Wednesday, March 25, 2009

CYM Statement

An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, yesterday wrote to David Begg, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. In this letter Cowen wrote:

…having regard to the potential for further severe impact on jobs and living standards, there is an overwhelming case for …an integrated national response to the complex interplay of domestic and global forces which must be confronted, and for this response to be effective by commanding wide societal ownership.

The key phrase here being ‘wide societal ownership’.
Workers, student, the elderly, and the more vulnerable in society are being forced to pay for this crisis.

We are being forced to take ownership of a crisis made by a few, including those currently in Government, who in making it accumulated billions of personal profits off our labour.
The Bank guarantee, part nationalisations and recapitalisations, are part of this strategy. That is, they have socialised the debt of these financial institutions while there profits and profit making capacities remain in private hands. We will pay the costs but not receive the reward.

The Connolly Youth Movement do not accept all of society should bear the responsibility or cost of this crisis.
The Connolly Youth Movement believe this crisis is in built in the very framework and structures of the capitalist system.

The Connolly Youth Movement also recognise that the crisis has been further exasperated by successive Governments that have mismanaged the economy and prioritised short term profits for the few over longer term sustainable growth.
It is time we sack Chief Executives and this Government. It is time they bear the cost of this crisis they created. It is time they loose their jobs.

Statement Ends

National Executive Committee
Connolly Youth Movement

British Army Recruiting in Schools

Press Release Belfast Branch of CYM

The British army have recently launched a recruitment campaign in the north with schools targeted, billboards erected and leaflets delivered to homes encouraging young workers to join. One such school targeted was the cross-community Belfast Metropolitan College, with the Territorial Army running a misleading campaign which promotes a romanticised image.

Spokesperson Nicholas O’Hagan said “This comes amidst an economic recession and at a time when the British Army is failing to meet its targets for recruitment. Young workers will be tempted with the opportunity of earning thousands of pounds and the opportunity to ‘see the world.’

“No mention is made of the atrocities carried out by the British army in Iraq or Afghanistan and the legacy of their actions in Ireland.

“The Educational Institute of Scotland have banned recruitment by the British army in Scottish schools and the National Union of Teachers in Britain have already voted to oppose the distribution of misleading propaganda.

“The Connolly Youth Movement call upon the trade union movement here to adopt a similar policy to prevent more of our young people being shipped off to certain death in Iraq and Afghanistan or even to face death here in Ireland as shown in Antrim earlier this month."

Connolly Youth Movement
Belfast Branch
PO Box 85
Belfast BT1 1SR

Leading themselves hostage to fortune

The decision by the ICTU to go back into talks with the Government has
the potential to place the trade union movement in a position where it
will become tied to Government policies, in particular to the
consequences of the forthcoming budget and all future budgets. Leaving
themselves hostage to fortune.

It is clear from the letter sent by Brian Cowen to David Begg that these
talks go well beyond rescuing the current agreement but are geared more
towards locking the trade union movement into a position of supporting
future Government policy.

Using such terms in his letter to the ICTU as “societal ownership” of
the crisis, Cowen in effect is stating—and the ICTU is clearly buying
into this—that society as a whole must accept the responsibility and the
cost of a crisis created by a few who, in creating it, made billions off
our labour.

The previous “social partnership” agreements did nothing to end the
gross inequality that exists in Irish society. If the trade union
movement concludes a new agreement with this bankrupt Government the
likelihood of achieving a more socially just Ireland is even more
extreme, given present conditions.

The present crisis is both global and has specific Irish features,
resulting from the policies of the present Government and its cronies in
the banks and among property speculators. If the trade union movement
does a deal it will be letting this Government, the bankers and
speculators away with the pensions, social welfare payments and health
and educational services of its members, whether they are now employed
or have lost their jobs recently.

This approach is the road to nowhere. It is time for a new departure. If
workers are to be called on to make sacrifices, we need to start
thinking and acting independently of this Government and crisis-ridden
system. A socially just society is clearly not on the agenda of this
Government, or any other potential coalition Government, no matter what
combination of parties makes it up.

Eugene McCartan
General secretary

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The Czech presidency of the EU, in the middle of a capitalist economic crisis, has taken the initiative to organize a number of anticommunist events to promote the attempt to equate communism with Nazism, to rewrite history and manipulate the consciences mainly of the young generation, with a view to the future rather than the past.

The intention, expressed within the European Union (in countries where Communist Parties have been already outlawed), of characterizing communism and class struggle as a crime, is not directed only against the communists, nor does it concern solely the EU countries.

