Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Repudiate the debt statement

An appeal to the Irish people

We have a choice:


On the eve of voting on the “Fiscal Stability Treaty”––the permanent
austerity treaty––we would like to put forward a number of points for
you to consider before you vote.

All of us have been affected one way or another by the imposition of the
massive socialised corporate debt placed on our shoulders by the EU and
ECB in co-operation with the main political parties in this state.

We are paying a very heavy price with cuts in services. You may have
experienced them directly yourself, or know people who have been
affected, in the areas of health, education, welfare, pensions, medical
cards, and wages.

Every citizen, from the very youngest to the oldest, has to pay back and
is responsible for €41,000 of the “national” debt at present levels.
That can only grow as more of our able-bodied citizens feel impelled to
leave our country to look for work and a future.

We simply cannot afford the price of the present “bail-out” and the toll
it is taking on all of us. So all the talk about voting Yes so that we
can obtain further funding––i.e. borrowing more money from the EU-ECB
loan sharks or from the international finance houses––is simply not an
option. We cannot afford the repayments.

It is a simple fact that 4½ million people cannot pay €150 billion in
debt, which is growing daily.

This treaty would make debt repayment and debt management the primary
policy of the government. No matter how much money will be in the
government’s kitty, the first priority would be to service the debt; all
other matters are secondary.

By putting it into law they hope to close off all other options that the
people may wish to choose, such as repudiating this odious and
unbearable debt. So whoever we may wish to vote for in the future, if we
vote Yes we will be handcuffing ourselves, our children and our
grandchildren for generations to come to only one solution.

So before you vote tomorrow ask yourself: Do you wish to remain in debt
servitude? Do you wish to turn yourself and your family into bonded
labour, whose duty is to pay a debt that is not yours and will most
probably be added to if the political establishment and their masters in
Berlin impose a second “bail-out” on us?

We can stand up as a people and demand that the debt be dumped off our
backs, stand as a free people, or we can lurk in the shadows and watch
as others decide our future, telling us what we can or cannot do.

The choice is ours.

Starve––emigrate––or resist.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unions say No!!!

Joint Statement for immediate release by CPSU, Mandate and Unite trade unions on the Austerity Treaty Referendum Sunday, May 27 th 1100 Hrs
Unions join forces in calling for no vote on austerity treaty Three major trade unions with combined membership of more than 100,000 have issued a strong call to vote no in Thursday’s referendum on what they are calling the austerity treaty.

The CPSU, Mandate and UNITE trade unions represent workers across the private and public sector and a wide range of industries from retail to transport and finance.

UNITE Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:

“The Treaty is only about austerity and does not have any provisions relating to growth.”

“It has been rushed in as a panic measure. No less than ten Euro zone countries have now slipped back into recession.”

“The problem with the treaty is that it enshrines the very policies that have caused that recession to get deeper and more damaging.”

“Ireland has a chance to say No, and to pull Europe back from the brink of economic self harm it has been engaged in to disastrous effect over the past three years.”

Mandate General Secretary, John Douglas said that the Fiscal Treaty if passed will not create one job:

“On the contrary it will legally lock down Irish economic activity at its current levels, and may even shrink domestic demand further leading to mass unemployment, decades of emigration and sow the seeds for future social conflict.

“This Treaty has nothing to do with ‘good housekeeping’ or ‘managing the household budget’; it is about copper fastening into an internationally legally binding agreement, decades of austerity, social exclusion, mass long term unemployment and emigration – and a continuation of attacks on workers’ rights and the welfare system. It is not about what is good for Irish citizens, or the citizens of Europe, it is a treaty of the Right for the Right!”

CPSU General Secretary Eoin Ronayne said:

“The Treaty amounts to writing into law the failed policies of the neo liberals who got us into the mess we are in.”

“Why on earth would lower and middle income people vote to make their lives even worse than they already are”

“What the ordinary citizens of the EU need is a sustained and comprehensive growth package putting money back into their pockets so that they can spend in their local economies generating jobs and protecting existing employment”

“Nothing in this Treaty will do that and a NO vote is the only way for people to stand up and say we’ve had enough of what got us into this crisis and that it’s time for change”

Each of the three unions has been working with activists and workplace representatives to encourage debate among members and present a balance to the government messaging that there is no choice but to say yes.

Mandate has produced a short video message and is mailing 25,000 members with a leaflet this weekend explaining the reasons behind the union’s stance. UNITE is also sending messages to each of its 50,000 members in the Republic of Ireland while the CPSU is similarly communicating that there is an alternative to austerity.

Further information:

Jimmy Kelly, Unite Regional Secretary 087 9003217 Rob Hartnett, Unite Press office 086 3851955 Pat Montague, Montague Communications 087 2549123 Eoin Ronayne, CPSU General Secretary 087 2520603

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Our country is at a crossroads

Our country is at a crossroads

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland

25 May 2012

Our country is at a crossroads. Do we support the further diminution of our political and economic sovereignty? Do we surrender ourselves, and future generations, to control by the Board of Governors of the “Stability Fund,” giving priority to the interests of German and French bankers above our children, our communities, and our country?
     The current socialised corporate debt and its repayment are unbearable and unsustainable. The current bail-out is unsustainable, so a second bail-out is beyond what our people can afford. We are already in debt servitude, and to add more debt is simply not an option for the people. We are paying a heavy price to service this corporate debt, in cuts in health, education, community services, in mass unemployment, increased charges, taxes, and the mass emigration of our youth and skilled workers.
     Big business corporations and finance houses, particularly in Germany and France, are taking the opportunity presented by the deepening crisis for a generalised offensive against workers.
     Workers need to be aware that when governments throughout the European Union and spokespersons for the EU Commission talk about “creating the conditions for growth” through making the EU “more competitive,” this is about undermining workers’ rights, terms, and conditions. These are the essential elements of their strategy not only within the EU but also in Britain and the United States.
     Defeating this treaty will strengthen the hands of the working class to resist throughout Europe.
     In Germany, 50 per cent of the work force are now contract workers. This is what European big business, and German monopolies in particular, wish to impose throughout the the European Union.
     While much misguided hope was placed in Hollande¡ªcarried into government, as he was, on the back of a popular rejection of austerity¡ªhe has already backtracked and has accommodated himself to the central thrust of these two treaties.

