There’s no solution within the EU that’s to the benefit of the people, says KKE’s Papariga

The general secretary of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), Aleka Papariga, is anticipating a storm of new austerity measures after the May 6 general elections and flatly rejects the possibility of her party participating in a pro-European Union unity government, arguing that either it would deceive the people or betray them.

In an interview with Kathimerini, Papariga was also critical of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) for, as she said, cultivating delusions.

You have been predicting political instability since the start of the crisis. Do you think that PASOK and New Democracy will be able to form a government on May 6 or that a second round of elections will have to be held?

The political forces that converge on the euro path and trick the people into believing that there can be any kind of negotiation that will be to their benefit within the context of the European Union are not limited to PASOK and ND. The partners of the government of Lucas Papademos and their offshoots will have no real difficulty in coordinating themselves after the elections to the benefit of the ruling class. If only the rift between the two major parties were so wide that the people could put their own mark on developments. Anyway, it is in the best interest of the people to abandon both PASOK and ND, so that the next government that is pro-European, whatever its composition, is too weak to intensify the assault against the working masses. This would strengthen KKE and the counterattack of the masses, paving the way for a government of the people and a radically different path of growth based on the needs of the people.

You have made it quite clear that KKE will not participate in a unity government, even one composed of left-wing parties. In fact, you have argued that such a government would be a disappointment to the people. Why?

The power lies with monopolies and business groups, independently of the alliance of political servants that take over the country?s governance at each election. The monopolies decide on the future of production, on banks? lending policy, on investments and on the predominant content of public information. Any government that seeks a solution that will benefit the people within the context of the monopolies and the European Union is either deceiving them or will betray them when it comes to actions. Powers that propose such a government, such as SYRIZA, have a huge responsibility in the prevalence within the labor movement of the idea that it is OK to negotiate over how much we are willing to give up, and in cultivating the delusion that PASOK can change and become more friendly toward the people. Their efforts to drag KKE down the slippery slope of center-left management is in vain. We have amassed enough negative experiences in Greece and in Europe over the past few decades on this subject.

Many who reject the memorandum believe that Greece will never be ousted from the European Union. Do you agree with this? Do you believe that the EU might fall apart?

The uncertain future of the eurozone depends on the intensity of the consequences from the asymmetric development of its interior, which is intensifying as the capitalist crisis becomes apparent and is affecting even its hard core by increasing the distance between Germany, France and Italy. The issue at hand is that the people should not stand by passively waiting for decisions leading to a possible ouster of the country from the EU, but should be able to put their own mark on developments.

You are suggesting disengagement from the EU with a unilateral write-off of debt and a government of the people, or, in other words, a complete overturning of the system and the transfer of wealth into the public?s hands. How painless could this transition be?

For the ruling class it would be very painful indeed. In terms of satisfying the needs of the working class, it is the only way. The path to a government of the people can relaunch unreliable productive potential and can maximize the country?s significant domestic production, with scientific centralized planning based on bringing prosperity to the people. Greece is a country that is rich in energy sources and mineral wealth, it has great potential in its agricultural sector and in manufacturing, as well as a significant geopolitical position in the Eastern Mediterranean. It can cover the needs of the people free from the EU and free of the burden of the development choices based solely on the criteria of capitalist profit.