Meanwhile.. in Greece May 20, 2014Posted by doctorfive in European Politics, Fascism, Greece, KKE, SYRIZA.
Cross-posting some bits from pw.org as it’s a useful update on the first round of elections and makes for interesting contrast with ourselves. These were originally posted on Sunday & Monday.
Many of the EU mandarins are looking with fear at the local elections in Greece, which have just concluded. As expected these elections have become much more that just “local” elections, and we did experience the same levels of international “advise” for Greek voters as we did 2 years ago. However, this time around the EU spin machine seems to have had the opposite effect. Exit polls throughout the country put the SYRIZA vote a lot higher than expected, they put the Golden Dawn vote much lower than anticipated, and confirm the biggest fear the EU mandarins had, the demise of PASOK/ELIA.
SYRIZA candidates throughout the country seem to be leading with anything between 7% and 10% ahead of the nearest rivals, especially in Athens and Attica, which would represent the largest chunk of voters. Two points worth nothing, those that show this strong lead are both young and more often women. The biggest surprise is the performance put in by Rena Dourou, SYRIZA candidate for Attica (Greece’s most populated area) who is leading the highly popular outgoing major Yannis Sgouros by 7-8%. In Athens, the independent, and very popular outgoing Giorgos Kaminis (who banned Golden Dawn’s “Greeks only” food handouts and took them on every step of the way) is being matched vote-wise by the 33 year old SYRIZA candidate Gavriil Sakellaridis. It looks like Ilias “the boxer” Kassidiaris, Golden Dawn golden boy and candidate for Athens will not make the second round, and miss it by a long shot. First thing this morning he started shouting about rigged votes “denying Golden Dawn their rightful place…”. He must have seen the writing on the wall. In every poll before the elections, GD was tipped to run between 7 and 10% of the vote. The candidates (outside of Athens) are barely reaching 3 or 4 so far. And in Athens Ilias the boxer is polling at 15%, some 12 points lower than the polls suggested before the vote.
Greek law states that voting must happen on a Sunday, and this time around the students did show up in their thousands. During the last election student apathy was seen as the main cause for SYRIZA not getting the majority they should have gotten. Despite all the jibes about not being organized and scare mongering (Would you believe that TSIPRAS is not even religious????How could anybody vote for such a person?), it would seem that SYRIZA got it spot on this time around.
PASOK looks like it is heading for the political graveyard, and if that becomes Greek reality tomorrow morning, then the EU’s worst nightmare will become true, for that will leave Samaras and his merry band of muppets in an impossible position and will almost certainly result in a general election. And then, we do of course have round two next week, when we vote for Europe. If the SYRIZA swing as witnessed so far today holds, then Europe could be in for some proper, pure Greek shock treatment…
ND/PASOK/ELIA have lost the vote in all the major centres and in the North of the country. In the South (the poorer parts), ND has lost a lot of support while PASOK performed fairly ok. PASOK will also claim vicotry in Thessaloniki with Yiannis Boutaris (an independent but ex PASOK member) winning the vote. Also, in Thessaloniki, the same Yiannis Boutaris organized a plebicide on the question of selling of the cities water company, which is one of the TROIKA demands. The vote was 98% against the sell-off, which prompted Boutaris to state that if he wins the second round, then the proposed sale is off the table, as per the wishes of the people of Thessaloniki. We await Ollie Rehn to pop up out of his box…
The good news is that Golden Dawn is out of the race everywhere. None of their candidates have made it to the second round, so we will not have pockets of fascism from where they can start re-building the “ancient Greek empire based on ancient Greek values”.
In overall terms, it looks like the shift in votes is quite considerable with ND/PASOK losing about 9% of their voters, and SYRIZA picking up about 6% of that. The remaining 3% has gone to independent candidates, many of whom had the backing of SYRIZA but were not outright SYRIZA members. Next round next week, together with the EU elections. It looks like the EU commissions worst nightmare is slowly unfolding, especially since Venizelos has again insisted that the government should be transformed into a government of “national unity” and must be joined by SYRIZA and DIMAR to be effective. He again leaves both Golden Dawn and Independent Greeks out of the “national unity”, as well as KKE which looks like it has pulled an estimated 6.8% of the vote, a full percentage point higher than PASOK.
