In Greece you have now an open political crisis and new elections. What is the background?
The resignation of the prime-minister Karamanlis and the early elections that will take place on 4 October reveal the bankruptcy of the right-wing government. It is the second time that after a disaster by wildfires this government declares elections; the same happened in September 2007. But this time the government party “Nea Dimokratia” does not goes to early elections with the hope to win them; this time, Karamanlis government was obliged to call early elections by its powerful masters (the EU, the industrialists and the “dynamic centers of the finance”). The message clearly spelled by both Karamanlis and his masters is that an even more anti-popular policy is to follow, no matter the elections’ results. The economy was led to a disastrous situation, many regional geopolitical issues remain open, and we enter a period of political, economic and social upheavals. This period will be marked by fluidity and by transitional characteristics. The “classic” alternation of the two main bourgeois parties in government does not offer anymore the guarantees demanded by the capital. Moreover, it is unable to convince the people, as the lack of dynamics on behalf of the social-liberal PASOK proves. A possible parliamentary majority of PASOK will be meagre and very fragile, given the harsh measures demanded by the capital. The lack of parliamentary majority may lead to new elections, or to a temporary “big coalition”. In any case, what the bourgeoisie expects and demands is to put on the working masses the burden of the developing crisis. The whole bourgeois world (political, economic, state, media) is aligned in order to achieve this. Already, during the last year only, they have donated 51 billion euro to the businessmen and the banks. They cut off this huge amount of money from the social expenses, and they intend to put on new taxes in order to collect more money by the people. The “Greek” banks alone received 28 billion, while they continue to have huge profits despite the crisis and (as other capitalists too) enjoy freedom by real taxation.
What is the main appeal of the KOE to the masses in the new elections? Which discussions do you have in your coalition with Syriza?
What we say to the people is that the bourgeoisie is afraid only one thing: they are afraid of the possibility that the masses, from object of this huge exploitation and misery, become the subject of struggles, resistances, revolts, which may change the actually negative correlation of power. And for this reason, because the “above” realize that their policy may provoke such protests of the “below”, they armour themselves in all ways possible. The war that they have unleashed against SYRIZA, especially since the revolt of December, is exactly part of their effort to prevent new social explosions. This war against SYRIZA is, for the moment, rather successful, because the alliance has retreated on many fields. But at the same time it proves that there are chances, possibilities for us – and how much our enemies count everything. Because, in order to impose the reactionary policy, the bourgeoisie needs a weak, obedient Left; a Left without vision, without plans, without the possibility to transform the masses into subject of new resistances and popular revolts. For this reason, KOE works in order to re-orientate SYRIZA, based mainly on the political and social base of SYRIZA – and we must tell you that thousands of militants all over Greece are angry to see the alliance retrocede in front of the coordinated attack of the establishment, and they resist this situation. Together with them, KOE struggles to reverse this course, to support and further expand the hope that SYRIZA brought among the youth, the young workers, all those who suffer the bourgeois policies. What we say clearly and publicly is this: The Left must serve the people, not itself. So, we continue to participate in SYRIZA, but we struggle for a SYRIZA that will be different than the insufficient alliance it is until now.
We have read in the German bourgeois Media certain claims, that SYRIZA may support PASOK in order that the latter forms a new government. What do you say about that?
It is true that the right-wing of the reformist party "SYNaspismos" advocates openly the possibility of cooperation with PASOK after the elections. However, all the main leading organs of the Radical Left Alliance SYRIZA declare officially that there is no such possibility, given the fact that PASOK is one of the main two bourgeois parties alternating in government, and its policies are very similar to those of the right-wing "Nea Dimokratia" (the outgoing government party). PASOK is in fact a neoliberal party, and nothing allows the supposition that the "social-democrats", once in government, will follow any policy even slightly different than the one demanded and imposed by the EU and the bourgeoisie. Does that mean that the case of some SYRIZA PMs supporting PASOK (if the latter does not achieve parliamentary majority, and against the official position of our alliance) is excluded? No, this is a possibility (that will be catastrophic for the whole Left!). But the political and social base of SYRIZA in its crushing majority opposes any such thought. For this reason, many local committees of SYRIZA already adopt the proposal of KOE, and demand from all the candidates to declare that they will abide by the political line and the resolutions of the alliance. Under this pressure, the last days many representatives of the right-wing of the reformist party "SYNaspismos" have changed their speech, and affirm that "there is no possibility of cooperating with PASOK"… However, we remain vigilant, and we try to secure the support of SYRIZA members (including many members of "SYN") in the line for a combative Left, independent of the bourgeois parties and of the bourgeois influence - a Left that will prepare and lead new popular revolts against the attempt to put on the working masses the burden of their crisis. Those who think to betray the people of SYRIZA, will have to think twice before they do so: they will pay dearly any such attempt. There is no way that KOE (and the majority of the popular base of the alliance) will tolerate such attempts.
How does KOE use the election campaign for to spread the socialist alternative as solution out of the crisis, for to strengthen your party and the revolutionary opposition?
We use the election campaign in order to promote the necessity to put up an effective and realistic resistance against the bourgeois policies, and to build a political and social front against the aggressive capitalist policies in the context of the crisis. We continue to be in the front line of the struggles, because the class struggle does not stop during the electoral period! And we say clearly to the people that together we must change, first of all, the situation within the Left: this is a prerequisite in order to organize an effective resistance. And KOE has to be one of the main catalysts in this process – the attacks against KOE by all sides of the establishment prove, in a “negative” way, that KOE really has possibilities to wage considerable efforts in order to change the situation within the Left and, thus, within the society itself. Our election campaign with SYRIZA, our materials, our everyday work among the people in the working places, the schools, the countryside, the neighbourhoods, reflect our orientation: “The crisis is theirs; the solution of the uprising is ours”.