The Labour Party
This is equally true of the Irish Labour Party, and some leading elements of the ICTU, who are attempting to win support for this permanent austerity treaty with a vague projection of a “growth pact” some time in the future. This is more of their bankrupt politics and an effort to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
     It is an illusion to believe that the EU is open to change in a progressive direction. This treaty, like previous treaties, is designed to make its policies irreversible, as Angela Merkel herself has stated. It is another step in the direction of fiscal union, but fiscal union controlled by bankers. Some proposals, such as the establishing of eurobonds, would accelerate this trend.
     This is the background of the new treaties that the EU elites are now pushing through.

Austerity is working!
What is abundantly clear is that austerity is working, as designed and planned from the very beginning. It was the strategy of the ruling forces in the member-states, the EU institutions and their big-business interests to make workers pay for the crisis of the system.
     This is also happening in Ireland, as recent statistics show. The top 10 per cent have seen their wealth increase by 8 per cent, while the poorest 10 per cent have seen their wages and living standards cut or dropping by 25 per cent.

The transfer of wealth from the people to the elites
What is under way is a massive transfer of wealth upwards, from the people to the elites here in Ireland and to finance capital and big corporations throughout the European Union.
     This is precisely what the policy of austerity was designed to do. It is not the wrong medicine, as some people believe, but is in fact the elite’s response to the deep and chronic contradictions at the heart of the system itself.
     If we vote Yes to this treaty, and ratify the ESM Treaty, we will have to make further budgetary adjustments¡ªdeeper cuts. It will also be interpreted by this Government as a vote in favour of their economic and social strategy.

The debt trap and the transfer of wealth
The Permanent Austerity Treaty will enshrine in law and make binding the debt repayments. The essence of this treaty is making the repayment of the debt and the servicing of the debt the main priority of government policy, not alone in Ireland but throughout the EU, in particular in the heavily indebted peripheral countries, locking them into a debt trap, with no way out.
     Every year this state will spend €14 billion to service the socialised corporate debt. This debt and its servicing are the primary objectives that Merkel and Sarkozy wanted to embody in these two treaties.
     Servicing this corporate debt becomes the primary function of governments. They must give priority to debt repayment above all other economic and social priorities, by making it a constitutional or legal imperative.
     The Irish Government will, in effect, become gatekeepers for the interests of the EU, regardless of the cost to our people. And they are happy to perform this role.

Saving the euro by sacrificing the people
Today, each citizen of this state now owes €41,000¡ªa debt that was not and is not theirs, a debt imposed upon them by the European Union and European Central Bank. Their priority was to save the euro, and the German and French banking system, at the expense of working people.
     Membership of the euro is placing great strains on the Irish economy and is taking a very heavy toll on our people. The single currency was designed to suit the needs of Germany and not the smaller states. In effect, the peoples of the periphery are contributing to the bloated profits of the German monopolies. It is estimated that the euro has given Germany a 40 per cent advantage over its competitors.

National democracy and sovereignty
The Irish establishment¡ªgatekeepers for the interests of big business, particularly German¡ªclaim that voting Yes is a necessary step towards “regaining our sovereignty” and control over economic policy in the near future. This is more of the fantasy world in which they exist.
     The Fiscal Stability Treaty cannot be separated from the European Stability Mechanism Treaty, which this Government is attempting to slip through the Dáil, unnoticed by the Irish people. The two combined would contribute to the further ceding of economic and fiscal powers to the centre.
     The interests of the international financial and banking corporations are placed above the interests of the people on a global scale.
     Sovereign governments are facilitating this and reneging on their democratic responsibilities to their citizens.
     Democracy is being overturned and the people marginalised.
     Rejecting the treaty and repudiating the debt must be followed by the exercise of democratic and sovereign power by the Government to control capital, in particular finance capital and the banks.

The European Stability Mechanism
These two treaties, along with previous measures, strengthen the surveillance and control by EU bodies over national governments. The ESM would establish a governing structure that would be above the law, beyond legal control and, most importantly, beyond democratic accountability.
     It would mean virtually the end of budgetary independence for this state, as budgets would be subject to monitoring by the other states and by the Board of Governors of the Stability Fund.
     This would result in weakened, dependent states on the periphery, protectorates of the central powers, with a permanent reservoir of cheap labour and with democracy and economic policies skewed to favour the big monopolies.
     This state would have to borrow and hand over €11.1 billion as its contribution to this “bail-out fund,” piling further debt upon the people. The Board of Governors could demand further funding, and states would have seven days to hand it over.
     The priority is now debt servicing, handing further powers to an unaccountable body, the Board of the ESM. Their responsibility will be to protect the interests of finance capital and the big monopolies.
     The combination of these two treaties, coupled with the previous treaties, would further weaken what is left of the Irish state’s political independence and sovereignty.

Democracy and sovereignty are not bargaining-chips
National democracy and sovereignty are not bargaining-chips but are the essential tools required if we are to create employment and end the scourge of mass emigration.
     Workers throughout the European Union are tired of the endless cuts and austerity. This is a people-led resistance.
     Popular resistance led by workers is gaining strength across Europe, and a No vote in Ireland can only strengthen it.

