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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Thousands of Communists rally in Athens ahead of elections


Huge election rally by supporters of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in Syntagma Square outside the Greek Parliament on June 21, 2023 -- All photos via Twitter


Thousands of supporters of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) rallied in Syntagma Square outside the Greek Parliament on June 21, 2023 ahead of the elections on June 25. In the elections on May 21 the KKE made significant gains and saw its seat count rise from 15 to 26 seats and its vote increased from 299,621 (5.3%) to 425,763 (7.23%).


The ruling right-wing New Democracy Party won the most seats in May but not a majority and a second election was called.


At the rally huge banners were raised saying HOPE – STRENGTH – KKE.


On June 22 the KKE released English language translations of excerpts from speeches at the rally by Dimitris Koutsoumbas, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the KKE and Kostadinka Kuneva, a candidate for the KKE in Athens.


Kostadinka Kuneva, an immigrant - symbol of struggle, opened the event


Kostadinka Kuneva, a candidate for the KKE in Athens, delivered a speech amidst applause. Kuneva, an immigrant from Bulgaria, worked as a cleaner and was at the forefront of trade union action for the rights and improvement of working conditions of cleaners. For this reason, in 2008 she fell victim of a vitriol attack by henchmen of the employers. She underwent several operations to recuperate. She continued her trade union action and in 2014 she was elected as an MEP of SYRIZA. As she noted in her speech, during her tenure as an MEP she put forward a proposal establishing the rights of cleaners that the SYRIZA government rejected, together with other proposals on labour rights. “This paved the way for me to join forces with those who prioritize the lives and rights of workers (...) I continue the struggle together with the Communist Party of Greece, because our lives matter. I call upon all cleaners, all working people, all trade unionists, to send a message through the ballot box on Sunday with enthusiasm and with the list of the KKE in hand. We walk together, to strengthen the struggle against a real genocide due to ‘accidents’ at work, against crimes with refugees and immigrants being the victims, against violence against women, against the injustice of foreclosures, against poverty and misery. We walk together to teach our children the rhetoric of peace and friendship between peoples, against racism and war”, she stated.


Excerpts from the speech of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumbas:


“The mass red rally of the people and youth here in Athens confirms that the positive step taken in May can now become a leap forward” stressed Dimitris Koutsoumbas, GS of the CC of the KKE. “There are workers, people in Attica and all over the country who voted for New Democracy under blackmailing dilemmas, embracing the notion that there is no alternative fostered by SYRIZA. There are also people who are thinking about voting for New Democracy now since the elections will be a walkover for it. We call upon them to think about the following: They have no reason to further strengthen New Democracy; on the contrary, they have every reason to weaken it and take the wind out of its sails. Because the vote for New Democracy will turn against them tomorrow, when the big employers will ask them to go the extra mile in order to save the company’s profits, when they will refuse to sign a collective labour agreement. (...) The vote for New Democracy will turn against them when it will bring about a deeper involvement in the massacre in Ukraine at the side of NATO and the USA, which are already paving the way for new dangerous developments concerning the Greek-Turkish relations. (...) Therefore, just as the workers have no reason to further strengthen New Democracy, they equally have no reason to waste their votes to the parties of a consensual opposition serving the system, i.e. to SYRIZA and PASOK. They will continue to adopt the bills put forward by Mitsotakis one after the other and to be of service in all critical moments, as social democracy has always done. Fortunately, in Greece there is a real choice for the people, a choice of 100% people’s militant opposition, because there is the KKE. (...) They know this very well. That is why they try to silence us by imposing exclusions and fines, and even by prosecuting our cadres, who are at the forefront of the struggles of the people and the youth.


We tell them that their effort is in vain. They will fail. They cannot get rid of us that easily; neither those who dream of political omnipotence, nor those who dream of a reconstitution of the two-party system. The decayed capitalist system that they all serve cannot get rid of us that easily. (...)


Our minds and thoughts are dedicated to their liberation of the workers and the people from the shackles of exploitation. To the overthrow of barbarity and the building of a different, just society, i.e. the society of socialism. This is, after all, the KKE’s raison d'être.


And this is also the reason why the KKE is the only party that can be a real, militant, people’s opposition, not only to the anti-popular government of New Democracy but also to the very system and its power, so that the path to its overthrow can finally be opened, so that the people and the workers can come to power, so that they can take the wealth they produce into their own hands, so that we can live based on the potential of our era.


On Sunday we will all go to the ballot box, and we will do so with great anger due to the hundreds of souls lost off the coast of Pylos; this new crime committed by the European Union and its policies, by the governments, by the parties that shaped and implemented those policies and, ultimately, by the bloodstained system of exploitation.


All of them have planted bombs and sowed poverty in a number of countries, they have set up bases on Greek soil for war planes to take off and then built fortresses to prevent their victims from passing through. Because we know that those crimes, just like the displacement of people, have causes and culprits. It is not a natural phenomenon, as all those who are shedding crocodile tears want us to believe. (...) We stand by the side of the uprooted people, because they are our class brothers and sisters and not because the hotel owners, the strawberry growers and businessmen lack cheap labour, as Mitsotakis (New Democracy), Tsipras (SYRIZA) and Varoufakis (MeRA25) claim. (...)


Only a strong KKE can strengthen the genuine 100% militant people’s opposition against the omnipotence of the policy of capital, against the New Democracy government, against the ‘opposition ministry’ of SYRIZA-PASOK and all the parties of the system. This is the only way to create cracks within this negative correlation of forces. Because the KKE will never negotiate in order to win some seats in an anti-popular government. It cannot be silenced or bought off. It will not quietly withdraw, as in the case of many parties in the past that no one remembers today.


Because the KKE has no commitments to the EU and NATO, to the bloody profits of capital. Because a vote for the KKE means a vote for our lives and not for their profits. It translates into conflict, into defiance of all things that outrage us. Above all, it means hope and optimism that we will succeed. That the people will win.


Because the KKE has a programme of workers’ - people’s power and governance, where the people will hold the reins of power and be the real owners of the wealth they produce. Because amidst today’s barbarity there is a way out for the people; and this way out lies only in the conflict and the overthrow of the decayed and corrupt exploitative capitalist system.”







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