Emmanuel Kosadinos
Psychiatre d'adultes d'enfants et de jeunes, psychothérapeute, syndicaliste à l’Union Syndicale de la Psychiatrie (USP), animateur du Réseau européen pour une Santé Mentale Démocratique (RESMD), membre du CA de l’Association Internationale pour les Politiques de santé en Europe (IAHPE), membre du groupe de coordination de la section européenne de PHM (Mouvement Populaire pour la Santé), militant politique, syndical et associatif
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Billet de blog 1 mars 2019

The resolution of Popular Unity (Laïki Enotita - LaE) on European Elections

Assembling and strengthening the Radical and Unsubmissive Left in Greece and Europe are necessary to give impetus to the movement of rejecting the rules and policies of the Eurozone and the EU, in the perspective of exiting. That battle is also one against the far Right, a deadly foe! We therefore table a proposal for the unitary intervention of the Radical Left in the European elections.

Emmanuel Kosadinos
Psychiatre d'adultes d'enfants et de jeunes, psychothérapeute, syndicaliste à l’Union Syndicale de la Psychiatrie (USP), animateur du Réseau européen pour une Santé Mentale Démocratique (RESMD), membre du CA de l’Association Internationale pour les Politiques de santé en Europe (IAHPE), membre du groupe de coordination de la section européenne de PHM (Mouvement Populaire pour la Santé), militant politique, syndical et associatif
Abonné·e de Mediapart

Ce blog est personnel, la rédaction n’est pas à l’origine de ses contenus.

The resolution of the Political Council of Popular Unity (Laïki Enotita - LaE) on European Elections

 Athens, February 24, 2019

 The Political Council of Popular Unity estimates that:

  • The assembling and reinforcement of the Radical and Unsubmissive Left parties in Greece and Europe are imperative and necessary to strengthen the political movement for breaking up with the Eurozone and the EU and overthrowing its rules and policies, in the perspective of exiting them.
  • The actions, battles and interventions of our MEP Nikos Chountis have shown that the Radical and Unsubmissive Left can become the voice of the social movements in the European Parliament as well as the voice of denunciation of the antisocial and neo-liberal policies of the EU, a voice promoting an alternative proposal opposing these policies.

We therefore take the initiative to table a proposal for the unitary intervention of the Radical Left in the European elections, for a policy of breaking up with the Eurozone and the EU and rejecting its rules and policies.

Popular Unity's (Laïki Enotita - LaE) logo and Banner

The proposition Popular Unit (Laïki Enotita - LaE)

For a unitary intervention of the Radical Left in the European elections, for a policy of breaking up with the Eurozone and the European Union and overthrowing its rules and policies.

In the countries of the European Union today, wealth and power are accumulating at an unprecedented level among the dominant, but also injustice, intensification of exploitation and oppression of the working classes and peoples.

  • The ruling classes managed the 2008 crisis by persisting on neoliberal reforms and “policies of firmness” against workers’ and social resistances. Based on their economic and political gains, they have managed to recover the economy, mainly fueled by the demolition of social conquests and labor rights. Confronted with the violent contradictions of neoliberalism and the predictions of a new recession, they are preparing for economic and social policies based on even harsher austerity.
  • The blows and defeats undergone by the international workers' and peoples’ movements, such as the end result of the 2015 Greek situation, the counterattack of the Right in Latin America and the imposition of states of emergency even in countries at the center of western capitalism, have reinforced the opinion amidst forces of the Establishment that future problems would be limited to their own rivalries and internal conflicts. The outbreak of the yellow vests mobilization in France, the resistance to imperialist projects in the Middle East, the mobilizations in Hungary against the anti-labor laws show that the peoples’ action factor is still on the front of the stage. It is precisely on the peoples’ factor that we must focus our attention and action, as we are accountable only to the people.

The political discourse wishing to speak on behalf of the peoples’ protests and struggles must provide answers to some crucial problems, especially during the period we are going through.

  • The Greek experience of the year 2015 shows that the strategy of reforming the EU “from the inside” is a total impasse. The self-restriction to a policy of “staying within the euro at any cost” leads to accepting the abolition of popular sovereignty, to the downgrading or cancellation of the right of the people to decide for their own future.
  • Social resistance to austerity, in order to have prospects for victory, must be accompanied by a policy of breaking up with the Eurozone and the EU and of overthrowing its rules and policies.
  • The Radical Left of Greece has a specific duty and responsibility to carry this message to the European level, to the broad Radical Left European movement, to those political forces that do not yet have such similar dramatic experiences, and thus do not opt clearly enough for such a path, notwithstanding positive processes and advances gone on in that sense in the aftermath of the Greek experience. This duty is all the more important in the current situation, as social-democrats and social-liberals, but even some major forces of the Party of the European Left (SYRIZA, Die Linke, French Communist Party, etc.) converge with the core policies of the EU and consider the euro as a one-way path, thus leaving free space for a fake anti-systemic discourse of the far Right to draw broad popular strata to reactionary stances.