The anticommunist hysteria that burst out a few years ago with the so-called “Memorandum” on the “need of international condemning of the crimes by totalitarian communist regimes” in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and which continues until today is directed at the working class as well as at the other popular strata”.

They want to strike at the vanguard of the people’s movement and its struggle against the anti-people plans and the attempt to place on the workers’ shoulders the burden of the world crisis. They want to eliminate the challenge to the exploitative system and the prospect of a just society, expressed by the ideology and the struggles of communists. They intent to strike at the forces of resistance and popular counterattack on the basis of anticommunist hysteria, lies and persecution. They have announced new offences against Socialist Cuba and the peoples that resist imperialism.

We condemn these actions undertaken by the presidency of the EU and we call on the peoples of Europe to react dynamically and to massively condemn them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Demand a General Election

To All Irish Citizens,

Sign the Petition demanding a general election.

Sack the Government Campaign

Labour Party out of touch with people

The call by Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore on RTE radio on Sunday morning (22nd) for the Taoiseach Brian Cowan to intervene with the trade union movement to get them to call of the one day strike on the 30th of March is yet another example of how out of touch the Labour Party is with the growing anger of the Irish people to the deepening economic crisis and the attempts by the government to make working people pay for a crisis that is not of their making.

As this bankrupt government prepares its emergency budget it must be meet with the full force of that anger so that they get the message loud and clear.

Instead of leading working people Eamon Gilmore and the Labour leadership are falling in behind the Government, the employers, the seried ranks of economic spin doctors, and the mass media, who since the beginning of this crisis have been attempting to continue with their long campaign of attacks on workers living standards and the gains made by working people over many decades. They are using the crisis to implement their strategy.

It appears that the Labour Party and the government are marching to the drum beat scripted by the ruling elites. Whether Eamon Gilmore recognises it or not, there is a major struggle for the hearts and minds of the people. The hairy old chestnut of "we all did well under the Celtic Tiger,- so we all must bear the burden and the responsibility for this crisis" is simple not true, no matter how many time they spin it on the television or across the airwaves.

Currently that struggle is all one way the employers have not given up their attacks against workers, they are attempting to scape goat public sector workers and using every spin doctor to get public and private workers pitched against each other, while they steal away with all the social conditions and gains that workers have won. The representatives of those who claim to speak for the labour movement have failed to recognise this fact. Working people can't afford to wait for those who see all politics as mere debates in the vapid talking shop of the Dail, this will only lead working people into yet another cul de sac. Eamon should be leading the call for unity of public and private sector workers, calling for maximum support for the strike to show clearly to the employers and its government that workers are not prepared to lie down and be fobbed of with sterile homilies and harmless and futile debates.

Now is not the time to demobilise but rather it is now time to intensify the pressure.

Communist Party of Ireland
It has been six years now since the USA, supported by a coalition of imperialist forces and puppet allies, started the war against Iraq in order to “democratize it” and “free it from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein”. Now after six years, Iraq has only witnessed increased suffering, death and poverty and what was “freeing Iraq” turned out to be occupying Iraq.

Now Iraq is under occupation from the same imperialist governments that formerly supported the dictatorship regime since the early 1980s in all of its wars against its neighbors and in its internal criminal policies against its own people.

The massacres against the communists all over Iraq in the early 1980s and the wars against the Shiaa in the South and the Kurds in the North were tolerated by the “International community” for long years since Iraq was committing to their policies in the region and supplying them with oil. USA and its allies supported all those practices before, and only turned to oppose them when they felt the need to be present militarily in the region, in the Gulf region and inside Iraq where huge reserves of oil are the aim.

Now after the falling of the regime that WFDY denounced for a long time, Iraq is occupied by USA and its allies. It is a new battle now for Iraq to be liberated from those occupying forces and only resistance will lead the process of liberation.

WFDY reiterates its support on this occasion to the Iraqi people in their struggle for real independence and to liberate their country from this occupation.
Iraq can only be free through the will of its own people and youth, and will achieve real democracy only after liberating itself from occupation.

Let this anniversary be another step in our struggle against war and occupation, for freedom and progress and for international solidarity.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Interview with CPI Gen. Sec. Eugene McCarten conducted by Belgium Workers Party

For decades the European Commission and the establishment political parties of the member-states of the European Union praised the Irish model, called the “Celtic Tiger.” What were the most important characteristics of this model?
The most important aspect was that the EU Commission, with the help of the Irish establishment, attributed the success of the Irish economy to the fact that it was one of the most open economies in the world. It was based upon (a) low corporation tax, (b) low personal tax, (c) very little or what they called “light” regulation, (d) a trade union movement heavily compromised by “social partnership,” (e) a well-educated and skilled young work force, and (f) a significant platform for trading into the European Union by transnational capital, particularly from the United States.

Ireland knew a period of considerable economic growth above the average in Europe. Could you give some figures? For whom were the benefits of the economic growth?
Without a doubt, the standard of living of most people rose during the period called the “Celtic Tiger.” The average yearly growth was somewhere in the region of 6–8 per cent per annum. Much of this growth was centred on the construction industry. This resulted in an enormous growth in speculative investment in the construction industry, reaching a peak of 100,000 housing units being constructed in one year alone. The housing market and the construction industry have now collapsed, from a peak of employing 255,000 people in 2008 to now employing a little over 150,000. Yet 44,400 people are now on the housing list, awaiting housing, while more than 60,000 housing units are still empty.
This led to a huge growth in house prices and the speculative price of development land. Young couples and individuals where taking out 100–120 per cent mortgages over forty years at a time of low interests rates. Low interest rates suited the German economy, as the Germans were trying to stimulate economic growth. The value of the euro is determined by the needs of the German economy, not necessarily by the requirements of the smaller member-states of the European Union.
When interests rates began to rise, in the main because of the needs once again of the German government to damp down inflation, this caused a crisis, as people stopped buying houses. People in Ireland are second after the United States for the level of personal debt. The plastic card made up the difference between real wages or their disposable income and the false desires or needs created by the brightly coloured magazines and shop windows promoting the unsustainable life-style of capitalism.

How badly were the banks in Ireland hit with the financial crisis and how did the government respond? How much money went into the financial sector (in absolute figures and in relation with Ireland’s GDP)? What do you think of the government’s response?
In early October 2008 the management of Anglo-Irish Bank, which was heavily exposed to the speculative property market, had an emergency meeting with the Government about its imminent collapse. This bank had financed a lot of the speculative building and investment by many of the major property speculators, who have investments around the world. These same investors are the financial backbone of the major party in Government; so effectually the ruling class was and is in deep financial crisis.
Following from these, which at first were secret meetings, the Government proposed an across-the-board guarantee of all banks’ and financial institutions’ debts. Six Irish banks and financial institutions have agreed to avail of this protection afforded to them by the state. It is now estimated that bank debt exposure taken on by the Irish state is in the region of 260 per cent of GDP. Subsequently the Government has raided the national pension fund and has put €3½ billion into both Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland, having nationalised Anglo-Irish Bank.

How high were the profits for some Irish banks the last years? Did Ireland also know bankers and CEOs with huge wages that were thanked with golden handshakes, in Belgium also called golden parachutes? Over the last decade the Irish bank system has been highly profitable, with year-on-year growth in profits. Allied Irish Bank made €885 million in profit in 2008. In relation to the salaries of bankers, Irish bankers are paid well above what many bankers in Europe would receive. For example, the CEO of the Central Bank of Ireland is paid more than his equivalent in the British or European Central Bank.
The CEO of Irish Life and Permanent resigned with a pension of €400,000 per year. It has been discovered that the CEO of Anglo-Irish Bank had secret loans coming to €110 million from the bank that the Revenue Commissioners (state tax-collectors) and the Bank Regulator where “unaware” of. At the end of each financial year another financial institution, Irish Life and Permanent, would secretly transfer money from its account to Anglo-Irish Bank in order to cover up this massive gaping hole in the finance of Anglo-Irish Bank. This is massive potential fraud, yet no-one has been questioned by the police and no-one has been charged, and it is most likely that no-one will every go to prison. If a father or mother stole food to feed their children they would get six months in prison.

For months now, the financial crisis went into a deepening general economic crisis. Could you give some facts and figures from company closures and unemployment? Other examples? Ireland is experiencing not only a financial crisis but also the general crisis of capitalism. Since the mid-1960s the Government’s main economic development strategy has been to encourage investment by transnational corporations, to set up bases here in the Republic; a similar strategy was carried on in the North of Ireland by the old Unionist government and the British government under direct rule from London. They were and are relying upon transnational corporations to create an industrial base.
This strategy is now falling apart at a rapid rate—this year alone Dell, SR Technics, Google, Seagate, F. G. Wilson, Nortel, and KPMG. Unemployment has risen by more than 8 per cent in two years and is growing, with nearly a thousand jobs being lost every day. It is estimated that unemployment could reach 600,000 by the end of the year. The Government estimates that the general Government deficit this year will worsen from the forecast 9½ per cent of GDP that it was predicting when it produced an emergency budget in late 2008.

Ireland is severely hit by the economic crisis. Has the nature of the “*Celtic Tiger” model something to do with that? Yes. The Irish economy was one of the most open and deregulated in the capitalist world, very similar to that of the United States. It is also one of the most unequal societies, next to the United States, and also has the highest personal debt ratio after the United States.
Exchequer figures show a deficit of €2 billion for the first two months of this year. Tax receipts for the first two months were €5.76 billion, compared with €7.56 billion in the same period in 2007—a drop of 24 per cent.
VAT receipts were 17 per cent lower, at just under €2¼ billion, while income tax was more than 7 per cent down, at just over €2 billion.
The amount collected in VAT and excise duties was down by €755 million, compared with the first two months of last year, a decline of 21 per cent.
The fall in income tax results from a fall in employment, while stamp duty and capital taxes were off a total of €613 million, relating to the contraction in house sales—an investment activity.
Public spending rose by €131 million, as social welfare spending was up €188 million in the first two months as a result of higher unemployment.

In what consists the crisis policy of the Irish government? What are the consequences for workers’ income, working conditions and jobs? Briefly tell us also the composition of the Government. What do you think of it? The current Government in the Republic began as a three-party coalition with the support of a number of independent members of the Dáil (parliament). Since then the Progressive Democrats, who styled themselves on the Thatcher model, have collapsed, though their one minister remains on in government as Minister for Health. The major party in the coalition is Fianna Fail, which grew out of the national independence forces of the 1930s; and the final partner is the Green Party.

Especially, the levy on workers’ pension was highly controversial. Could you explain the measure?
In the last budget, in 2008, the government imposed a 1 per cent levy on all workers’ earnings. Hospital charges increased to €100. The drug repayment scheme was limited to €100 per month, hospital bed charges increased to €75, third-level education fees increased to €1,500.

The Communist Party of Ireland say that the budget which the government introduced in November showed that government wants the working people, the poor, the sick and pensioners to pay for the crisis? You even speak of a “criminal conspiracy” among the ruling elite “to make working people pay for the deepening crisis”? What do you mean? You can gather from my answers to previous questions the close nature of the ruling class to this Government and how it influences its decisions. What is clear is that since 1987 most of the important economic decision have been taken or shaped by the European Union. Over the last decade of the “Celtic Tiger” Irish bankers have had a huge input into Government economic and social policies.
When the economy was running with massive budget surpluses it was easy to throw money around the place, funding projects, paying grossly inflated prices for infrastructural projects, to fatten the wallets of financial backers. The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, speaking in the Dáil in early March, stated that the Government was not aware of the extent of the fiscal and economic crisis facing the country up until the exchequer figurers for February 2009 had been announced. This is the same leader who informed the nation that he had not read the Lisbon Treaty but that people should take his word for it and vote yes last June, that it was a good deal for the Irish people.
As the crisis has deepened it is clear that the establishment has few if any answers to it except to attack public spending on education and health, to impose levies on workers to bring in additional revenue. The most recent was the imposition of a 10 per cent levy on public-service workers to contribute an increasing amount to their pension.

What concrete policies does the CP Ireland propose?
We are working on an alternative economic strategy, which should be completed shortly. But we have proposed—and this has been taken up by a number of unions—the establishing of a State Development Bank, in which the National Pension Fund should be invested, along with other pension funds, removing them from the global speculative markets. Also, the general public could move their savings, and also families could move their family-home mortgage.
We have not called for the nationalisation of the banks, as we believe that that is a case of the socialisation of the debts of the ruling class. The nationalisations that have taken place around the capitalist world are for strengthening capital, not for controlling or weakening it.
A planned use and development of our natural resources, such as marine resources and farming, should be developed. These valuable resources should be brought under democratic control and accountability. As an example, the Republic has nearly 30 per cent of the fishing stock of the European Union yet is allowed to catch less than 8 per cent of the EU catch. Meanwhile all mineral resources, such as natural gas, are owned by transnational corporations.
In addition, we have called for the establishment of a state development body that should set up advanced-technology industries, creating jobs using the creative abilities of our scientific community, along the lines of those developed in Cuba, thereby creating jobs that can’t be shipped to eastern Europe or China.
We recognise that there are no real short-term solutions within the existing economic and political structures and that there is a need for radical national democratic transformation. We do not believe that we are at the stage to be calling for socialism. The material and ideological basis for such advanced demands does not yet exist.

In Dublin 120,000 persons were on the streets to protest against government. Who organised and participated? What were the demands and the slogans at the manifestation? Other facts about the manifestation?
The major demonstration was organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. The Irish trade union movement is united under one union federation. Their slogan was “There is a better, fairer way.” They also issued a bland ten-point recovery plan, a reheated version of a plan produced by a Swedish economist that was implemented during the economic crisis in Sweden in 1993.
There have also been a number of other demonstrations by public-sector workers, Gardaí (police), taxi-drivers, and bus workers—all individual protests not yet reaching the position of looking at their situation in relation to the general crisis.
We need to gain control of capital. That is within our grasp, as is the case in relation to the many changes that are now under way in Latin America. The solutions proposed or advocated within the European Union we feel are narrowed by the economic and ideological straitjacket that so much of the left have taken on board in the false belief (from our viewpoint) that the European Union can be transformed from being an instrument deliberately constructed by and for monopoly capitalism.

Another remarkable workers’ action was the occupation of the Waterford Glass factory. Could you tell us something about that?
480 workers continue to occupy their factory, Waterford Crystal, part of the Waterford Wedgwood Group. Waterford is a city in the south-east, and high-quality crystal glass has been produced there for many decades. The workers are attempting to secure the future of the company and prevent its take-over by venture capitalists. The CPI has called for its nationalisation, not in some knee-jerk ultra-leftist reaction but in recognition of the very real fact that the Waterford Crystal name is one of the top 5 per cent world brand names; the crystal is made from local raw materials; and there is a highly skilled work force. We believe that this business could be developed and grown, creating additional jobs.

Also teachers’ unions demonstrated all around the country? Why? When?
Teachers and other education workers, pupils and parents organised a protest late in 2008 at the cuts in the education budget. Tens of thousands participated in all the cities and major towns.

Pensioners forced a retreat of a policy of the government concerning medical cards. That’s a success. How did they resist the policy measure?
They held meetings throughout the country. They refused to allow any representative from the Government parties to either attend or speak at their rallies. One of the features was the central role played by retired trade union members.
The Government has announced that it is planning to have an emergency budget in April, as the public finances continue to nosedive further and it is clear that state pensions, along with other state benefits, such as unemployment benefit, will come under renewed attack.

What are the perspectives of the movement after the manifestation? Are other manifestations, strikes planned?
The ICTU has planned another national day of action for 31 March against Government policies. It is also clear that leading elements within the labour movement would like to find some accommodation with the Government in the context of some new “social partnership” arrangement. After decades of social partnership agreements with Government and employers, significant elements of the unions are unable or unwilling to resist. Despite offices full of researchers and economic advisers, trade unions have not come forward with one concrete alternative. They continue to think inside the ideological box of contemporary bourgeois society. It is a case now that they must become either radical or redundant.
Some union leaderships, particularly representing public-sector workers, are very keen to get into bed with the Government in some renewed or reheated “social partnership” deal. If this happens, then trade unions would, in the minds of many workers, become identified with current and future Government policies, in other words overseeing and being associated with a massive assault on the social gains that Irish workers and their unions have struggled long and hard for over many generations.
“Towards 2016” is the current social partnership agreement and was ratified by the trade unions on 5 September 2006. Unlike its predecessors, it is a ten-year agreement, with an initial 27-month pay phase.
In relation to pay, a deal worth 10 per cent over the initial twenty-seven months was agreed. This was be structured as follows:
• 3 per cent over 6 months;
• 2 per cent over 9 months;
• 2½ per cent over 6 months;
• 2½ per cent over 6 months.
For low-paid workers (those on €10.25 per hour or below) there was an additional 0.5 per cent payable in phase 2.
Employers are now reneging wholesale on this agreement, and those employers who have paid it because they are profitable have come under attack from the employers’ organisations for paying what they had agreed in the first place. What is happening is that many employers are seizing the opportunity of the crisis to launch sustained attacks on workers’ terms and conditions, with up to 30 per cent cuts in wages now being demanded.
In these conditions it would be complete suicide for the trade union movement to move closer and be identified with Government policy.

What’s your opinion on the political parties participating in the workers’ movement?
None of the major political parties represented in the Dáil have come forward with any radical proposals to advance the workers’ movement. All operate within the same framework, all seeking to take electoral advantage in the forthcoming EU and local government elections in June. All see solutions within the narrow restraints that current EU treaties impose on member-states in relation to economic and social policies.
Clearly they are all attempting to steer dissent into purely parliamentary channels. The contradictions both of the Irish ruling class at the national level and the crisis at the global level are growing and deepening. While the material conditions or the objective conditions appear to be pregnant with the possibility of change, the subjective factor—that is, the understanding of working people in relation to the nature of the crisis and the forces responsible—has not yet reached the point where the ideology of the ruling class becomes less of an influence over the thinking and understanding of the masses.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Workers Party of Belgium ✹ German Communist Party ✹ Communist Party of Luxembourg ✹ New Communist Party of the Netherlands

Starting the struggle for change now
Common declaration

The banking and finance crisis is developing into a global economic crisis. In the course of this development the present growth model of global capitalism with consumption and profits in the US as the motor driving the entire world economy is collapsing.

Now the helping hand of the state is to secure the assets of the rich. Introducing bank rescue programmes, the governments are shifting the burden of the costs of the finance crisis on to society. Industry is coping with the crisis by stopping or cutting down production and destroying jobs.

The struggle has now begun to fight for a progressive solution and to prevent capital burdening society with the costs of the crisis.

We will offensively intervene in this political and social conflict. For it is not only the major banks that have collapsed in the finance crisis; it is the entire ideological, political and economic conception of neo-liberalism which is shaken. The Lisbon strategy has failed; the Stability Pact is just a piece of paper.

It is high time to further develop socialist ideas in Europe.

In the struggles ahead of us, we will focus on the struggle for an economy that serves the people.

In our countries, we demand:

 Not only savings must be secured, but also jobs, wages, pensions and social security systems

 Make the rich pay

Those who have made money out of the financial excesses of the past years have to pay: financing groups, funds and the super-rich. They were the ones who urged their mountains of money be exploited to earn them even more money faster, higher and riskier by the day.

Tax benefits for top incomes and profits of the past years are to be taken back as well as privileged treatment of financial investments. Profits, high incomes and assets must be taxed progressively.

Consumption taxes on everyday items as well as taxation of low and medium incomes must be reduced.

 Public investments for an economy that serves the people

For an environmentally-friendly economy which serves the people, public investment in restructuring the production and consumption practices is necessary, i.e. investment in energy saving and environmentally-friendly energy supplies, for the reduction of exhaust emissions and the use of ressources, investment in public transport systems, public infrastructure, health, education, .. .

For this purpose, the billions which wander all over the world looking for profitable financial investment must be creamed off.

 Nationalising the finance sector

In order to establish alternative policies, banks and financing groups must be turned into public property under public control, i.e. control through representatives of society, local councils, medium-sized companies, trade unions , consumer and environmental lobby groups, the movement of globalisation critics, the peace movements, “Third World” groups – organisations which are elected from bottom to top and which are committed to an alternative economic policy.

 Stop the transition to capital-funded social security systems

Pensioners must no longer be exposed to the global players at the stock exchange. It is necessary to return to public, mutually supportive, social security systems. They must be strengthened by including incomes from gains and assets to finance them. Pensions from these systems must be raised at least to an extent that is above the poverty line.

On the level of the European Union we demand

• The Lisbon Reform Treaty must finally be abandoned.

• The Lisbon Strategy has failed and must be replaced by a strategy which develops the European Single Market by strengthening internal private consumption – higher wages, pensions, scholarships, unemployment benefits - and public demand.

• The Stability Pact is to be replaced by a Solidarity Pact, the aim of which is the development of a Europe of solidarity and the adjustment of the individual social standards of its member countries to the highest level respectively.

• Protection of collective and cooperative property. Stopping all privatisation. The corresponding rules of the European Union must be changed (Articles 81, 82 and 86 of the Treaty of Europe).

• Tax havens must be closed; the progressive taxation of profits, high incomes and assets is to be adjusted to a high level.

• The European Central Bank is to be put under democratic, social control. Its tasks must be changed to support full employment, the strengthening of the public sector and development. The monetary and fiscal policies must be orientated towards the goal of a sustained development, favourable financing of public debt and equal cooperation with the countries of the Mediterranean area and the developing countries.

Credits may only be used for investments in the real economy and not to move new speculative fortune wheels. Its most urgent tasks must comprise the promotion of long-term structural and regional programmes for the transition to another way of production, consumption and life.

WFDY on International Womens Day

International Women’s Day, March 08

The World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) salutes all young and working women on this International Women’s Day, March 08, a Day born out of the struggle of women, who throughout decades have firmly demonstrated specially in this day for specific and fair demands, namely the reduction of their working time.