The need for a change of direction
There are no solutions that monopoly capitalism can bring forward that will be in the interests of the people. What is beyond doubt is that this crisis is deepening, while the political establishment, the agents of big business and finance houses, will continue to make the people pay for this crisis of their system.
     They wish to impose permanent, open-ended austerity, with the promise of a better tomorrow. What in fact this would mean is the maintenance of the existing unequal and unjust societies. Their demand for sacrifices is to keep the interests of the ruling elites intact.
     It would be better to change direction, and whatever difficulties our people may face we can face in a united, organised way, the outcome of which will be a just, economically and environmentally sustainable society¡ªan Ireland based on equality, active participation, and control by working people over all political, economic and cultural areas of our lives.

A way out of the crisis: Time for a new direction
• Repudiation of the corporate-imposed debt
• Complete democratic control of all natural resources
• The establishment of control over capital
• The establishment of a state development bank
• Instituting a fairer and more equitable taxation system, to make the rich pay
• Preparing the procedures for leaving the euro zone
• No privatisation of public companies or public services.

CPI Political Statement

26 May 2012
At the regular meeting of its National Executive Committee the Communist Party of Ireland once again called on working people to resist the bullying and ideological terror now being unleashed by the Government to force the people to support the Austerity Treaty and to come out and vote No.
There is nothing in this treaty for working people, but rather it is a road that we must resist being bullied and pushed down. It is a road that will lead to greater control by monopoly corporations, in particular by finance capital, to the further erosion of democracy and the further marginalising of the people. These treaties are for limiting the options of the people: no matter who they vote for, they will be unable to effect change.
The two new treaties are nothing more than an unbreakable debt trap, and the bait to lure the people in is the possibility of another loan if the state needs it. Our people cannot afford the price of the first loan from the EU-ECB-IMF, never mind a second one on top.
The policy of austerity, both north and south, implemented by the Irish state and imposed on the people of the North by the British government, is the equivalent of a hurricane cutting through large swathes of the public services, leaving a trail of broken dreams and shattered lives.
The recent report by the trade union Mandate laid bare the real cost to workers in the intensification of exploitation and the marked transfer of wealth from workers to bosses, with 39 per cent of its members taking a drop in pay through cuts, taxes, and levies of €109 per week.
We welcome the fact that at least four trade unions have came out to campaign for a No vote, while leading elements within the ICTU leadership prostrate themselves at the feet of the EU and its puppet Irish government, unable to summon up the political courage to defend the interests of the Irish working class. They have lost any claim they ever had to be the heirs of the legacy of Connolly and Larkin.
Once again the Labour Party has sided with the forces of imperialism and are willing hired guns for big business to rob the people of the services they have contributed taxes and struggled long and hard to have established.
Regardless of the result of the referendum, the struggle and resistance of the people must continue to be built. What is increasingly clear is that the European Union and the forces of monopoly capitalism cannot produce policies that will be in the interests of working people.
Slowly but surely, the penny is beginning to drop, and a small but nevertheless growing section of the Irish working class understands that the EU and the economic and social system that it was set up to protect is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
The choice is clear. If we are to provide work for the mass of unemployed, decent living standards, a proper education system for our country’s children, to provide comfort and security for our pensioners, and a hospital bed or doctor for those who need them, then we have a clear choice to make. Decisions must be made that are in the interests of the Irish people and not in the interests of the European Union. These interests are not compatible.

Friday, May 25, 2012

No quick fix in Athens

No quick fix in Athens

Thursday 24 May 2012 by Kenny Coyle - Morning Star

Greece heads for yet another round of elections on June 17 after the inconclusive May 6 poll and the inability of any of the three main parties - the conservative New Democracy (ND), the euro-leftist Syriza and social-democratic Pasok - to form a coalition.

Since no party's vote succeeded in reaching even the 20 per cent mark a multiparty coalition - not merely a bipartisan agreement - would have been needed to achieve a majority government resting on at least 151 of the Greek parliament's 300 seats, or very close to that to achieve at least a working majority.

The refusal of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) to consider joining a Syriza-led coalition has provoked critical comments from some sections of the left. Much of it has come from currents traditionally hostile to the communist movement in Greece and everywhere else for that matter, but also from more sympathetic critics who cannot understand why the Greek left cannot simply put aside its petty differences and create a new government.

As we will see, some of this is based on a simple misreading of the May election results and much more is based on an unrealistic and utopian projection of what will happen in June.

Current opinion polls forecast that Syriza, led by the charismatic Alexis Tsipras, will emerge greatly strengthened in June - perhaps achieving 20-25 per cent of the vote and probably taking first position and thereby receiving an extra 50 seats on top of whatever constituencies it wins.

The Communists will find themselves tightly squeezed but show no signs of backing down from their belief that a Syriza-led government will simply be "a leaking lifeboat," maintaining illusions that the Greek crisis can be solved by simply annulling the debt with the troika - the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - and yet still allow Greece to remain within both the eurozone and the EU itself.

By contrast, the KKE's vision is one of a radical rupture with these institutions.

But aren't these simply tactical issues, as some imply? Shouldn't the KKE swallow its pride and opt for a "united front" to establish a "workers' government" or indeed a "revolutionary government," as one letter-writer to the Morning Star urged?

Let's leave aside the rhetoric and first look at the hard realities that the KKE faced following the May polls.

The Greek electoral system's complicated voting process produced numerous anomalies. Right-wing New Democracy came top, winning 18.85 per cent of the vote, down from 33.4 per cent in the 2009 election.

Yet the conservatives actually increased their number of seats.

