispatch of Greek troops there. When the 529th and 583rd battalions of the third monarcho-fascist brigade were detailed for Korea, the mothers and soldiers cried: “Give our sons back to us!” On the arrival of the battalions in Lamia (the point of departure for Korea), the soldiers organised anti-war manifestations; many of them were arrested and subjected to torture. Some of the men deserted. Thousands of leaflets calling for resistance against the despatch of Greek troops to Korea were distributing among the population.
The main feature of the present mass struggle is that, besides the workers, it involves wide sections of the peasantry and handicraftsmen, that a movement is developing for peace, against imperialists war, a movement which is rallying not only masses of the people but soldiers too.
Monarcho-fascism, despite last year’s victory at Vitsi and Grammos, failed to crush the people’s democratic movement. The People’s democratic forces have carried out an organised retreat and in the main, are intact. Partisan units continue to defend the rights of the people in the many regions of the country. No lull or decline has taken place in the mass economic and political battles of the broad sections of the people. The people’s democratic movement, relying on the moral support of the entire camp of democracy, peace and socialism, is reorganising and regrouping its ranks.
Events show that our retreat last year was not a rear-guard action, but a vanguard battle of a broad people’s movement which was in a stage of rapid revolutionary development. Therefore, the main danger for our movement just now is defeatism and on opportunist under-estimation of the enormous possibilities for further struggle.

In these conditions of the profound political crisis in the country and the spreading broad movement of the people – the Third Conference of the Communist Party of Greece was held last October.
The conference had the job of summing up the lessons of the entire ten-year struggle of the Greek people and of charting the course ahead for the Communist Party.
The conference analysed, in the spirit of healthy criticism and self-criticism, the work of the Communist Party and disclosed and examined the mistakes of the Party over past ten years.
Despite the fact that our people had resolutely fought against the German occupation, they nevertheless failed to achieve victory because, as now stated by the Third Conference, the leadership of our party followed, in the main, an incorrect line which subordinated the struggle to the aims of British imperialism and which led to capitulation and surrender of arms after the well-known Varkiza agreement (February 1945). The conference stated that such an incorrect policy of the Communist Party of Greece during the Hitler occupation, right up to the Varkiza agreement was the outcome of deliberate treachery by G. Siantos, then Secretary of the Central Committee and military leader of ELAS (Greek People’s Liberation Army)
However, despite treachery by Siantos and the Varkiza capitulation, the people of Greece, led by their Communist Party, which, after the Twelfth Plenum of the Central Committee (June 1945), began to rectify the treacherous and revisionist line of Siantos, never became reconciled to the December 1944 defeat or the Varkiza capitulation. In March 1946, the people again took to arms in order to secure – although under more difficult and complicated conditions – what they failed to secure with their armed struggle against the first, Hitler occupation and against the British in December 1944.
The main difficulty in this struggle lay in the presence of British occupation troops in our country. In this connection, the Communist Party directed its efforts to exposing to world public opinion the British imperialist policy in Greece and to avoiding, at any rate at the beginning, an immediate clash with British troops. In the main, we succeeded in isolating and exposing the British in Greece.
For nearly three and a half years our people, relying on the sympathy of world democratic public opinion, waged an armed struggle against the forces of the monarcho-fascists. In 1948, when the all-out campaign of the monarcho-fascists against the Greek Democratic Army had suffered failure, the American imperialists, jointly with the British, resorted to an open military offensive against the Greek democratic forces. At the same time, the going over of the Tito gang openly to the imperialist camp, changed the balance of forces in favour of monarcho-fascism. The Democratic Army of Greece was faced with exceptional difficulties, since it failed to solve in time both the task of replenishing its ranks (in view of the forced removal by the monarcho-fascists of the rural population to fortified towns) and of ensuring supplies for its units in Southern Greece. Thus, Tito’s treachery enabled monarcho-fascism to secure a military victory at Grammos – Vitsi.
The main forces of the Democratic Army of Greece ceased armed struggle after1949. The Communist Party is regrouping its forces now, concentrating chief attention on the struggle of the masses for bread, democracy and peace.
The Third Conference of the Communist Party discussed in detail the tasks facing the Party in this struggle. It unanimously exposed all anti-Party attempts to deflect the Party away from this path. After the conference, the Party became stronger, more united and more tempered for the battles ahead.

