by our European Affairs Correspondent
GREEK communists gathered in Athens last week to chart the way forward at the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). During the five days of sessions delegates reviewed the work of the KKE, the international communist movement and launch the counter-attack against the ruling class offensive against working people at this time of world slump.
Congress unanimously re-elected Aleka Papariga as the General Secretary of the 77-strong central committee and agreed to set up a people’s anti-imperialist front and a programme of action in solidarity with Cuba and Palestine.
The Congress was attended by 435 delegates and 400 guests from around the country as well as over 90 delegates from communist and workers’ parties and progressive movements from 72 countries.
These included fraternal delegations from the ruling parties of China, Cuba, Democratic Korea and Vietnam, communist parties in government from Cyprus, Syria and South Africa and fraternal delegates from parties across the world including the New Communist Party.
Opening Congress Aleka Papariga stressed that “Socialism is timely and historically necessary”, speaking of the party’s counterattack on all fronts at a time when big financial, social and political problems all over the globe, in the region and Greece are being examined.
Comrade Papariga reviewed the international and domestic situation, the global financial crisis and its causes, political developments, and prospects in light of the KKE’s ideological and political positions, while she also placed the KKE on “full alert” for the forthcoming European Parliament elections and the prospect of general elections.
“We all know that demands rise due to the fact that the crisis has begun becoming evident in Greece. It will break out, be sharp and last long,” she declared.
“We only have one choice, which is to rise to the occasion so that the labour movement can counterattack and build the social alliance to progress.
Aleka Papariga said that both the conservative New Democracy (ND) government and main opposition social democratic PASOK party, albeit with different phraseology and slogans, were essentially saying the same thing, that the maximum cooperation among the social partners, all the “productive forces”, must be ensured so that the crisis will pass as smoothly as possible.
At the same time, however, their choices and proposals had two basic interlinking characteristics: Measures to safeguard profits and “aspirin” measures to alleviate extreme poverty, she added.
She dismissed the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) for exceeding “all boundaries of opportunism and anti-communism” during the recent protests and riots and said the far-right Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) had “shown its aversion to the mass popular action and struggles, rendering itself an apologist of police violence”.
In his greetings to Congress NCP leader Andy Brooks said that “the Greek communists’ heroic struggle for liberation and against reactionary terror over the decades is an inspiration to communists in Europe and throughout the world. The theses of the Central Committee of the KKE will consequently provide the basis for discussion and advance that will go far beyond the ranks of the Greek communist movement.
The Communist Party of Greece’s tireless work to restore international communist co-operation has played a crucial role in rallying our world movement following the counter-revolutions in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1989”.