They rose from 91 to 108 due to the top-up system that gives the front-runner an extra 50 seats.

Runner-up Syriza, by contrast, took 16.8 per cent of the vote yet won only 52 seats, less than half ND's tally.

The biggest loser Pasok took 13.2 per cent of the vote and held 41 seats. Voters deserted Pasok in droves - the party dropped 30 percentage points.

The main beneficiaries to its left were Syriza (an acronym for its full title Coalition of the Radical Left), which won more than a million votes, and the smaller newly created Democratic Left with 6.11 per cent of the vote and 19 seats.

Given its herculean efforts in the mass extra-parliamentary struggles against the austerity programme, the KKE's vote also increased nationally - but only marginally, by just under 1 per cent nationwide, giving it five more seats or 26 in total.

In five out of six key urban constituencies in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki the KKE vote actually dropped marginally, unquestionably due to the momentum built up by Syriza.

Support for the two pro-austerity parties, ND and Pasok, fell by an astonishing 3.5 million votes, reaching just 33.5 per cent of the total vote.

Yet despite their electoral slide the establishment parties together held 149 seats, just two short of an outright majority.

On the right New Democracy lost votes to a new formation, the Party of Independent Greeks (Anel), formed by anti-troika ND MPs.

Humiliated by the violation of Greek sovereignty that the troika-imposed programmes symbolise and aware of the catastrophic results of austerity on domestic capitalist interests, Anel took 33 seats delivered by voters of the traditional right.

The rise of the neofascist Golden Dawn with 7 per cent of the vote and 21 seats is also a sign that austerity is fuelling the re-emergence of aggressively racist and anti-left sentiments.

The previous far-right party in the Greek parliament was Laos, formed by former ND leaders and allied at EU-level with the Italian Northern League and Britain's Ukip, although comparison with the French National Front might be closer to the mark.

However in late 2011 Laos participated in the short-lived pro-EU austerity "national unity" government of Lucas Papademos before pulling out four months later, and it seems this taint was sufficient to see its vote halve in the general election, losing all its seats.

Given these facts can we reasonably assume that the KKE is solely responsible for the impasse of the left, as some seem to suggest?

The truth is at once both simpler and more complex.

First, there is the straightforward problem of arithmetic: add the seats won by Syriza, KKE and Democratic Left (52+26+19) and we have just 97, far short of a working majority.

A "workers' government" or "united front" would not have been possible even if Syriza had included pro-austerity Pasok (41 seats), a party socialist in name, historically social-democratic in outlook and in recent years nakedly neoliberal in practice.

KKE general secretary Aleka Papariga is not the only Greek politician capable of simple sums. So the KKE regarded the week-long process of party-to-party discussions and presidential roundtable interventions in the full glare of the media as "a mockery, a travesty," as Papariga put it.

In the KKE's eyes new elections were inevitable from the start and talk of left unity governments - at one point Tsipras even suggested tongue-in-cheek that Papariga might serve as prime minister - was cynical grandstanding.

The second factor was more deeply political. While more than 60 per cent of the Greek people voted against the pro-austerity parties, this is not a monolithic vote.

For example, while it might just be conceivable for the left to create a temporary tactical bloc with Anel to reject the EU-IMF programme, given Anel's clear right-wing outlook longer-term co-operation is neither likely nor desirable.

In any case, for the partisans of the "united front" even a tactical alliance would be unacceptable. For example in their joint article on the blog Andrew Burgin and Kate Hudson stated that "any co-operation between Syriza and the bourgeois parties should be opposed but it is not currently on the agenda."

A quick reread of Lenin's Left-Wing Communism - an Infantile Disorder on that very principle might be worthwhile, but Syriza has in fact merely ruled out co-operation with the pro-bailout parties, a rather different position.

Tsipras is a wilier operator than Burgin and Hudson imagine.

For example, in deciding who would act as caretaker prime minister until June, Syriza first supported former Pasok minister Gerasimos Arsenis, whose wife just happens to head the small anti-bailout but pro-EU Pasok splinter party Social Agreement for Greece in Europe.

When Pasok objected, Tsipras then announced he was backing Lucas Papademos, the troika-imposed caretaker premier until the election and previously the governor of the Bank of Greece and vice-president of the European Central Bank. This was rejected for obvious reasons by both KKE and Anel and so senior judge Panagiotis Pikrammenos has taken the role in line with the constitution.

The next few weeks will see a hectic election campaign but looming large will be the focus on Syriza's promise that the austerity package can somehow be rejected without leaving the euro.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NATO, A Threat to World Peace

NATO, a threat to world peace!

In an international situation marked by the deepening crisis of capitalism and by the violent imperialist offensive against the achievements and rights of the workers and peoples, a NATO summit will take place on the 20th and 21st of May, in Chicago, USA.
In the context of an ever-deeper crisis of capitalism, imperialism embarks on a militaristic and interventionist escalation.

Having renewed NATO's strategic concept in 2010 - a new and dangerous qualitative step in its interventionist ambitions, of which the aggression against Libya was an example – the USA and NATO, which has the EU as its European pillar, seek to expand their sphere of influence, promote an arms race and ever greater military spending and invest in new weapons and in their worldwide network of military bases.

Imperialism militarizes international relations, proceeds with occupations, threatens new aggressions and promotes conspiracies and manoeuvers of interference in countries of every continent and through a permanent militaristic escalation, violates the existing agreements for international disarmament. The principles of the UN Charter are seriously jeopardized and there is a growing instrumentalization of the UN, with a view to providing a cover for imperialist violence. The process of destruction of theInternational Law that emerged from the defeat of Nazi-fascism in World War II, paves the way for the imperialist goal of controlling resources and of dominating the planet on a military and geo-strategic level.

As imperialism's main instrument in its quest for world domination, NATO is an enormous threat to world peace and security.
But, as the facts are demonstrating, imperialism's force-based response to the crisis of capitalism is coming face to face with the progressive and revolutionary struggle of the peoples, who in various parts of the world are taking into their own hands the defense of their rights and the sovereignty and independence of their countries and are resisting in the most diversified ways, imposing setbacks to the strategy of imperialist domination.

Reaffirming their commitment to the struggle for peace, for the right of every people to determine freely its destiny, for social progress and socialism, the Communist and Workers' Parties signing this declaration:

- Demand the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, as well as from all other imperialist interventions in the world;
- Reject the escalation of war in the Middle East, namely against Syria and Iran;
- Demand the dissolution of NATO and support the sovereign right of peoples to decide to disassociate their countries from this aggressive alliance;
- Reject the deployment of the US and NATO's new antimissile system in Europe and demand an end to foreign military bases;
- Demand an end to the arms race and nuclear disarmament starting with the world's major nuclear powers – such as the USA - and the complete destruction of all chemical and biological weapons;

- Express their solidarity with the peoples that resist imperialist occupation, aggression and interference, namely in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa

EU Pecking Order

Saturday, May 19, 2012

'Sure we only import feta cheese'

An arrogant and out-of-touch Government whose only strategy is to bully and terrorise the people and if that fails, make them vote again

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
17 May 2012

How can anyone take seriously this government’s campaign and what it says about the Permanent Austerity Treaty?

     The minister for finance, Noonan, dismisses the impact of what is happening in Greece and the deepening crisis that the people of that beleaguered country have been plunged into, and its possible effect on our own country, by reducing his comments to “Sure we only import feta cheese.” That’s coming from someone who has his wealth invested in German government bonds.

     This is followed up by another senior minister, Richard Bruton, who is clearly of the mind that no matter how the people vote there is simply only one acceptable answer, namely Yes, and if it takes one or more referendums, then that is what will be done.

     As they continue to terrorise the people, using the example of what is happening to the Greek people at the hands of EU bankers, they hold this like the sword of Damocles over the heads of our people. They care little for the plight of our people and the destiny of our country and even less for the savage attacks upon the Greek people.

     They continue to follow orders from the Chancellery in Berlin, whose primary strategy is to sustain the euro and the German and French banks at all costs, regardless of how many children in Irish schools faint from hunger.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

KKE on 'exploratory talks'

The fraudulent process of the exploratory mandates for the formation of a government lasted one week. A process in which a series of misleading and intimidating dilemmas were regurgitated, such as “right-left”, “memorandum-anti-memorandum”, “euro-drachma”, “austerity-development”. On Sunday 13/5 after the conclusion of the process of the exploratory mandates of the first three parties for the formation of a government, the President of the Republic started the process of meeting the political leaders. After her meeting with the President of the Republic, the GS of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga made the following statement:

“Whatever government emerges before or after the elections – and in our opinion we are heading for elections- will not abolish the memorandum or the loan agreement and even more so it will not eradicate the consequences of these things. A wind is blowing in Europe, as I said to the President of the Republic but for the time being this wind is without any substance. Whatever amendments will be made will have nothing to with improving the lives of the people.

We will table in the next parliament a draft law which will pose in a very specific way the abolition and overthrow of the loan agreement and memorandum, and the parties will have to take a position. After all, a decision of the Parliament, a majority, if it exists, would be much more important than some letters which have been sent or which are being asked for. And however they want to present them, these letters are dubious. They can be interpreted in many ways. But a decision, a law passed in the Greek parliament, would be something very specific.

We are focussing our attention on the justified anger and indignation of the people so that it is not transformed into disillusionment, through the false hopes and illusions. The disillusionment will certainly lead the people into compromise, retreat and defeat. Anger when it is led along militant pathways always yields something better.

Finally we consider that the situation today, which cannot be radically changed immediately (but of course this will change in the future)as the people can not have their own government, a government which would abolish the memorandum, the loan agreement, the consequences of these things, a government which would solve their problems, presents an opportunity for the people in today’s situation. This opportunity is to strengthen the KKE, to meet together in the struggles, so that we can repel measures, and struggle to improve the situation. Tomorrow at the rally, we will say a lot more in regards to this.”

Will you refuse, Ms Papariga, to participate in the government after the next elections, if one of the parties with sufficient seats proposed it?

“We have answered this question many times. But since you have given me the opportunity I will say this: The exploratory mandates in our opinion showed us something, despite the theatre, and the irresponsibility in relation to the Greek people. One party tabled five points, another nine, and another placed two lines in the sand, another party four. Listen: When a government is formed whether for one year or four, it must deal with everything. The Papademos government had to deal with emergency issues. For example, we have a NATO summit. In the name of forming a “coalition government”, these things cannot be concealed. The parties, especially those that seek to form a government, cannot pose 5, 6 , 7 issues as a minimum programme. What is a minimum programme? When you govern you have to deal with all the issues, the maximum. An example: They say nothing regarding the NATO summit. One of them talks exclusively about the name of FYROM. But the NATO summit will deal with the military operations of this dirty, imperialist alliance. Can I really look at the NATO summit by only focussing on the issue of FYROM.

They are duping the Greek people because they are posing selected issues-issues chosen to make the people feel happy and hopeful. If we made a proposal for governmental participation and cooperation we would pose all the issues. Of course when you formulate a proposal for cooperation, you can make mutual concessions, but you place all the issues on the table-the issues you know that you will face in the first, second, third and fourth year of government.

