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Greek Communists say “The people’s resistance can block the political line of the government”

By Communist Party of Greece (KKE)

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Jan. 27 statement from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).

The workers'-people's mobilizations have been intensifying in Greece since the beginning of 2016, focusing on the reactionary changes the SYRIZA-ANEL government is seeking to make to the social-security and pension system, wiping out significant workers' gains, increasing the social-security contributions of the workers and the retirement age, reducing pensions and cutting social benefits, e.g. for people with special needs.

Hundreds of trade unions all over the country, rallied by the All-workers' Militant Front (PAME) have been carrying out mobilizations in the first weeks of 2016 including pickets, rallies, symbolic occupations of public buildings, demonstrations, strikes. So, yesterday, 26/1, PAME held new demonstrations in Athens and other cities. The demonstrators in Athens reached Parliament, at the time when the discussion between the political leaders was underway in relation to the impending anti-people changes to the social-security system. At the same time, PAME's forces are playing the leading role in organizing the general strike that has been called for the 4th of February. PAME's basic demand is for the government to withdraw its plans, the law “guillotine”, as the anti-people plans of the “leftwing” SYRIZA government have been labeled by the workers.

In addition, all over the country there are impressive mobilizations of small and medium farmers, who have set up dozens of roadblocks on the country's motorways, protesting against the heavy taxes, against the EU's political line that is destroying them, as well as against the government's plan to foist new burdens on them in relation to social-security. Only at one roadblock outside the city of Larisa (Nikaia), on the country's central motorway, over 2,500 tractors have gathered at the largest farmers' roadblock in the country. Representatives from 37 roadblocks met on 26/1 at Nikaia to discuss the framework of their demands. They stress in their resolution that “We came onto the roads to struggle for our survival. To fight against the political line that wants to destroy us, to drive us off the land, to poverty and destitution, so that the land and production can be concentrated in the hands of the big farmers and business groups, implementing the directives of the CAP and of the EU in general. So that the measures to wipe out the small and medium farmers do not pass, i.e. the measures of the Third memorandum that the government agreed to with its partners, the EU and IMF, and passed with votes of other parties. These measures attack the workers and the people as a whole.” The small and medium farmers refuse to take their tractors off the roads and discuss with the government until it withdraws its draft law for the social-security system and responds to their demands, such as, for example, those related to tax reductions, reductions to the cost of production and others.

The self-employed, youth, women, who are also being attacked by the government's plans, are at the side of PAME and the small and medium farmers. An important role in these popular mobilizations is being played by the forces of the “All-farmers' Militant Rally” (PASY), the “Nationwide Anti-monopoly Rally” (PASEVE), the Students' Struggle Front (MAS) and the Federation of Greek Women (OGE). The size and dynamism of the mobilizations is such that the silence of the foreign media (US, European, Russian etc.) is noteworthy. These media have either completely concealed these mobilizations or have mentioned them in a very brief way. For this reason, the KKE is adding new photographs and videos from these struggles onto its foreign language web pages on a daily basis- While those that understand Greek can visit the KKE's news portal at , where there is the relevant news stream.

Dimitris Koutsoumpas: The SYRIZA government is a useful multitool of the decaying capitalist system.

Dimitris Koutsoumpas, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the KKE, speaking in Parliament on 26/1, noted amongst other things, “Social security is one of the most important gains.

It is at the heart of the life of the families from the working class and popular strata. It safeguards the protection of the weak, including social insurance and pension cover, access to health and welfare services, special institutional protection for those who have unsafe and unhealthy occupations, protection from work-related accidents, leave for pregnancy and recuperation. These gains were not given easily, but achieved through the tough and bloody struggles of the workers”.

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the KKE stressed that the goals of the government are the implementation of the plans of the capitalists to end the social character to insurance, to transform it into a private matter for each individual worker. So that sections of capital-insurance companies, big health businesses- to benefit from the collapse of the social-security system. In addition, thousands of poor farmers and self-employed people, who cannot endure the competition, are being violently driven from production. Their position in production will be taken by the large capitalist businesses.

D. Koutsoumpas underlined that “this government is finishing the dirty work, on behalf of capital, that ND and PASOK did not have the time or were not able to finish.” He underscored that the SYRIZA government is a “useful multitool of this decaying system.”

The General Secretary of the Central Committee tabled in Parliament the draft law, which the KKE has elaborated and meets the needs of the people today in relation to social security and also expressed the party's support for the workers', farmers' and other popular mobilizations, stressing that “the same and similar measures are being taken in all the EU countries. They are directions that have been in place since the beginning of the 1990s.”

He added that “The only force that can impede the government's plans to impoverish the people, that can put a brake on the surge of the monopoly groups and their governments is a strong social alliance of the people. The KKE calls on the workers to join a mass front of struggle to save and strengthen the institution of public social security (...) We say that we can lead a life with dignity, with contemporary rights. In any case, this is what history teaches us and also the gains of other peoples in the socialist countries, which were achieved in the previous century. Insurance, pensions, medical cover were the exclusive responsibility of the state (...) So we can live, our people can live as they deserve to, as long as the our country's productive potential, natural resources, concentrated means of production, become socially owned, under the aegis of people's power. So that they are utilized through central planning, which will be scientifically guided, with the active participation of the workers in the organization and administration of social production and social services, with disengagement from the shackles of the EU and unilateral cancellation of the debt. Only in this way can there be an end to the increasing torments of our people caused by the capitalist system, its crises, the EU and the governments that manage this path.”

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