CC OF EEK: Estimations on the Euro-elections and the Local Elections on the 26th of May 2019
After a general survey and two country studies on Hungary and Romania, we continue with an article by the Central Comitte of EEK (Workers Revolutionary Party) of Greece.
1. The political Waterloo of Syriza gave the electoral victory to the right-wing “|New Democracy”. The people did not forget the miserable Tsipras’ capitulation in front of the Troika in 2015, the savage “austerity” measures of the third and worst “Memorandum of Understanding” which followed, his servile attachment to the chariot of EU and NATO, even to the war drive adventures of Trump’s America in the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans.
The head of the European parliamentary group of Syriza Papadimoulis from Brussels or any other apologists of Syriza dare now to attack the Greek people saying that “they forgot what is the Right”. Who, though, forgot the people itself? Who are guilty for the defamation of the name, the history, and the sacrifices of the Left in Greece?
Syriza and Tsipras have pretendedin their recent electoral propaganda that they represent the “many” against the “few”. Actually, they had, for four years, pushed, step by step, the many to the claws of the few, so that now the few may launch a new, open class war against the many.
The massive disapproval of Tsipras, however, should not lead to jumping to the conclusion that there is a popular approval of the neoliberal Kyriakos/“Koulis” Mitsotakis, and his openly fascistoid custodians Adonis Georgiadis and Voridis, or of the measures of social cannibalism and the state violence that they promote.
A victory in the ballots does not predetermine the outcome of the class war. The Mitsotakis victory can and must be proven to be a Pyrrhic one. In any case no matter what government of the capital will be formed by the snap 7th July national elections will be, as EEK has already warned, it will be at the same weaker and more aggressive towards the masses in its endeavour to shift the new burden of the aggravation of the capitalist crisis on the shoulders of an already devastated people.
2. Syriza claims that despite its defeat, it will stay a “protagonist” (?) in the political scene and a “barrier” (??) against the Right – although actually Syriza paved the way for its coming back.
It wishes to compare the figures of the electoral result of the Euro-elections 2019 to those of the Euro-elections 2014. However, at that time Syriza was “surfing” on the growing massive wave of popular rage and struggles against the memoranda of administrations of Papandreou, Samaras-Venizelos and Papadimos. It was that tide which brought Syriza to government in 2015. Now, on the contrary the same figures show that it is collapsing from the chairs of power, after it functioned as a barrier not against the Right but against the popular expectations and mobilizations.
Not even formal comparisons between the results of national elections of September 2015 and the re-election of Syriza can be made. At that time, in spite of the shock of the rejection of the popular will in the |Referendum of July 2015 and Tsipras’ capitulation to the Troika, the people had not experienced the new sufferings of the third memorandum. It was the implementation of the measures which started at the beginning of 2016 and their impact on the lives of the people which led to the start of the retreat of Syriza and the relative rise of New Democracy, and which was accelerated later on to end with a free fall of the “government of the Left”…
It is now, even statistically-empirically confirmed, that the first and main factor for the overwhelming defeat of Syriza in the Euro-elections and its debacle in the simultaneous local elections is the policy of austerity of the third and worst memorandum implemented loyally to the orders of the international robbers of EU-ECB and IMF.
The Prespa Agreementof Tsipras and Zaevon the name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was praised by the imperialists of NATO, USA and EU who ordered it, enflamed Greek nationalism, accelerated the fall of Syriza but, as the relevant data suggest, was not the main and decisive factor for the electoral defeat. The primary factor was the social-financial malaise.
The panicked moves by the “government of the Left” when it saw the ground was moving from under its feet have proven futile. The “bridge to the Center-Left” has proven to be a bridge to nowhere. The one and only adhesive substance used to secure the attachment to the Syriza government was the distribution of seats to politically bankrupt ex members of PASOK or DIMAR, to right-wing and extreme right-wing lunatics, to supporters of the neoliberal “centrist” but now moribund Potami party and to ex admirers of a political clown such as Vassilis Leventis. The last minute economic “concessions” to the workers were too little too late and not sustainable.
How can it stand today bragging to be a “protagonist” of a “new bipolar political system” without having access to the means of governmental power? Only distributing false promises and raising the specter of a revanchist Right is less than enough. What kind of a “new bipolar system” is this where the one pole, Syriza, has lost its political basis among the people, and the other, the right wing New Democracy does not have the necessary economic means to assure a sustainable popular basis?