The imperialist domination of the world makes that the life of women in most countries is marked by the discrimination in the access to rights. Imperialism uses the female condition to increase the exploitation of young women, punishing them for their condition of mothers, with low salaries, long working periods and short periods of time-off in case of giving birth to a child. In many countries, women face threat of or effective dismissal if they decide to have a child.

The idea that the women are something less than men, is still very much in use and, specially, in practice, despite the Universal Rights Declaration 60 years of existence. Such discrimination, statiscally confirmed, is indeed a tool of imperialism to deepen the exploitation of the people as whole, exploiting women and blackmailing men, in order to keep its domination over people, keeping also the world as place of tremendous inequalities, starvation, exploitation and war.

In this sense, WFDY is sure that only by overthrowing imperialism is possible to overthrow the discrimination faced by women in the imperialist ruled world of nowadays.

Therefore, WFDY calls upon all its member and friend organizations to make the March 08th, 2009, a day where the celebration of the International Women’s Day is made in the streets, demonstrating against the imperialist policies and its puppets around the world, for young people, women and workers’ rights, as we are sure that the organized struggle is the only way for victory.

KKE Press Conference

Press Conference on Economic Crisis

In a Press Conference after a meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday 5th March the General Secretary of the CC of KKE underlined:

All the working people united!

The plutocracy must pay for the crisis!

No social agreement for the crisis!

Regroupment of the movement according to the anti-imperialist anti-monopoly line.

The big capital should pay now for the crisis!

Weakening of bipartisan system and at the same time strengthening of KKE

"We won't support the plutocracy to overcome the crisis and its consequences! The plutocracy along with the governments that promoted its interests, ND nowadays and PASOK previously are the only responsible for the crisis. The forces alternating in power are the ones that should be punished and not the workers that produce the wealth.

We work for the counterattack of the working class, for the building of an alliance between the working class and the popular strata in order to reject the calls of the plutocracy for new sacrifices and struggle for employment, salaries and people's modern needs.

The big struggle to prevent the worse begins now. The workers, the victims of the crisis should unite and become a strong power struggling for overthrow and asserting political power. Now, resistance and struggle in every work-place, in every city, in every village! Unity, solidarity, for our common interests. This is the policy of KKE".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Greek Communist Party, KKE, on NATO Anniversary

It’s been 60 years since the foundation of NATO, the most inhuman and criminal organisation, that maintains its presence and constitutes a permanent threat for the peoples and world peace.

The so called North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) that was founded on 4th April 1949, made clear through its founding declaration its interventionist and aggressive character, despite the fact that it declared spuriously to the people that this is a defensive organisation.

The foundation of NATO expressed the aggressiveness of imperialism against the USSR and other socialist countries.

It is a lie that it was a defensive treaty and this is proved, among other things, by the fact that the Warsaw Pact was founded in 1955 and was dissolved in 1991.

At the same time, as it is cynically referred in its handbook published in 1995, NATO had as a goal to obstruct with the use of arms any type of changes and overthrows that could happen in the Western Europe countries. For this reason, as it was proved, apart from the control over the armed forces of the member states, NATO kept paramilitary organisations, arms’ storage, like the “red sheepskin” in Greece and “Gladio” in Italy. For this reason, but also for ensuring the interests of capitalism, it supported the reactionary regimes and dictatorships in Greece, Turkey, the fascist regimes of Franco in Spain, of Salazar in Portugal, while it played a leading role in the partition of Cyprus.

NATO’s history in its role as world “sheriff” of imperialism is linked to violations of the international law. It is marked with the blood of victims of its direct or indirect interventions throughout the world.

Especially nowadays the role and character of NATO as an international murderous military mechanism, as a basic tool of imperialist action inside the member states as well as outside its borders for the establishment of the “new order” of imperialism has been fully revealed.

After the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, already in 1992, in the Rome Summit and in 1999 in Washington, NATO adopted a new doctrine that provides the possibility of intervention in the whole world, in the name of new threats, such as terrorism, protection of natural sources’ flow etc. It moved on to a new expansion by integrating former socialist and other countries, by contracting special agreements and treaties with Middle East and North African countries. In the Riga Summit in 2006 it established cooperation with Australia, New Zealand and Japan that are already participating in the Afghanistan war.

In the Summit of Istanbul (2004) it approved the plan for the wider Middle East, preparing in that way interventions for the subjugation of the region to imperialism. During this period NATO moved on with its new structure which is based mainly on the aggressive, murderous “rapid deployment forces”.

With the support of the USA-EU and other subordinates, NATO aimed at -and succeeded to a large extent - the revision of the UN, in order to establish itself indirectly as an essential support and mechanism of the “peacekeeping missions” of the UN, that have as a primary concern to impose the imperialist plans under the cover of “international legitimacy”.