One of the first steps of the new American Ambassador to Greece, Peurifoy, was to visit the Greek-Albanian frontier where he reviewed units of the monarcho-fascist army. This action is reminiscent of the visit made by John Foster Dulles to the 38th Parallel in Korea shortly before Syngman Rhee attacked the Korean People’s Republic.
In view of the naked preparations of the Greek Government for war, a big responsibility rests with the Communist Party of Greece. The conference focussed particular attention on the question of vigilance. The tasks of building the Party, the creation of a powerful underground organisation capable of acting as organiser and leader of the future battles of the working people of Greece, and the task of strengthening the ranks of this organization – these were the centre of attention of the Third Conference.
Our main political task, at present, is the struggle for peace, against the war preparations of the monarcho-fascist Government, to organised and mobilise all the people in the defence of peace.
Particular attention must be devoted to work in the monarcho-fascist army where we exercise considerable influence and have great possibilities. Our conference developed and approved this line. Large-scale battles are being waged by the people in Greece and even bigger ones are maturing. The occupationists and the monarcho-fascists are creating an army, 500,000 strong, for an attack, above all, against the Bulgarian and Albanian People’s Republics. The Conference outlined in regard to this the course for the communists, for all working people of Greece. If the American aggressors and their servants – the Greek monarcho-fascists – dare attack these people’s Democratic Republics, we shall strike at the enemies from within and bring about confusion in the monarcho-fascist army where 95 per cent of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and honest officers are the sons of the people.
By crushing defeatist opportunism and purging its ranks of all capitulatory elements and enemy agents, the Communist Party of Greece, loyal to Marxism-Leninism, will carry high the banner of struggle against the American and British plunderers and will lead our people to a final victory, no matter what difficulties and obstacles remain to be overcome.
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N. Zachariadis: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Greece

For a Lasting Peace, For a People's Democracy!
No. 24 (27), Wednesday, December 15, 1948

The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Greece

N. Zachariadis

General Secretary,
Central Committee,
Communist Party of Greece
November 1948 marked the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of Greece. At that decisive turning point in the history of mankind, brought about by the Great October Socialist Revolution, the working class of our country founded the General Confederation of Greek Workers (October-November 1918) and its political party, the Socialist Workers' Party of Greece.
The birth of this party was a historical necessity for our internal development, an expression of the will of the advanced workers of Greece for struggle and social emancipation. Until then the working class of our country had no party of its own. The example of the Russian Bolsheviks and the October Revolution inspired the Socialist Workers' Party and illuminated its path; the party drew support from the revolutionary struggle of the advanced workers.
In 1920, the Socialist Workers' Party joined the Communist International. In 1924, it was renamed the Communist Party of Greece (the Greek section of the Communist International). For more than ten years the Communists of Greece fought to advance surely along the path of Marxism-Leninism.
From 1918-1924, Right opportunist elements dominated the leadership of the Communist Party. They tried to harness our party and the working class movement to the chariot of the local plutocracy and its foreign masters.
During the period of the “partial stabilisation of capitalism” the party was faced with a crisis engineered by the Trotskyites and liquidators who were out to destroy the Greek Communist Party. At the time of the new revolutionary upsurge in 1929, the party leadership proved incapable of analysing the new situation. It became involved in an unprincipled factional struggle which lasted for two years, fanned and encouraged by the class enemy. Here it should be stressed, however, that throughout this long crisis, the backbone of the party always maintained a revolutionary stand and remained loyal to the ideas of the October Socialist Revolution and the Communist International.
Although the party leadership changed six times between 1918-1931, the Communist Party of Greece was never split. On November 1, 1931, the central organ of the party, “Rizospastis” carried an appeal from the Executive Committee of the Communist International to all members of the Communist Party of Greece.
This appeal put an end to the factional struggle and the protracted internal crisis in the party. The Communist Party of Greece, being a revolutionary body with a healthy proletarian basis, grew stronger, acquired experience and with the help of the Communist International overcame the crisis.