3. The right-wing “pole” of the “blue-brown” ND has gathered votes from every direction of disaffection against the government, mainly from the middle social strata. Yet the financial and social malaise, which was the main reason for the fall of its predecessors, has not been eliminated. On the contrary, social discontent and anger will become even more severe, driven by the aggravating crisis of capitalism and by the barbaric measures that a right wing government will try to impose. A Mitsotakis government cannot “re-stabilize normality” ony based on the votes gathered, and the tear gas and brutality of the riot police or even using the Voridis-like stormtroopers.
It is evident that at this phase the big capital in Greece and internationally is still betting on the moving of the petty bourgeois strata to the right and in our case to ND.
KINAL, the remnats of PASOK, survived in the elections only as a temporary shelter of the hovering petty bourgeois votes and as a minor partner for a next right-wing bourgeois government.
Before the Euro-elections, the international bourgeois circles of the finance capital did not hide that both of the gladiators were “good for them”. The Financial Times mentioned hat “the Syriza administration proved to be faithful to the reforms and ND has a business friendly policy”.
It goes without saying that the stock-markets and the stockbrokers are now celebrating. They specially underline, as Goldman Sachs mentions in its report, that a Mitsotakis administration is expected to apply unremittingly the flexibilization of labour, starvation wages, the abolition of every remaining labour-trade unionist rights. But it stresses also the dangers, both internal and external, of the nearly bankrupt Greek banking system, the crisis in the EU, particularly in the over-indebted Italy, and the global slowdown accelerated rapidly by the escalation of the trade war between USA and China
A new bourgeois government in bankrupt Greece has to confront an aggravated version of the main cause for the defeat of SYRIZA: the social economic disaster of the majority of the population. It is one thing for “Koulis” [ the popular nickname to make fun of Mitsotakis] to defeat Tsipras in elections; it is an entirely different, and far more difficult, thing to beat the starving masses which led Tsipras to his Waterloo.
4. The Nazi party “Golden Dawn” met a significant electoral decline and the myriad of extreme right wing groups appears fragmented for the moment. The popular disapproval for the murderous actions of the “Golden Dawn”, the anti-fascist mobilizations, but also the leak of extreme right votes to the “trustworthy”, “useful” vote to ND provoked this fall in votes.
The entry to the European Parliament of K.Velopoulos, a far right wing charlatan, a TV-marketer selling “magic” ointments and “Jesus’ secret letters”, is a different matter. It is rather a morbid social symptom of superstition, despair and fear .in conditions of a social catastrophe. But we should not forget that such charlatans, superstitions, and dark myths had flourished on the eve of the ascent of the German Nazis to power in 1933…
Generally speaking in the EU, an imminent electoral triumph, in the 2019 European Elections, of the far right and the fascists was not realized. Despite the important electoral successes in France, Italy, Poland, Hungary and of the Brexit Party of the English clown Farage, the Far Right grew the number of its seats in the European Parliament, not spectacularly. Their aim was to win the one third , if not the majority of the seats. They grew now from 20% to 25%., the one quarter of EPMs. At the same time the fascist Vox in Spain, in spite of its electoral increase did not succeed to repeat its victories in Andalusia and in the last national elections.. The pro-Nazi AfD lost in votes in comparison to the national elections in Germany. The far right was devastated in Denmark and in the Netherlands, declined in Finland and fell in votes and from the government in Austria because of scandals of corruption of its leadership.
There is no room for complacency in any case. Fascism must be crushed by the direct action of the masses in every neighbourhood, city and country. The threat of the Far Right and fascism arises from the unresolved structural crisis of the capitalist system in advanced historical decline, and the sharpness of the bourgeois political regime crisis.
The decline of the traditional bourgeois political system in Europe with the shrinking of the political support to the Right and to social democracy, leaves the impoverished and insecure petty bourgeois strata moving feverishly to the right and to the left.
The growth of electoral support to the Liberals and to the Greens in Britain, France, and Germany is more a transient phenomenon, a temporary shelter for middle classes who do not want to vote for the former ruling mainstream parties. They still have illusions about the EU, and, for the time being, they are not supporting the nationalists and fascists. They are a manifestation of the regime crisis, a part of the problem, not its solution.
Social and political polarization do not promise a sustainable future for a dying liberalism and a bourgeois “environmentalism” unable to face the social basis of the threatening ecological catastrophe.
We shall not forget: as the Declaration of the recent Emergency Encounter on Europe of the Balkan Socialist Centre “Christian Rakovsky” and RedMed web network on May 4, 2019 has warned, Europe is rapidly becoming the critical scene of an international class war.
5. The other forces in Greece on the left of SYRIZA, including those who identify themselves as radical or even communist, are far from meeting the demands of our times.
Those who split from SYRIZA late in 2015 have now collapsed. LAE [Popular Unity] led by Panayiotis Lafazanis, after opportunistically flirting even with the far right wing Greek nationalism on Macedonia, has evaporated in the last Europeaan and local elections. It has dragged along with it many militants and left-wing groups (DEA, ARAS, ARAN) which followed it up to its political grave. The personality cult party “Plefsi” of former Chair of the Greek Parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou, which had a ship as it symbol, sank to the bottom of the abyss in the last elections. Both Lafazanis and Konstantopoulou shared the electoral collapse of their closest ally in France, Jean Luc Melenchon. Yanis Varoufakis had a somehow better result among ex Syriza middle class supporters in some urban centers, but finally it was not enough to bring them in the European parliamnent.
On the left of these losers, the Stalinist KKE and the extra-parliamentary left coalition of ANTARSYA are now trying to console themselves for their poor results by announcing that “they have maintained their forces” or that “it is the negative balance of power to blame” for their stagnation. Four years after Syriza’s capitulation in 2015 and the attrition of Syriza because of the austerity measures, KKE did not only fail to fill the political vacuum which was created but also continues to stagnate, even losing some of its electoral strength in some places. Before justifying itself putting the blame on the objectivism of “the negative balance of power” and finally to the “conservatism” of the people, it would be better to examine its own subjective-political responsibilities which cannot be hidden no matter how much “radical leftist” rhetoric it makes use of.
On a different scale and quality, similar remarks must be made concerning the forces of ANTARSYA, where the hiding of the severe internal political crisis among its ranks and constituent organizations dominated over the elections. This political crisis expressed, beyond the competitions of petty apparatuses, the end of a historical cycle and the need to supersede its political limits. The veto which has been put by the “Cliffite” SEK and approved by other forces in ANTARSYA to reject EEK’s proposal to present a common list in the Euro-elections maintaining the inalienable right of criticism for every force, was a manifestation of these political limits and pressures to the right. The real reason is the orientation of SEK and others to form an alliance with the defeated SYRIZA and the trade union bureaucrats, a “popular front” in the name of the struggle against the Right and the fascists.
ANTARSYA has functioned for ten years from its founding mainly as a brand name of an electoral block. In the class struggle it was divided and the SEK was always attached to the trade union bureaucrats of GSEE, although these bureaucrats were tied to the State, the capitalists and the EU orders.
Though the result of the Euro-elections was unambiguously bad for ANTARSYA, the intervention of the left anticapitalist movements in regions and municipalities had electoral results which were surely much better than those of the euro-elections. Above all they demonstrated the existence of an important combative class force of thousands of militants all over Greece, with an important impact on the workers and popular strata hit by the crisis and seeking an alternative to the left.
The EEK participated, on a scale beyond every precedent, in such anticapitalist movement. We salute all the comrades who gave this fight enthusiastically and self-denyingly in every neighbourhood, city, region and in Athens itself, against bureaucratic obstacles, heavy economic burdens, exclusion from the mass media, attacks by the fascists and right-wing pressures from the rest of the extra-parliamentary Left.
This force must not be ruined because of miserable factional competitions. It is an important part of a combat workers vanguard which can and must be prepared to be put in new, unprecedented fights, within the next period, after the national elections.
6. The revolutionary left must surpass its paralytic political factionalism, its electoralist mentality, its fragmentation. It must regroup in a united front based on a programmatic unity of principles, and where every force should maintain its specific independent character, with full freedom of public expression, and freedom of criticism.
The objective conditions can accumulate an explosive material. However, as Rosa Luxembourg stressed this material must be put on fire by “the igniting spark of the conscious will of the popular masses ”.
The expression of this popular will and above all its consciousness demand the intervention of the revolutionary, internationalist, Marxist Left and the formation of its vanguard in a new combat revolutionary party and a new workers’ revolutionary International.
7. With this spirit and against all obstacles, attacks or attempts to isolate us, the EEK will participate independently in the upcoming national elections of the 7th of July and asks for the support of all those who rebel against capitalist barbarism and imperialism, against the bureaucracies and the satellites of reformism, for a socialist way out of the crisis, with workers power, based on organs of popular self-organization, for the socialist unification of the Balkans and Europe and for the universal human emancipation, world communism.
Beside the well-known veto put by forces within ANTARSYA, we stretch our hand to the militants of all the revolutionary Left so that we prepare together without self-references for the upcoming battles and above all the victory of the oppressed in the class war.
Whatever Syriza seeded, is now growing in the field of the most extreme neoliberal and revanchist Right. Let’s struggle against them for the harvest of the popular wrath to become red!
May 27, 2019