For the first time in its history, ND has FAILED to get even 1 candidate through to the second round of voting next week in Athens, Thessaloniki, Attica, Piraeus or North Macedonia. Which means that roughly 50% of the Greek voters (33% live in Attica alone) have turned their backs on the ruling coalition partner. Captain Tony is not impressed, and has immediately started scare-mongering and calling on people to “show they want stability by reversing the trend in the European elections, or face Greece sliding backwards… It’s rather hard for people with their backs against the wall to go further backwards, but that seems to escape the good captain and his merry band who still believe they are Gods gift to the country. In fact, they believe they ARE the country.
Venizelos can smell blood and is going for it, reiterating his calls for a “government of unity” or else… It was reported last night that Samaras is considering snap elections after seeing his party lose all support in the most populated areas of the country, but he was apparently talked out of this after a phone call or two to the masters in Brussels and Berlin. I predict an onslaught in the international press starting today, designed to bully the Greek people into voting correctly…
It seems that the panic button has been pressed in Brussels and Berlin. As was expected, the EU driven steamroller is steaming up already. The full count has not been officially published yet, but Herr Junckers is already in Athens to discuss “strategy” with Samaras, and give “moral support”.
Of course the necessary insults are being lobbed at “the leftists”, and wild accusations are flying, including those by the incumbent mayor of Piraeus, Vassilis Michaloliakos (ND) who claims his defeat was due to “death threats” to him and his supporters by leftist AND GD supporters of the winner, Yiannis Moralis, a director of Olympiakos soccer club. The Olympiakos supporters are not exactly known as the nicest people on earth, but demanding a unit of the riot police to “protect” him when he goes out during the week to canvass is pushing it a little. If anything, that WILL attract the Ultra’s who are always on the lookout for a little sparring match with the police…
Ollie is apparently due on Wednesday, and despite the fact that none of their candidates made it past the first hurdle, people are being warned of the danger of Golden Dawn coming to power. And of course, the only remedy is a vote of ND…
Sunday was round one, separating the men from the boys so to speak. Now that the play-offs are out of the way, we go to the real issue of picking mayors and councilors. So far, the good news is that Golden Dawn is not in the race anymore, so no chance of some Fascist political stronghold somewhere. PASOK is sliding ever faster down the slippery slope, and taking all those that associate with them down as well (DIMAR, GREEN party) etc.
Next Sunday will be the real face-off between SYRIZA and ND. As it stands, SYRIZA has the vote in Attica, Athens, North Macedonia, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, which between them represent roughly 50% of the population. ND seems to have managed to stem the tide in the more rural, conservative areas, mainly with the not so insignificant assistance of the Orthodox Church who can’t begin to think that an atheist like Tsipras could possible gain enough power in Greece to become PM. That would just be Armageddon in overdrive… Opinion polls give SYRIZA a 5% lead over ND, so Athens has become the stomping ground of all the EU heavyweights who are talking “strategy” and spouting doom and gloom if we don’t vote correctly..
(Golden Dawn) Hell is ours January 27, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in European Politics, Greece, Uncategorized.
1 comment so far
A documentary film on Golden Dawn, its promotion by the media, its co-operation with greek police and the struggle against fascism in Greece.
and another one. The Rise of ‘Golden Dawn’ in Greece – Mini-documentary by ‘The Guardian’
KKE Video on the 2 Day General Strike October 26, 2011Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, Greece, KKE.
This video (which comes with subtitles) shows the scale of the recent general strikes against the Troika in Greece, and also discusses the issues raised by the attacks on the PAME march.
KKE Press Statement on Murderous Violence against PAME October 21, 2011Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, Greece.
The KKE sent this statement to fraternal parties earlier today. I’m posting it as an expression of solidarity with the family and comrades of the PAME activist Dimitris Kotzaridis, and expression of support for the modes of resistance against the austerity measures adopted by PAME and the KKE, and their refusal to be sidetracked by the actions of others that serve only to strengthen the hand of the state against the working class and against the resistance to the troika.
Statement of the Press Office Concerning the Organized Murderous Assault Against PAME’s Rally in Syntagma and the Death of the Trade Unionist of PAME Dimitris Kotzaridis
On this occasion organized groups with specific orders and anarcho-fascists unleashed an attack with Molotov cocktails, teargas, stun grenades and stones, in attempt to disperse the majestic rally of workers and people in Syntagma Square and especially in the area where PAME was concentrated. A result of this attack is the death of the trade unionist of PAME, Dimitris Kotzaridis, 53 years old, secretary of the Viron branch of the Construction Workers’ Union. Dozens more PAME demonstrators were injured.
