Aleka Papariga tells delegates to KKE’s 19th congress that ‘popular alliance’ with social groups the only way forward
The leader of the country’s communists has reiterated her party’s outright opposition to the forging of political alliances with any other party.
Aleka Papariga, outgoing secretary general of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), was addressing delegates on the first day of the party’s 19th congress.
In a speech that was critical of all other leftwing approaches to tacking with the crisis, she said that a “popular alliance” with social groups – but not political parties – was the only way to “abolish the power of the monopolies”.
The congress, which runs until Sunday at the KKE’s headquarters in the northern Athens district of Perisos was preceded by what the party describes as a “pre-congress process” during which some leading members called for the party to consider modifying its stance towards other political forces.
Last week, Nikos Bogiopoulos, a leading editor of the party’s newspaper Rizospastis, said that the insistence on not forming wider political alliances “doesn’t walk”.
But Bogiopoulos and another leading critic, former MP Antonis Skyllakos, are not attending the congress, as they were not elected as delegates by the party’s branches.
Their comments were significant for a party that loathes the airing of internal differences publicly.
Support from Syria’s Assad
Meanwhile, the party said that over 80 communist and workers’ parties and organisations from around the world have sent greetings to the congress.
Among among are the Cuban Communist Party, Cyprus’ communist party Akel, the Communist Party of Macedonia and the German Communist Party.
Also in the line-up is Syria’s Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, which is led by the country’s embattled leader Bashar al-Assad.
Missing from the well-wishers is the North Korean Workers’ Party, which in the past has maintained close relations with their Greek counterparts and attended its last congress in 2009.
The KKE is one of the last, formerly Soviet-aligned communist parties represented at parliamentary level in a European country.
Its draft programme takes price in having “withstood the turbulence of the victory of counterrevolution in the Soviet Union and the other states of the socialist construction in Europe and Asia”.
It says it remains “committed to the revolutionary communist ideology, to Marxism-Leninism.”
Founded in 1918 and banned after the end of the Greek civil war, it has been continuously represented in parliament since 1974.
After receiving one of its best results in the May 2012 election, taking 26 seats and 8.5%, its vote more than halved the following month, when it picked up a dozen seats with 4.5% of the vote, making it the smallest of the six parties represented in parliament.