A characteristic feature of the Communist Party since then has been its consistent day-to-day work among the masses. At the same time the Party itself has matured ideologically and theoretically. It courageously stood up to its first great test in the years of the monarcho-fascist Metaxas dictatorship. From the very outset of the Hitler occupation it headed the struggle of the masses, was the initiator in forming EAM (National Liberation Front) and organising ELAS (People's Liberation Army). It was the leader of the national liberation struggle of the Greek people.
Why then is it that in spite of this, Greece did not win her independence, freedom and democracy after World War two?
In the autumn of 1944, after three years of armed struggle in the mountains and pitched battles in towns, especially in Athens, the armed forces of the National-Liberation movement of the Greek people (ELAS) freed the country of the Hitler invaders. The sweeping offensive of the Soviet Army in southeastern Europe and in the Balkans, together with the active operations by ELAS inside the country, compelled the Germans to beat a hasty retreat from Greece. Thus the British troops did not have to fight the Germans when they entered our country. In fact the British were least of all concerned with the Nazis. They were preoccupied with other matters in Greece; they set about to disarm and disband ELAS, to bring the people's liberation movement under their control; to make Greece once again economically and politically dependent on foreign imperialism, above all, on the American and British imperialists who held the key positions in the economic and political life of the country. The British and American imperialists tried to turn Greece into a base for struggle against the countries of the people's democracy.
Our Mistakes During the Occupation and in December 1944
The strength of the national liberation movement in Greece lay in the fact that, parallel with the struggle to drive out the Nazi invaders and restore the national honour and independence of the country, it raised the cardinal problems of a people's democracy and, above all, the agrarian problem. The national liberation movement being of such a nature made it possible for EAM (National Liberation Front), to rally the overwhelming majority of the Greek People and draw them into the struggle for their freedom and independence. However, it must be acknowledged that the national liberation movement had its weaknesses. And these weaknesses came to the fore in the autumn of 1944. When the British again landed on Greek territory both EAM (National Liberation Front) and the Communist Party, the leading elements in the National Liberation Front, displayed indecision, lacked a clear perspective and harboured illusions regarding the object of Anglo-Saxon imperialism in Greece and the role it intended playing in the country.
During those decisive days for Greece, when the people's democratic revolution, covering the overwhelming majority of the population, was advancing victoriously, the Party leadership became dizzy with success. Satisfied with the achievements scored, the Party allowed its revolutionary class vigilance to grow blunt and committed mistakes which had serious consequences, which made it impossible to complete the people's democratic revolution. This explains why ELAS was subordinate to the British command in the Middle East, why pro-British elements were appointed to decisive posts in PEEA (the government of national resistance), which was absolutely contrary to the real relation of forces in the people's liberation camp. Most characteristic too, in this respect are the unjustified concessions made by us during the Lebanon conference when the national government headed by Papandreou was formed. The Communist Party leadership made a mistake when we accepted the Kazerta agreement which conferred full powers on General Scobie, the British commander in Greece.
The leadership of the Greek Communist Party did not have a firm and clear line when estimating the role of British imperialism in Greece. EAM and ELAS should not have allowed the British to land troops in Greece, for there was nothing for them to do in our country which had already been cleared of the German invaders. The sole aim of the British was the suppression of the people's liberation movement.
It was clear from the very outset that the people's liberation movement would sooner or later, be threatened by British imperialism. It should have vigorously prepared to combat the danger. The more active and widespread these preparations, the greater would have been the chances of success and the less the chances of the British to suppress the popular movement while the war against Hitler was still in progress.
Instead of being thus fully prepared, we voluntarily conceded our positions to the British and their local agents – monarcho-fascist reaction – with the result that when in December 1944 an armed clash broke out, we found ourselves at a disadvantage in the military and political field.
But even in December we did not wage a sufficiently resolute struggle. With the exception of the Athens-Piraeus sector the British lived peacefully in Greece. Only an inconsiderable part of the ELAS forces were in action, even in the Athens area. Without doubt had we concentrated our forces, we would have achieved speedy success, liberated Athens and Piraeus and forced the British troops back to sea. But this was not done. The heroic struggle of the people and ELAS units in Athens and Piraeus ended in a military defeat, which compelled us to retreat. This was reflected in the Varkiz agreement, signed on February 12, 1945 between EAM and the British puppet government in Athens. The British acted as the "guarantors" of the agreement.
The Varkiz agreement was the outcome of the military defeat suffered by us as a result of armed intervention by British forces.
For us the Varkiz agreement represented a retreat. But it gave us the chance to reorganise our forces and launch a new offensive after the policy and practice of monarcho-fascism and the British occupation had been exposed without active assistance, and after the vacillating sections had learned for themselves that EAM path – the path of national independence and popular democracy, was the only correct way to save the people from hunger and slavery.
For Democracy and Peace
EAM elaborated and proclaimed its programme for a people's democracy in Greece. The programme calls for the liberation of the country from foreign economic dependence (expropriation of the foreign colonial concessions), the introduction of an agrarian reform, nationalisation of large scale industry, democratic solution of the national question (Macedonia). EAM raised high the banner of struggle for national independence and state sovereignty, for a lasting peace in the Balkans, for fraternal democratic agreement and cooperation with the neighbouring Balkan Peoples.
EAM systematically led the struggle to consolidate and unite the working people, striving, above all, to strengthen the alliance of workers with the artisans and small tradesmen in the towns and with the peasants in the countryside, directed the full weight of the people's struggle against the exploiters. The democratic front grew stronger and extended its base, as reflected in the establishment of the Greek Federation of Democratic Leagues, which centres its activities around the struggle for democracy and the independence of the country. The Federation is a mass organisation and is headed by General Alexander Ophoneos, former prime Minister and Commander-in-chief of the Greek Army.
The Communist Party decided to dissolve all its rural organisations in order to further the consolidation and organisation of the democratic forces in the countryside. In agreement with the Peasant Party, the Communists in the rural areas joined this party.
The Peasant Party unites all the progressive democratic elements in the countryside. It is fighting for consistent people's democratic reforms in the countryside, stands firmly for a close alliance with the working class which it regards as the basis for the victory of people's democracy in Greece.
The Peasant Party, the biggest mass party in the country today, carries on its activities in close cooperation with the Communist Party.
With the aim of strengthening the Greek Union of the Youth (EPON), to consolidate its bonds with the broad sections of the working-class youth, the Communist Party has relieved its members of this organisation of their routine Party duties to enable them to work in EPON. This measure has favourably influenced the further development of EPON as a genuine people's democratic organisation of the youth.
EAM and all the democratic forces opposed the policy of the British invaders aided by the monarcho-fascists of fomenting internecine war inside the country and preparation for war in the Balkans, with the slogan of national reconciliation, based on the defence of the common interests of the working people and the struggle against the exploitation of the capitalists and the landlords, the struggle for democracy and national independence against Anglo-American imperialism and monarcho-fascism. Considerable sections of the people responded to the call for national reconciliation, and under their pressure, even certain elements in the monarchist, anti-democratic camp.
This call yielded, and continues to yield, positive results, even though in some places, as for instance in Crete, it was interpreted and partly carried out not as a call to unity and struggle for the partial and common demands of the people, but as a form of capitulation to reaction.
Exposing the provocations of the monarcho-fascists and their Anglo-American patrons in the Balkans, EAM launched a widespread campaign in favour of agreement with and cooperation on the part of all the Balkan nations.
The Communist Party, as the leading force in the EAM, fought for the consolidation and development of the forces of democracy. Native reaction and Anglo-Saxon spies, resorting to deception, bribery and violence, tried by every means to undermine the unity in the ranks of EAM and the democratic camp. But without success. The Communist Party succeeded in preserving this unity intact, without making any concessions in its programme and consistent struggle against foreign occupation.
Camp of Reaction and Our Tactics
When analysing the alignment of political forces in Greece, note should be taken of the so-called Republicans, or more correctly speaking, the pseudo-democratic centre, the main force of which is the liberal party headed by Sophoulis.
In September 1947, Sophoulis agreed to collaborate with Tsaldaris, thereby helping the Americans out of the tight corner in which they found themselves as a result of political, military and economic failures of the monarcho-fascists. Sophoulis directed his so-called appeasement policy against the people's democratic movement in general, and against the democratic army in particular, hoping through a pseudo amnesty either to liquidate them or at least, to weaken them considerably.