The hatred of the hooded ones against the labour and popular movement and PAME expresses the fury of the forces which serve the system and bourgeois power. The government has massive responsibilities for this. The operation to intimidate, slander and suppress the labour and people’s movement is rooted in state structures, centres and services. History demonstrates this, today’s barbaric and murderous assault also proves this. The hooded ones, anarcho-autonomists, fascists or whatever they call themselves tried to achieve what the forces of repression, the blackmail and threats failed to do: to intimidate the people so that they submit. It objectively arises that the very same centres executed the provocateur murderous burning down of Marfin the day the Memorandum was voted on, 5 May 2010.
Their goal to disperse the rally of PAME failed. Likewise, the plans of the government, the mechanisms of the system, the parties of the plutocracy which seek to intimidate and suppress the torrent of the people’s counterattack which came onto the streets with the 48-hour strike must also fail.
The KKE expresses its sorrow and its condolences to the family of Dimitris Kotzaridis who fell in the struggle for the just cause of the working class and the people. It expresses its solidarity with the injured demonstrators, with all those who defended the workers’ and people’s demonstration from the provocateur groups. It calls on the people to stand up decisively; to struggle together with the KKE, to rally in the trade unions, in PAME and the other radical organizations which fight against the anti-people policies, the power of the monopolies. This is the opposition force to the parties of plutocracy, the EU and the IMF. This is the strength of the people in order to repel the barbaric measures, the violence and the intimidation of all the repressive mechanisms. The people can overthrow the anti-people policies and power.
PRESS OFFICE OF THE CC OF THE KKE
“Debtocracy” ….. June 16, 2011Posted by irishelectionliterature in Greece.
For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. “Debtocracy” seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.
Needless to say various Irish figures are featured.
KKE Has Best Election Results Since the Fall of the Dictatorship November 10, 2010Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, Greece, KKE.
So there were local government elections in Greece on November 7th. The KKE performed extremely well, taking 10.9% of the vote – up nearly 2.5% since last year’s parliamentary elections. Its highest vote in a single region was just under 16%, and the lowest it took in a single region was 6.8%. This represents the best result for the KKE in an election since the military junta collapsed in 1974. It’s an excellent result, and demonstrates the extent to which the KKE’s leading role in the protests against the austerity measures has won it increased support among the Greek working class in all areas of the country.
The General Secretary of the KKE, Aleka Papariga remaked that
It is correct when the commentators say that the KKE is the only political force which had a significant increase in the elections at a local and regional level.
She also described the increased vote for the KKE as the result of the Greek Communists calling on the people to use the local elections to send a message about national political and economic issues.
We called on the people to vote against PASOK and ND because of their deeds over the last 20 years and undoubtedly amongst these we must include the “memorandum”, the barbaric measures that have been taken, and those that will be taken from now on. We called on the people to rally, to struggle, to counterattack in order to tackle their urgent problems and also to create the preconditions of a more general overturning of these policies-a radical change in the balance of forces at a political level.
Although this is a fine result, Comrade Papariga stressed the importance of continued hard work
We understand that we must combat our own weaknesses in order to do what is most important: to contribute to popular unity, to the rallying of the people, to the organization of the people’s struggle on a daily basis so that we can avert the worst and also so that we can create the preconditions for this election result to liberate the dynamism of the people, so that we may see better days in our country.
It seems to me that the basis for the KKE’s current success was laid in the 1990s. The wave of anger and resistance that fuelled the anti-capitalist movement in many parts of the world left very little behind it. In Greece though, much of that wave was channelled into KNE (Greek Communist Youth) and the KKE (before anyone has an aneuryism, I looked for the results of other left groups discussed here previously and couldn’t find them on the websites of SYRIZIA or the CWI, so I’ve no idea how they did. It seems clear anyway that the KKE is the leading force on the Greek left both in parliamentary and extra-parliamentary politics). The result for today has been that when the crisis came there existed a militant, well-organised and well-disciplined party capable of leading the fightback. It also seems likely that those recruited into the KKE in recent years will similarly form the backbone of further progress in the decades to come.
The KKE is undoubtedly having a real impact on the class struggle and on class consciousness in Greece. We have seen the KKE take the leading role in mobilising the working class time and again, not just on the streets, but also politically. The success of the KKE in growing its influence among the working class gives the lie to those who argue that socialism can no longer prove attractive if we can involve ourselves in the lives of the people, and offer the right policies and the right analysis, with the right amount of principled militancy.
UPDATE: KKE ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS