February 13, 2012
- Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators shouted all across the country: “The government with the criminal political line must leave now, together with the Troika. No memorandum must be signed. No new agreement. The plutocracy must pay.”
- The demonstration of PAME in Athens was stunning. Very large demonstrations all across the country.
- The workers fearlessly dealt with the organized plan of the state to repress the demonstration.
With magnificent rallies in Athens and dozens of Greek cities, the working class, the other popular strata and youth demanded that the new memorandum not be approved in Parliament., giving a decisive response to the anti-people political line and the government blackmail. This was the largest demonstration of recent decades, characterized by the great mass rally of PAME and the class-oriented trade unions with demands against the Loan Agreement, for the overthrow of the anti-people political line, disengagement from the EU with the unilateral cancellation of the debt, with people’s power so that the country’s wealth can be utilised and provide prosperity for the people.
The speaker at PAME’s rally, C. Katsiotis noted in his speech: “The people must not fear them, nor be quiet and allow themselves to be flayed alive. It is of no importance whether this happens inside or outside of the Euro, with a controlled or uncontrolled bankruptcy. What is of vital importance is that the people decide that they will make no more sacrifices for the plutocracy, to fill the treasure vaults of the capitalists, while they and their children will be submerged in absolute poverty and destitution.”
It should be noted that the new measures remove three months salary annually from the workers (22% reduction) and 4 months’ salary from newly hired workers (32% reduction), aside from other measures and the heavy taxes which remove even more from what has remained of the workers’ income.
The demonstrators remained for over 6 hours in the streets, organized, formed into their huge contingents with arms linked together, without fear, despite the orgy of repression and the activity of the provocateurs who burnt buildings in the city centre. It was a plan of savage and naked state repression which utilized the hooded ones. The state repression apparatus attacked with tonnes of tear gas (it is indicative that early in the evening the teargas supplies of the forces of repression were exhausted) and stun grenades, entirely unprovoked, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who had flooded the city centre yesterday, when the new memorandum was being discussed in Parliament.
The plan of the government was obvious: That the people should not reach Syntagma Sqare; to break the demonstration. An additional goal of this plan, which included dozens of fires and material destruction in the centre of the capital, was for the working people of Athens to submit to the new anti-people measures, to conceal from the cameras the tens of thousands of workers, who demonstrated in the contingents of PAME, as well as to disperse the mass demonstration, as well as to pass the intimidating dilemmas of the “salvation of the country” or the “destruction” and “chaos” of a possible bankruptcy.
In its statement the KKE condemned a “state plan to repress and intimidate the people. At the time when the parties of the plutocracy and the EU predatory alliance extort and threaten the people voting for a memorandum for the people’s bankruptcy, various mechanisms burn buildings, in order to create the scene of destruction which they are bringing to the people (…) The riot police and the hooded ones operated in a coordinated fashion against the magnificent demonstrations of the people in order to disperse them. (…) They use lies, blackmail, repression and provocations, in order to subdue the people. But they are helpless if they find themselves face to face with a people who are determined and organized to deal with them, to fight for and win their just cause.
The KKE calls on the working class, the people, the youth to a state of readiness and vigilance to impede any attempt to take authoritarian measures.”
Inside the Parliament during the discussion of the barbaric measures of the Loan Agreement the Parliamentary group of the KKE, with its ideological and political superiority, exposed the blackmailing dilemmas used by the government, PASOK, ND, the Media concerning the inevitability of the implementation of the Loan Agreement so that the already bankrupt people do not go bankrupt. Through their interventions the communist MPs, demonstrating why no MP has the right to vote for the barbaric measures which wipe out the popular and working class income, exerted pressure and sharpened the contradictions to a great extent which manifested themselves in the bourgeois parties and were expressed by their serious losses in the vote. 22 MPs of PASOK and 21 MPs of ND opposed the line of voting for the agreement and were expelled (including current and former ministers). The nationalist party LAOS which had stated that it would vote no to the loan agreement did not participate in the vote. 2 of its MPs voted for the Loan Agreement. It is indicative that overall 199 out of the 278 MPs voted for the Loan Agreement. 74 MPs voted against.
Due to the pressure exerted by the KKE, the bourgeois parties used anticommunism and wretchedness which marked amongst other things the provocative speech of E. Venizelos, Vice-president of the government and cadre of PASOK, that provoked a strong reaction by the whole parliamentary group of the KKE.
The MPs of the KKE stood up and protested, they dynamically answered the blackmails while the volume of the wretched draft law was symbolically thrown from the benches of the Parliamentary Group of the KKE at the benches of the ministers.
The General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, took the floor and mentioned amongst other things:
“You are literally trying to subjugate the minds of the people who suffer, of the poor people by means of an unprecedented ideological intimidation. Excuse me, I do not identify you with him, but Goebbels would be envious of you. A big bankruptcy is coming! Whom are you talking to? To the people who have already been bankrupted? No, we are not interested in a Greece which will have been saved and the people will have been bankrupted. […]Since the morning you have been continuously talking about destruction even about civil war[… ]Even the state television suddenly remembered the civil war […] We will answer when the time comes. But you are accountable when you pose such issues to the people. You have the deadlines of the Troika and the Commission. And I am saying that such ultimatums were not issued even on the eve of world wars. […] You are provoking us.
We have been listening to you all day talking about war, telling us that we will have no pensions, that we will receive vouchers, or I don’t know what and at the end you are talking about civil war. Now who is triggering the situation? We have our limits. We are polite but we are not stupid. […] Therefore we say to the people the following: the deep bankruptcy will come, either with the euro or the drachma, we cannot know this in advance.
Secondly, even if Greece enhances its competitiveness other countries will develop even more. In the best case it might climb up 2-3 positions. But this competitiveness will cost even more to the working people. Greece will be over-indebted for 150 years, as was the case with the loans of “independence” (…) in any case he who is down must fear no fall. The people will not avoid bankruptcy no matter what they do, even if they accept to work for free, for one, two or three years. Our position is: struggles which might prevent the worst. But in order to do this the people’s movement must be directed towards the succession of this political system by the political system of the workers’ and people’s power. Disengagement and unilateral cancellation of the debt; there is no other solution for the people”.
The parliamentary group of the KKE also refuted in a well-substantiated way the blackmails of the government:
“Today the MPs bear a special responsibility as you approve a law so that the working people will have to make ends meet on a salary of 489 euros given the high cost of living and the young people will have to live on a salary of 440 while at the same time you agree that only a small section of the unemployed will receive 330. […] No one has the right to condemn the working people to a salary of 400 euros. Are you going to say that “we will bury you alive for your own good?” (…) Is your concern merely the currency that will express the people’s poverty? The system has exhausted its historical limits. It cannot even provide a piece of bread in order to buy off consciousnesses. […] The social wealth today is incredibly high and you ask the people to live like they did in the Middle Ages. We are saying to all of them to lift their heads up, that they have nothing to lose but their chains.”