The way the exploratory mandates were utilised was nothing other than a show designed to dupe the people. And I would like to remind you that we said that we would not take the exploratory mandate if we were the third party, we made that clear. Of course we would have gone to receive it, and then we would have immediately handed it back to the President of the Republic. Why? When you participate in the process of the exploratory mandates, you have to formulate a proposal, everyone would have said no to us and then we would have said that “you are all to blame because you did not agree with us.”

And the Greek people must understand that this is a mockery and travesty.”

Are you referring to Mr Tsipras?

To all of them.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Waiting for orders from Berlin

Waiting for orders from Berlin

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
10 May 2012

The suspension of the German government’s ratification of the permanent austerity treaty and the ESM treaty must send a strong warning signal to the Irish people that these two treaties pose a serious threat to their livelihood and to what little remains of their democracy and sovereignty.

There is growing opposition throughout the European Union by working people, who sick of endless cuts with little if any prospect of relief any time soon from this crisis of the system. It is clear also that what has been presented as a solution to the debt crisis is not a solution that the people want, despite being the solution that finance capital wants.

The Government’s continued strategy of pushing ahead with ratifying both treaties is tantamount to asking the Irish people to buy a pig in a poke. They are obviously waiting for word from Berlin on what to do next.

We need to end this charade of a referendum and call a halt to the ratification process. The people of the EU countries are demanding change. Three governments have already gone—Slovakia, Greece, and France—and the Czech government is almost certain to fall on Friday (11 May). This is the same fate that awaits Ireland’s ramshackle coalition government.

Statement of intent

Latest statement from the KKE:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

World Review of Political Economy

The World Review of Political Economy (WRPE) is a quarterly, peer-reviewed title to be published by Pluto Journals in close association with the Shanghai-based World Association for Political Economy (WAPE), with the first issue scheduled to appear in spring 2010. This groundbreaking project is the first of its kind: a pioneering collaboration between Chinese academics and a Western left publisher to produce a serious periodical of Marxist political economy.

The WRPE is certain to be the essential forum for dialogue, cooperation, debate, and the sharing of cutting-edge research among the leading scholars in China, the English-speaking world, and beyond.

In its progressive approach to analyzing the social and economic problems facing humankind, the WRPE reflects the outlook of its founding organization. The World Association for Political Economy, registered in Hong Kong, China, in 2004, is an international nongovernmental academic body founded on an open, non-profit and voluntary basis by left economists and related groups from around the world. The WAPE secretariat is based at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The present chairman is president of the Academy of Marxism, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Information about upcoming and past events organized by WAPE can be found at:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Vote No feature

The Communist Party of Ireland website has added a new Vote No feature to it. Check it out at:

Resist austerity and towards socialism.

The people of the EU are demanding change

The peoples of the EU are demanding change

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
8 May 2012

The election results from France and Greece clearly indicate that the peoples throughout the European Union are demanding change, demanding a new direction from their governments. Endless open-ended austerity has been rejected.

     The euphoria surrounding the election of Hollande in France is misplaced and will be short-lived. While it is clear that the people want change, can the system itself deliver relief to the people?
The difficulties within the system are intensifying and deepening, and neither election result can bring long-term stability. Rather it is clear that we are moving into a period of increased instability and growing poverty and inequality, with more anti-democratic measures being used to secure the survival of the system.

     Here in Ireland it is clear that, as with their counterparts in France and Greece, people are fed up with cuts and austerity. The people will have the opportunity to pass a verdict on the prioritisation of debt repayments, the bailing out of German and French banks and the imposed austerity by rejecting the permanent austerity treaty on the 31st of May.

     It is now incumbent upon the trade union movement to come forward in a united opposition against this treaty and to cut loose the anchor of the Labour Party, which is dragging it down an endless spiral of cuts and job losses, the result of which will be a weakening of the trade union movement even further, endangering its very existence as a body relevant to the lives and interests of Irish workers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Greek election results

For a breakdown of the greek election results see below:

The KKE gained 5 seats, increased their popular vote and are now up to 26 seats in the parliament. They are the 5th largest party in the parliament.

The European Stability Mechanism and Fiscal Compact will combine to impose permanent austerity on Ireland and reduce the Governments economic control to implementing the EU's dictates.

The EU has proven itself to serve the needs of big business and big banks before the people.

It is time to say No and build an independant all-Ireland economy directed to serving the needs of the people on this island.

Joint Statement on EU Treaties

Joint statement by European communist and workers’ parties

 1 May 2012

Joint statement issued by communist parties from across the European Union calling for maximum opposition to the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union and the revised Treaty on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

 The European Union and the ruling classes of the member states are determined to make working people pay a very heavy price for the deepening crisis of the system.

      We Communist and Workers’ parties of the member states of the European Union call on workers across the EU to resist and oppose the adoption of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union and the revised Treaty on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

      These two treaties would make “Eurozone” member states and practically all other countries signing these agreements into permanent regimes of economic austerity involving deeper and deeper cuts in public expenditure, rises in indirect taxes, reductions in wages, sustained liberalisation of markets and privatisation of public enterprises, services and vital national assets.

      The strategy is to have low wages, low public spending, mass poverty and workers having few rights. The treaties are designed to make these measures into a permanent feature of the EU that are impossible to reverse.

      The impact of these treaties will not be confined to the member states of the Eurozone. They will provide the bench-mark for further attacks on workers’ rights and conditions across the whole of the EU. The ruling classes have declared open warfare on workers in a generalised offensive.

      These treaties are designed to neutralise the potential of national working class formations to influence or change national economic and social policy. They, along with previous treaties, are about blocking any avenues for the working class to defend itself or to promote policies of social progress and a socialist alternative.

      They will make austerity permanent by continuous external interference of EU institutions in the affairs of member states in relation to economic and social policy, in the interests of monopoly capitalism.

      In this they have the active collaboration of the ruling class and its political representatives in each country. These treaties will further negate and deeply undermine national and sovereign rights.

      Any policies that the ruling classes across the European Union can deliver will inevitably make the people pay for this crisis of capitalism. Promoting the interests of the working class is only possible by confronting and breaking with this destructive system.

      We, Communist and Workers’ Parties value and salute the mass response from the workers and other social strata affected by the measures and policies of big capital, in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy and call upon workers and their trade unions, and people’s mass organisations, to resist these renewed attacks and to mobilise and assert a working class response to the crisis of state monopoly capitalism.

      In the immediate battles of today our parties will present the vision of Socialism as the answer to the crisis of the capitalist system.

Workers’ Party of Belgium

 Communist Party of Britain

 Communist Party in Denmark

 Communist Party of Finland

 Communist Party of Greece

 Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party

 Communist Party of Ireland

 Party of Italian Communists

 Communist Party of Luxembourg

 Communist Party of Malta

 New Communist Party of the Netherlands

 Communist Party of Poland

 Portuguese Communist Party

 Communist Party of Spain

 Communist Party of Sweden

James Connolly Annual Commemoration

James Connolly Annual Commemoration

Communist Party of Ireland
Sunday 13th May
Arbour Hill 3pm

James Connolly Memorial Lecture

James Connolly Memorial Lecture

Saturday 12th May 2pm

Connolly House

'Nationality, Nations and Imperialist Globalisation'
Rob Griffiths, CPB

Statement from KKE on greek elections

6 May 2012

The election results definitely show a reversal of the political scene we were familiar with, the interruption of the rotation of the two parties, PASOK and ND. We are moving into a transitional phase where there will be an attempt to create a new political scene with new formations, new figures with a centre-right orientation or based on a new social democracy that will have Syriza at its core, aimed at preventing the rising radicalism of the people that would lead things towards a true overthrow in favour of the people. There will be an attempt to form a government either from these elections or from the elections to follow, a government made up of all parties or a government of national unity, or a coalition government aimed precisely at preventing the creation of a majority current that will struggle for change.
We address the members of the party, the members of KNE [Communist Youth of Greece], the friends, the supporters, the voters, the people who co-operate with the party, to everyone who has been with us at the front line of the movement and the electoral battle, and call on you to be at the front line of the struggles in the next days, because we have pressing, serious issues that are in progress, such as the collective-bargaining agreements, the protection of the unemployed, the bankruptcy of the social security funds, the new measures that amount to €11½–14½ billion that will be paid for out of the pockets of the people. We cannot waste any time. The people must not waste time.
We urge the voters of PASOK and ND in particular, those who belong to the working class and the other popular strata to be at the front line too, together with us and other militants, in the struggles, in the work-places, in schools and universities, in the people’s neighbourhoods. They are the ones who have to provide a new momentum and a mass character to the struggle. We call on the people not to be deceived by the attempt to disguise the political system that will take place in the days and months to follow. The election results, despite the fact that the votes were scattered in both directions, right and left, objectively demonstrate a positive tendency: that radical changes are maturing or will mature in the people’s consciousness, that the movement of the real overthrow will mature, and this movement will not be far from, or even more so will not be in opposition to the political proposal of the KKE [Communist Party of Greece] on the immediate problems, for workers’ and people’s power.
We consider significant, positive and at the same time a great legacy for the next period the fact that we confronted on our own the pro-European, pro-EU forces in their entirety, irrespective of the positions they took concerning the memorandum, the fact that we fought in order to promote our own alternative proposal, which responds to and satisfies the people’s interests. We consider that this proposal constitutes a significant legacy for the people and of course will add a new momentum to the people’s struggles. We feel that our responsibilities and our role in relation to the people and their problems must be strengthened, and we believe, in fact we are certain, that we will continue to be the irreplaceable force that defends the people’s interests.
Regarding the election result of the KKE: of course the Central Committee will issue a comprehensive assessment after studying the results as a whole and the tendencies of the electorate in each region so as to draw more complete conclusions. But we can say that the KKE literally went through obstacles on both sides. On the one side there was the anger, the protest, the indignation that was absolutely justified, but it was mainly without focus, and on the other side there were the illusions. As the results show up to this point, the KKE had a small increase. Of course we would have liked a bigger one. Nevertheless, I have to say that the Central Committee and the party as a whole had no illusions that the votes of the KKE could increase exponentially, because the performance of the KKE in the elections is above all related to the formation not only of a militant people’s movement but to the formation of a powerful majority current that will be emancipated from the well-known dilemmas but also from the regenerated illusions.
The KKE had made public in good time, before the elections and without any hesitation, what kind of stance it will take towards any government that will emerge from the elections, centre-right, centre-left or “left,” as it was served up, or in the instance of a government of national unity or an all-party government, as is being discussed right now.
We clarify our position: of course we are sure that neither PASOK nor ND will make us a proposal for co-operation. They are very well aware of the deep differences between us. But we would like to answer once again the proposal that Syriza repeated after the elections concerning a government of the left. We will answer clearly without invoking what we can all see, namely that the votes and the seats are not sufficient. Maybe Syriza thinks they are enough, as it will try to gain support and votes from MPs of all the other parties. We clarify our position: we continue to say No to co-operation, because in the final analysis we have not come to this No position according to our high or low expectations regarding the results of the elections.
We heard that the president of Syriza will ask for a meeting and that they want to hold private discussions about the programme of the coalition government. Logically, whoever has made a proposal for a coalition government should have said in detail before the elections what they will do, in June, in July, in relation to concrete issues etc., instead of general slogans and general denunciations of the memorandum. Or at least they should have been ready now. What do they want exactly? We have only heard about some allowances that can be ensured or other such things.
Nevertheless a government, irrespective of its composition, must deal with the whole spectrum of the problems. It should not merely denounce the memorandum but return to the people the gains that were abolished before the memorandum—because most of the gains were lost before the memorandum—as well as many others abolished after the memorandum. A government has to manage everything and not merely the unemployment benefit, as was mentioned. It has to manage issues of the economy, the stance of the business groups towards the working people, the list of the privatisations adopted in the previous years. It has to handle issues of foreign policy, such as the general commitments that arise from the EU, NATO, from the strategic alliance with the USA. There is no government that tears the agreements into pieces, abstracts politics and only promotes the packet of measures of the next day.
In order to agree with such a government the KKE needs to make a U-turn, a somersault, and not merely a small retreat, a small turn. It must make a root-and-branch change. And above all it would have to make unacceptable compromises that have nothing to do with the people’s interests. Maybe the people are not interested in the ideological purity of the various parties; but in a party that all these years, from the very first moment of its foundation, has been in the front line of the struggle does not want to abandon this position in order to gain some ministries. The people do not need this kind of KKE.