While struggling against foreign occupation and its main support inside the country – monarcho-fascism – the people's democratic movement at the same time exposed these pseudo-democrats who, by seeking a compromise with the foreign invaders, were helping them to destroy democracy and the national independence of Greece. We succeeded in isolating this pseudo-democratic party from the middle classes.
By carrying out a consistent policy for securing the normal democratic development of the country on the basis of democratic national reconciliation and the establishment of a lasting peace in the Balkans – a policy which has the full confidence of the people – the national democratic movement strengthened its positions. The object of this policy was to expose the foreign occupation forces and monarcho-fascism, which obstructed the carrying out of a democratic home and foreign policy in Greece.
The Communist Party and EAM placed the monarcho-fascists and the foreign occupation forces in a difficult position and exposed them. For instance, in the autumn of 1946 we accepted the conclusions of a British Parliamentary delegation, headed by Cox, as a basis for solving the internal political problems of Greece. The delegation, representing the three main parties in Britain, came to Greece at the official invitation of the Greek Government. The delegation's conclusion, especially in the political sphere, confirmed the views of EAM. Thus, the British occupation forces and monarcho-fascists were exposed and compelled to disown the delegation which they themselves had invited to Greece in the hope that it would whitewash them. The same thing happened to the proposals on the trade union question, submitted by the representative of the British Ministry of Labour. When the anti-fascist trade unions of Greece accepted these proposals the British immediately rejected them.
It became all the more clear to the broad masses on the basis of concrete examples and facts that the British occupation forces and monarcho-fascists were aiming to establish a fascist regime in the country, were resorting to open terror and assassinations on an ever bigger scale because their policy was not meeting with the support of the people.
Against Anglo-American Invaders and Monarcho-Fascism
The Varkiz agreement was torn to shreds by reaction. Tens of thousands were thrown into prison, hundreds of democrats murdered.
Popular resistance grew. Out of the mass economic and political battles for bread and democratic liberties, out of the armed struggle of individuals, fighters and groups, defending their lives, honour, family and property, was born the Democratic Army, which holds high the banner of struggle for democracy and the independence of Greece. The schemes of the Anglo American imperialists came to nought. They signed the agreement in Varkiz in order to mislead the people's democratic movement. Later, with the help of terror they tried to intimidate us. Their calculations failed because they encountered popular resistance.
The Anglo-Saxons in Greece prepared their crafty schemes; they reckoned that by signing the Varkiz agreement they would curb the popular movement, set up a fascist state apparatus, supported by the foreign bayonets of the new occupation and afterwards, at their discretion and with the approval of “foreign observers”, would stage elections and a plebiscite. And so they would emerge clean from the dirty water of the tiresome “Greek question”. Simultaneously with this, the British hoped to carry out their imperialist plans aimed at undermining peace on the Balkan peninsula.
The Greek people frustrated these plans. They prevented the Anglo-Americans from solving the Greek question as they wanted to, that is, by forcing falsified elections and afterwards legalising their policy. The election held on March 31, 1946, and described by Prime Minister Sophoulis himself as a faked election, was boycotted not only by the Left parties, but also by the Republican centre. The political meaning of the boycott was that it frustrated the manoeuvre of the Anglo-Saxons and the monarcho-fascists who wanted a “Parliamentary solution” of the Greek question so that later they could place responsibility on the popular democratic camp for the scandals and incompetence of the present Parliament.
The plebiscite followed the elections, and this despite Bevin's categorical declarations that there would be no plebiscite until 1948. The plebiscite was accompanied by a growing terror, especially in the countryside. But the threats and repressions were of no avail. The people refused to be intimidated. A majority of the urban population voted against the monarchy. The foreign invaders and the “foreign observers” once more faked the results of the voting, and the former Glucksburg king, after three expulsions from the country, returned to Greece. The plebiscite was held under conditions when a new armed resistance movement – the partisan movement – was spreading rapidly in the mountains. On October 28, 1946, which was the 6th anniversary of Mussolini's attack on our country, a General Staff of the Greek Democratic Army headed by General Markos, the ELAS leader, was set up in the mountains of Greece. Since then the armed struggle of the Democratic Army for democracy and independence has been the focal point of the Greek political life.