The USA along with the EU have organised the dissolution of Yugoslavia and in this way NATO set off the war in Bosnia, planned and realised the dirty war against Serbia in 1999, with the 78 days of bombing that levelled the country to the ground and led to NATO and EU occupation of Kosovo and its “independence”.

The war and the interventions of NATO in the Balkans and Afghanistan, the participation of a part of NATO in the intervention in Iraq have proved that the imperialist brutality and the imposition of a “new order” have as an enemy the states, even if they are obedient and the peoples that react in the imperialist plotting and conquest. This enemy lies in the sight of the murderous action of NATO and therefore escalates the armament and develops new threatening weapon systems, such as the so called antimissile defence shield.

Greece and Greek people has paid the price of the participation in the NATO that constituted the shield which guaranteed the interests of the monopolies and imperialism. The colonels’ junta, the partition of Cyprus, the dispute of the borders in the Aegean, the consequences from the situation that it is shaping in the Balkans are some of the examples of the “NATO protection”. The funding of the NATO military expenses and expeditions by the sweat and blood of the working people, with the responsibility of all the governments until today, is the price paid for the protection of the Greek and foreign monopoly groups’ interests.

Imperialism-USA-NATO-EU contain identical concepts. Despite their contrasts and their competition, both EU and NATO turn against the people, since the EU in the Euro-treaty considers NATO as a main pillar and accepts fully its role.

In the anniversary of 60 years since its establishment, NATO attempts to overcome the “lack of communication of the alliance” towards the peoples , using the propaganda of falsification of the history through the media manipulated by the system , the universities, using the funds as a bait, the events of the local community, organized by its well paid servants.

But we will not let this happen. Because it is now well known to everyone that the 60 years of history and action of NATO are marked with the blood of the people, are identified with the death and injury of hundreds thousands of people, civilian and children.

The new structure and the new doctrine of NATO are reactionary and repulsive to the people, who have only faced and experienced severe blows. That’s why it is necessary to strengthen the mobilizations and the resistance against the imperialists.

NATO appears to be all-powerful, but it is not. Imperialism cannot have life if it is not able to control new markets, if it can’t broaden its influence, if it can’t capture and oppress other peoples, along with the ones, in the states benefitting from it.

The only counter pole to NATO are the anti-imperialist, peace-loving forces of the world, the global anti-war, anti-imperialist movement for peace, which demands in cooperation with the movement of the working class and the other popular movements of women and youth, the movements of solidarity, that NATO must be dissolved.

This is the “one-way-road” for all the peoples. We must stop the imperialist aggressiveness. We must contribute to the defeat of imperialism, because this is the only precondition for a peaceful world.

The only answer to the dark front that rises nowadays by USA, NATO, EU, and to those who serve, elaborate and promote the enslavement of the peoples is a massive, peaceful, anti-imperialist popular front.

Nowadays the verbal condemnation of the crimes and threats of NATO is not enough. A huge anti-war, anti-imperialist peaceful movement that will unite all the consequent and radical forces, the working people, the youth and the broad social, popular forces, is demanded.

Because people can win with their struggle and pose an obstacle to the criminal plans of NATO and the other imperialist forces.

EEDYE, and all of us who sign this text, call upon the Greek people and all the mass organizations of the people’s movement to a long-term and firm struggle with the demands for:

the dissolution of NATO

the withdrawal of Greece from NATO

the removal of all the foreign military bases from Greece

the return of all the Greek armed forces and the other missions that are deployed out of the country and serve the interests of imperialism.

Cuban Government Restructures

The Cuban Council of State released an official statement Monday informing of recent changes in the government. These follow President Raul Castro's remarks during the constituent session of the Cuban parliament on February 24, 2008, on the necessity to create a more compact and functional structure of government and a better distribution of responsibilities, the statement explains.

The official statement quotes Raul Castro as saying: "institutionalism is one of the cornerstones of the invulnerability of the Revolution in the political arena, that's why we have to keep working on improving it. We can never think that what we have done is perfect."

According to the official statement, the current structure will be further analyzed with the objective of gradually making it even more compact and efficient.

Monday, March 2, 2009

AIB announces 1 billion in profit for 2008

Ireland's biggest Bank, AIB, yesterday announced a profit of 1 billion. AIB is one of the Banks party to the States largest corporate donation, around 2 billion of taxpayers money.

AIB is yet to confirm payment of the National Wage Agreement to staff although is in ongoing negotiations with staff's Union, IBOA.