Below is an assessment of the political situation in Greece by the Communist Organisation of Greece (KOE). The KOE had merged into the leftwing coalition SYRIZA which won the elections earlier this year. At the end of July when it became very clear that SYRIZA under the leadership of Tsipras had betrayed the very basis on which it was elected the KOE resigned from the Political Secretariat and the Central Committee of SYRIZA. Members of the Left Platform also resigned from SYRIZA a month later.
Here the KOE sum up the situation:
1. Definitive mutation of SYRIZA into a systemic, pro-Memorandum force
The humiliating and catastrophic agreement of Tsipras’ government with the Troika+1 (IMF, EU, ECB + ESM) and the adoption of the 3rd Memorandum by the Hellenic Parliament with the support of the big majority of SYRIZA’s MPs confirms in the most definitive way the mutation of this force into a systemic, pro-Memorandum force.
For this reason, KOE has decided to break away politically and then organizationally from this party, which in the past was used as a political tool by the popular radicalism and as such represented a real chance for a political change in Greece. All the other currents within SYRIZA, including the Left Platform, continued until the last moment (the call for early elections on 21 August) to spread among the members and the social base of SYRIZA the illusion that “the orientation can be rectified”.
The plummeting of SYRIZA’s leading group did not happen suddenly, when Tsipras and Co. trampled the resounding NO of the referendum. It was the conclusion of a long series of continuous compromises with the troika and the old political and economic establishment in Greece, which was accentuated after the regional and European elections and even more since the fall of 2014.
It is not strange that in order to impose the “new line” SYRIZA’s leading group has applied, especially since its ascension in government, the most backward and reactionary methods of the old political system in order to dominate over its base and over the party: use of presidential decrees instead of legislative work, voting of the prerequisite laws and of the 3rd Memorandum (over 900 pages that no MP read) in one article within a few hours, blackmailing of the MPs to align themselves with the leading group, not any party procedure (each time the Central Committee was convened after the application of the leadership’s decisions), etc.
2. A whole circle is completed, confusion and disorientation grow
The 3rd Memorandum brought in Greece by Tsipras’ government marks the completion of the previous circle, which was marked by the efforts of the radicalized popular factor to overthrow the successive pro-troika’s regimes and the old political system through a combination of street mobilizations and electoral battles.
We don’t want to embellish the truth: this development is a defeat for the popular radicalism and is colored by the restoration of the old political system, which we attempted to smash – because smashing it is a precondition for any substantial change in our country. Today the old parties return and become accomplices of SYRIZA, voting all together (Nea Dimokratia, Pasok and Potami) in favor of the 3rd Memorandum; otherwise SYRIZA would be unable to pass it in the Parliament.
Hence the necessity for us to proceed to a critical and self-critical assessment of the last years and to re-orientate ourselves and the popular movement in the new conditions of another circle that is starting. It is evident that actually the dramatic U-turns and the rapid developments are provoking a great deal of confusion and disorientation among the popular masses.
While the aspiration for a way out of the ongoing catastrophe remains strong (as it was also expressed by the courageous and massive NO in the referendum), the now official adoption of TINA (“There Is No Alternative”) by Tsipras and Co. spreads broad confusion and disorientates the Greek people.
For these reasons, the new circle we are entering shall be defined by the capability (or not) of the popular movement to cope with the real problems and to answer the new dilemmas faced by the majority of the Greek people.
3. The character of the early elections on September 20
The early elections provoked by Tsipras (this time with the approval of the troika’s leading forces…) that will take place on September 20 have a specific character: These are elections aiming at the rearrangement of the internal correlation of forces in the pro-Memorandum camp, which now includes SYRIZA as well. The basic “old” bourgeois forces and SYRIZA are in dispute, each one striving to be recognized as the best manager of the Memorandum’s regime.
In this sense, these elections have a totally different character than the double elections of 2012 (then the issue was the smashing of the old political system), the elections of January 2015 (when the creation of an anti-troika government was at stake), or the referendum of July 2015. What is at stake now is which type of government, which type of alliances will manage the “colony”.
For this reason, Nea Dimokratia and SYRIZA are both attempting to renew the polarization, as they strive for the first position, which will allow the “winner” to have a leading role in the formation of the new government. It is clear however that the new government will have nothing to do with the previous one, which was elected as a government that will stop the ongoing national and social catastrophe.
The government that will emerge from these elections shall be either a “big coalition” (including both Nea Dimokratia and SYRIZA, as Germany and others wish) or a “centre-left” coalition (SYRIZA with Potami and/or Pasok, as Tsipras would prefer). In any case, it is evident that the new government shall have no possibility to decide even on secondary issues, as everything is pre-arranged by the troika. Hence the massive reappearance of the reply “Nobody” in the public opinion polls, and the very low degree of coiling of the big parties’ social base.
4. The old Left cannot inspire nor serve the people’s needs
There is a strange situation within the Left: the civil war intensifies despite the fact that the “programs” of its basic forces (KKE, LAE –the new formation made up by the Left Platform– and ANTARSYA) are politically converging more than ever… We do not intend to take part in this old-fashioned civil war that purposely ignores the urgent needs of the masses and adds to their confusion and despair.
All these forces of the Left consider that their biggest necessity is their political survival in the narrowest sense of the term. They do not propose to the Greek people any way out of the actual situation, as they do not believe in the possibility of a change “because of the objectively negative correlation of forces”.
Furthermore, they insist on organizational and functional forms that exclude the broad masses and ignore their actual demands. The civil war between them is focusing on “technical” issues (as the currency), and is faced with indifference (if not disgust) by the suffering masses.
5. The stand of KOE
Consequently, the Communist Organization of Greece considers impossible and non-productive to participate in this electoral competition with the specific character it has. We call of course for the punishment of the whole political system, and especially of all the pro-Memorandum forces, in any way possible. We work for a result that will maintain as much as possible the lack of legitimacy of the political system, as we have every reason to believe that any future government will have, sooner or later, the fate of the previous ones that served the catastrophic policies imposed upon Greece by the foreign factor.
But mainly we are waging a broad campaign aiming at discussing with the people, understanding what has happened, dissolving the confusion and the disorientation, and eventually rallying all the existing forces, initiatives and non-organized individuals who understand the need for a way out, for a liberating perspective. This campaign has already started with public meetings all over Greece, and will be of course continued after the elections, as the last illusions will gradually fade away and the ongoing national and social catastrophe shall put us all in front of unavoidable tasks:
(a) How to build a new program of the liberating perspective we need as a country and as Greek people.
(b) How to build the “vehicles” leading to such a perspective (popular participation, respect of the masses and of their needs, sharing of responsibility, genuine democracy).
Athens, September 8, 2015
KOE, International Relations Department