The beginning of 1947, British policy in Greece experienced a serious crisis. As is known, British imperialism came out of World War Two considerably weakened. Britain had to relinquish a number of her positions to American imperialism and because of certain internal weaknesses and contradictions became economically dependent on the USA. At the same time, the resolute resistance of the Greek people against the British invaders and their hirelings inside the country made it impossible for Britain to maintain her domination in the country.
The offensive launched by the Tsaldaris government against the Greek Democratic Army failed. President Truman considered the time was ripe for open interference in the internal affairs of our country.
Intervention by the U.S. undoubtedly encouraged the monarcho-fascists and made certain middle class sections of the population adopt a wait-and-see position. But life dashed the new hopes and upset the new plans of the monarcho-fascists. Their spring and summer offensive in 1947 against the Greek Democratic Army ended in failure.
The Democratic Army reduced to nought the initial successes of the monarcho-fascists and emerged from the struggle stronger than before. Failure led to a new crisis in Athens, and this time the Americans turned to Sophoulis who came forward with an appeasement programme though at the same time he used force. Sophoulis failed in both.
The Greek Democratic Army has successfully extended its operations. It is setting up local organs of state power based on popular councils, is carrying out an agrarian reform and a number of other democratic measures and is leading Greece along the path of a popular democratic regeneration. On December 23, 1947, a provisional democratic government was formed on the liberated territory of Greece.
Military Operations in 1948
At the beginning of 1948 the Americans and the monarcho-fascists began operations to “completely eliminate” the Democratic Army. They started their offensive in Murgan, Central Macedonia and Rumelia. In June 1948 they concentrated their main forces in the Northern Pindus (Smolika-Grammos) to deliver the “final” blow to the Democratic Army.
This operation was personally directed by the American General van Fleet and his staff. The relation of forces favoured the monarcho-fascists, for they had ten times as many men and fifty times as much equipment as the Democratic Army which had neither a single plane nor tank. After a seventy day battle, brigades of the Democratic Army broke the enemy encirclement and seized the mountain of Vitsi, where after two months they repulsed each enemy offensive and eventually forced them to retreat. This was the end of the 1948 campaign of the Americans and monarcho-fascists against the Democratic Army.
The enemies of the people had failed again. The consequences of this failure are now far more serious for the monarcho-fascists than in the past. For it has smashed the legend that with the hope of the Americans, the monarcho-fascists would be able to defeat the Democratic Army and strangle the democratic struggle of the Greek people. For some time this legend coloured the hopes of reaction but such illusions have been scattered by reality.
Never was the crisis in the ranks of Greek reaction so serious as it is today. In spite of all the American dollars, the monarcho-fascist economic basis has been shattered. The poverty of the mass of the people is growing; strikes are developing in the towns; a new mass movement is beginning. The monarcho-fascist troops do not want to fight; mutinies are becoming frequent. Many army officers have been shot during the past few weeks and numerous officers of the navy and air force court-martialled: a group of senior air-force officers was also brought to trial. In the course of the year the high command of the monarcho-fascist army has changed three times.
Neither American threats nor Marshall's visit to Athens have been able to solve the dissension in the enemy camp. The American imperialists are seeing for themselves that they cannot defeat the Democratic Army with the help of the monarcho-fascist rabble. That is why they are now trying openly to interfere in Greece with armed force. For this end they are trying to use the pseudo Balkan Committee, at the same time taking cover behind the United Nations. The chief aim of the American imperialists in Greece is to build airfields, naval bases and military roads for a strategic bridgehead and to use the Greek people as cannon fodder in the new war they are preparing.
At the same time, the Democratic Army has come through the battles of 1948 stronger in every way and still more confident of victory. While it was diverting and pinning down the main enemy forces at Grammos and Vitsi, a wide popular-democratic movement was gaining momentum in other parts of the country. This is especially important in the Peloponnese, in the extreme South of the country, which has now the largest liberated area with a strong army of high fighting capacity. At Grammos the flag of freedom is once again flying.
Never before was the position of the monarcho-fascists so unstable and the Democratic Army so strong. The policy of American domination will meet with fiasco. Monarcho-fascism is being more and more isolated. The Democratic Army calls for genuine democratic agreement favoured by the people.
The slogan “Only the pen (that is, agreement) can solve the problem” which was put forward from the ranks is now steadily taking root among the monarcho-fascist troops. It is also winning increasing support among various sections of the people.
To maintain their positions, the American invaders and the monarcho-fascists are resorting to the most vicious terror. Thousands of people's fighters have been shot. Tens of thousands more are in prison, concentration camps, or in exile. This unprecedented terror has evoked indignation throughout the world, and international opinion, led by the Soviet Union, has come out against this monarcho-fascist brutality.
But neither violence nor terror can bring the Greek people to their knees.
Communist Party Heads the Struggle for Independence and Freedom.
The Communist Party is the chief organizing and political force in the popular democratic movement in Greece. During the Hitler occupation the Greek Communist Party was the first to raise the banner of struggle for independence and for a people's republic.
The Communist Party organised EAM and ELAS, and was the driving force in these organisations. During the most difficult periods Communists were always in the vanguard. Throughout the anti-Hitler struggle and today, in the struggle against American imperialism, against the British occupation and the monarcho-fascists, the Communists suffered and are suffering heavy losses, losing their best comrades, resolute fighters for the people's cause.
After December 1944, the Communist Party, developing its activities under the difficult conditions of the reactionary offensive, shed its weaknesses and its shortcomings. It has eliminated the mistakes committed in the period of the German occupation, has clearly defined its line, preserved its unity and is consolidating its ranks and strengthening its bonds with the masses. Its principal task now is to further develop and consolidate the national, anti-imperialist democratic front. It must spare no efforts to raise EAM to the level of the united popular political organization in Greece and to strengthen its main body – the politically and organizationally united workers' and peasant front, represented by the Communist and the Peasant Parties. Such a consolidation of the forces of the people's democracy will enable the Democratic Army successfully to solve its tasks.
The Democratic Army has become a regular army. It is waging large scale battles and is resolutely defending the liberated areas. The Fourth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece held in Grammos on July 28 and 29 examined the experience of the struggle, delivered a blow at the opportunist vacillations and took a number of measures to strengthen further the Democratic Army and to raise the struggle to a higher stage.
True, the difficulties are enormous. In their efforts to isolate the Democratic Army from the population, the Americans and the monarcho-fascists have concentrated over 700,000 peasants in the towns. The Democratic Army is short of arms, ammunition, food, equipment and foot wear. However, the strength of the Greek Democratic Army lies in its bonds with the people. At the same time, the morale of the Anglo-American Army fighting against the people, is low. This army has numerically superiority. It is abundantly supplied with foreign arms. And yet the Anglo-American army suffered fiasco in all previous campaigns and will meet with more in the future. The Democratic Army with the Communist Party in its vanguard, is heroically overcoming the difficulties and unswervingly advancing towards the victory of its just cause. The Communist Party is the leading force in the country, it is the brain, honour and conscience of the new Greece.
The present internal and international situation differs greatly from that of December 1944. Then British imperialism, taking advantage of our mistake and our relative isolation, compelled us to retreat temporarily. Since that time the situation in Greece, both economically and politically has been steadily deteriorating. Today a regime of Anglo-American occupation and of monarcho-fascist terror rules the country. The country is experiencing a profound revolutionary crisis.
The popular democratic revolution in Greece has entered into a new phase. This phase dates from the moment when the popular resistance developed into armed struggle and the Greek Democratic Army became the vanguard of this resistance.
Notwithstanding the fact that some people in the West have characterized the struggle of our people as “lacking perspective” the Greek people have seen for themselves of the armed struggle and are firmly confident of their victory. They see the shining example of the victorious popular democratic construction in the people’s democracies and they have again taken to arms. They regard this path as the only correct path, which makes it possible to save the country from American imperialist bondage.
The Slogan “All to arms! Everything for victory!” resounds throughout the country. The monarcho-fascist and imperialists’ plans will meet with defeat. Greece will never be a hotbed of fascism nor jumping off ground for imperialist expansion. The people of Greece will never go against the new democracies. This is guaranteed by the struggle and by the blood that is being shed in Greece for the sake of democracy and Independence and peace.
Enjoying the support of the international democratic movement, our people, despite of all hardships, are marching forward, towards the victory of the people's democracy in Greece, towards peace and the fraternal cooperation of the Balkan peoples.
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