4 unions against the treaty

Four major unions across both the public and private sector are calling for a No vote from their members to the permanent austerity treaty.

Mandate, Unite, TEEU and the CPSU have alll taken this positive position for their members and for the country.

This treaty will legally impose permanent austerity as Europes economic policy rendering parliaments and national governments powerless.

This treaty imposes budgetary measures, targets and penalties that will mean increased household charges and water charges, increased hospital bills and reduced social protection. If the interest on irish borrowing goes up then this will have to be paid for out of education and health budgets.

It is clearly putting the needs of big business ahead of any consideration for ordinary working people and families. It is time to tell those who created the crisis, NO. We will not be bullied or blackmailed.
May edition of Socialist Voice

•Permanent Austerity Treaty—no way! Vote No [EMC]

 •Austerity for whom? [NL]

 •A No vote would open up a golden opportunity [COM]

 •People’s Movement exposes the Austerity Treaty [MH]

 •Bourgeois economics in a quandary [NC]

 •Another hidden subsidy for transnationals [KC]

 •Maimed women clamour for justice [TMS]

 •The failure of capitalist production [NL]

•“The most significant figure of my generation” [MNM]

 •More financial trickery to cost the taxpayer [NL]

 •Communists call for a united struggle

 •US aiding and abetting the robbery of Cuban funds

 •Irish artist supports Cuban Five in London art exhibition

 •The Ultimate Car (poem) [John Doran]

 •Friel, Brecht, and the Leaving Cert! [JF]

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Solidarity with Iran

World Communist and Workers’ Parties:

May Day Greetings to the Working People of Iran

On the occasion of the May Day, the international day of solidarity with the workers of the world, we, the undersigned parties and organisations, greet the workers and working people of Iran and wish them success in their complicated and difficult struggle for decent life and working conditions, and for their universal rights to freely assemble and organize and freedom of speech.

We have been following the critical events in and around Iran, particularly the shattering and unprecedented socio-economic crisis due to the anti-people measures of the Iranian regime on one side, and the harsh and paralysing economic sanctions imposed on Iran on the other side.  The threats of war and intervention and wide spread economic sanctions have exacerbated the living conditions of the working people of Iran and forced millions of people to live under the line of poverty. According to media reports, industries have been forced to close down or operate under-capacity and massive number of workers are laid off due to the lack of raw material and spare components; well being of the people has been compromised due to inadequate supply of medical equipments and medications; and prices of daily basic goods and housing have soared due to devaluation of the national currency and uncontainable inflation, just to mention a few. It is apparent that the sanctions and the lack of economic policies that would serve the interests of the working people have provoked an economy based on brokerage and imports, tenderpreneurship, and the control of the major parts of the economy by the leaders and military commanders of Guard Corps and their affiliates.

While we welcome the recent positive progress in discussions over the nuclear program of Iran and detente among the parties, we reiterate our strong opposition against the harsh economic sanctions imposed by the USA and EU on Iran and demand the ending of economic sanctions, which only harm the lives of the ordinary people of Iran and would only serve the interests of a powerful and wealthy minority.

Once again, we salute the working class and working people of Iran on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day, and express our support for their struggle for peace, social justice, democratic rights and human rights.

Signed and supported by:

  1. Communist Party of Australia
  2. The Democratic Progressive Tribune of Bahrain
  3. Communist Party of Bangladesh
  4. Workers Party of Belgium
  5. Communist Party of Britain
  6. Communist Party of Canada
  7.  Socialist Worker`s Party of Croatia
  8. AKEL of Cyprus
  9. Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (Czech Republic)
  10. Communist Party in Denmark
  11. Communist Party of Egypt
  12. Communist Party of Finland
  13. Communist Party of Germany
  14. Communist Party of Greece
  15. Hungarian Communist Workers Party
  16. Communist Party of India
  17. Communist Party of India (Marxist)
  18. Tudeh Party of Iran
  19. Communist Party of Iraq
  20. Communist Party of Ireland
  21. Communist Party of Jordan
  22. Communist Party of Lebanon
  23. Communist Party of Luxemburg
  24. Communist Party of Mexico
  25. Communist Party of Pakistan
  26. People’s Party of Palestine
  27. Communist Party of Russian Federation
  28. Portuguese Communist Party
  29. South African Communist Party
  30. Communist Party of Sudan
  31. Communist Party of Sweden
  32. Communist Party of Turkey
  33. Communist Party of United State