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Rambler's Top100


Early elections in Greece

Destabilized by the mass movement, particularly the wave of University occupations by students and professors fighting against the privatization of high education that had shaken Greece in 2006-2007, discredited by a storm of financial scandals and facing a rapidly deteriorating economic situation, the right wing "New Democracy" government of Kostas Karamanlis dissolved the parliament and called for early elections on September the 16th.

Already last May-June, every political force in the country knew that the government could not wait until the expiration of its mandate in March 2008 and it had to call elections during the coming fall 2007. But it was nevertheless a bit surprising that the government had to precipitate so early the elections. Greece is still in the middle of the summer holidays season, the majority of the people is still in vacations and practically the election campaign will be contracted in a two weeks period in September. Of course, until then the big bourgeois parties the "center right" New Democracy and the "center left" PASOK will monopolize the mass media and will spend millions of euros to win parliamentary seats and the power. The main reason to go to elections in such short notice is obviously the fear of the impact that the current world debt crisis that exploded in August the 9th will have on Europe and in Greece. Following the example of Sarkozy, the Greek Right knows that it has no time but to win quickly its re-election in power and rush to introduce savage anti-popular "reforms", first of all against the pension rights, to privatize high education, health and the big State companies. Greece has an enormous public and private debt and solely its participation in the Euro-zone prevented so far to have the fate of Argentina in 2001.

The most powerful sectors of the bourgeoisie and its mass media call for a "consensus" between the main parties New Democracy and PASOK, and if it is possible with the support of the Left, to face the tremendous challenges in front. The Stalinist KKE campaigns on a program that does not challenge capitalism at all; its goal is to increase its parliamentary power to have a power of bargaining with the future bourgeois government. In any case it is well known that the previous 3 years and half its role was very supportive for the right wing government, for ex. when the Stalinists opposed the mass wave of student occupations in May- June 2006 or when they opposed the heroic teachers strike in autumn 2006. Synaspismos ( Coalition of the Left), a former Euro-Stalinist Party in alliance with some "radical" left organizations, Maoist and "Trotskyist"(a group close to the American 'state capitalist' ISO and a group of sympathizers of the USFI), movimentistas, supporters of the Social Forum etc has the ambition to repeat in Greece the disastrous example of the Italian Rifondazione Comunista of Bertinotti.

In the far left two main groupings have been formed. The one electoral bloc unites the Cliffite SEK (the Greek clone of the British SWP) with two Mao-Althuserian organizations, the Greek Section of the USFI and some independents. They campaign on a very minimum program that it does not really challenge the capitalist system or imperialism. The goal of SEK is to advance also in Greece the disastrous example of the class collaborationist British party 'Respect'. In the specific Greek conditions, they are much discredited because of their ties with the PASOK party and trade union bureaucracy. In the coming elections the main raison d' etre of this bloc is to undermine the campaign of the other far left bloc, MERA( the Front of the Radical Left) mainly composed by EEK and NAR plus some small other left organizations and independents.

During June and July, they were intense debates and controversies in common meetings between these two main blocs of the Greek far left.

MERA started its campaign now fighting with candidates all over the country on an advanced program for the overthrow of all capitalist governments, workers power and a socialist workers' solution to the crisis.

Sep 03, 2007   Savas Michael-Matsas


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