The policy of breaking up and of overthrowing the Eurozone and the EU must be associated with a transitional program integrating the people’s demands, clearly announcing the perspective and social reference from which this central option has been chosen

The goal of reversing austerity and overthrowing neoliberalism is at the heart of this program.

The increase of wages and pensions, the reversal of flexibilisation of labor relations and the support to stable and full-time work, the decrease of taxation of the working classes and of unfair indirect taxes (such as VAT, high taxes on fuel, water, electricity) are essential aspects of the urgent need to relieve  the burden from working popular classes.

These must be implemented in parallel with the reversal of the unfair advantages capitalists have accrued over the recent years. The reversal of privatization policies, the increase in the taxation of profits and of enormous accumulated wealth, the struggle for the abolition of the “freedom” of uncontrolled capital movements are also central points.

These goals are directly coupled with challenging the legitimacy and requiring a drastic cut of the public debt and policies aimed at restoring public ownership, under employees’ and society’s control, of the banking sector and strategic firms in the energy and transport sectors.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is leading to the decline and capitalist restructuring of the countryside. It is therefore necessary to break away from it in order ensure nutritional autonomy for the benefit of working classes and all people.

Panagiotis Lafazanis, secretary of the Political Council of Popular Unity, former minister

 Our common experience clearly demonstrates that the struggle for the reversal of austerity policies parallels the struggle for the defense and the consolidation of national and popular sovereignty, namely the democratic right of the social majority to make decisions that determine his life. Such “institutions” as the Troika and the European Central Bank, provisions such as the prior approval by the European Commission of State budgets, the euro as an instrument for implementing neo-liberal policies, clauses of EU treaties promoting social and political leveling-down must be denounced and reversed.

In the past, the EU has made critical decisions concerning the creation of a European army, the reinforcement of the war industry, the strengthening of the imperialist presence in Africa, Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean. This is an extremely dangerous orientation to which we are totally opposed. At the same time, we support the break with NATO, perceived by the SYRIZA government as its main ally, the closure of military bases, the prohibition of military missions abroad in all circumstances.

The EU's responsibilities are dramatic with regard to the military, economic and ecological disasters that have led to waves of refugees. We strongly support the rights of men, women and children asylum seekers on European soil so that they can settle in the countries of their choice, work and live in equality with the same rights as in their native countries. We call for the abolition of the Greece-EU-Turkey reactionary agreement and of the Dublin III agreement, which transforms Greece and first reception countries into prisons for refugees and immigrants, the dissolution of FRONTEX and the abolition of the concentration camps which restrain refugees on the islands. Likewise, we call for equal rights in employment, social and democratic rights for migrants, by supporting their integration into the labor movement and its organizations in host countries. We struggle against imperialist wars that increase the flow of refugees and migrants. At the same time, we support all Greek migrants living and working in EU countries and in the world.

Nikos Chountis, MEP of Popular Unity, former deputy minister

The threat of climate change and the general deterioration of the environment in the name of uncontrolled capitalist growth is a reality, particularly perceptible today in many regions. There is an urgent need for profound changes in the organization of production and society in order to avoid a major catastrophe, the consequences of which will be essentially suffered by the working classes.

During the period of the crisis, the common European policies of dealing with it by neoliberal means, the acceptance of the imperialist institutions of “globalization” by all parts of the political spectrum, left space for the development at the international level of a new extreme Right trend which, in the name of protectionism and national self-withdrawal, further strengthens the power of capital by using the same neoliberal weapons against the people and working classes.

This trend, currently dominant in the United States, Brazil, Hungary, and Italy, is taking steps to divide the working class (primarily targeting refugees and migrants) and to establish authoritarianism directed against the labor movement and any variant of the Left, while at the same time, by spreading racism and sexism in society, it demotes women's rights and intensifies discrimination based on sex, race, religion and sexual orientation.

 The Salvini-Le Pen agreement, under the blessing of Trump's advisers, is preparing an offensive of the far Right in the European elections. This political space must be designated as the deadly foe of all social movements and progressive organizations.

But there is no illusion to be made about the neoliberal “extreme center”, presented as a rampart against the ascending extreme Right, as Alexis Tsipras now claims, openly advocating the merging with the social democrats and the Greens. On the contrary, it must be acknowledged that the neoliberal policy of the European governments and of the EU paves the way for the development of the racist and nationalist extreme Right and that only an active struggle against the “extreme center” and the EU governments can effectively fight away the extreme Right.

It is becomes clear that the European elections are turning into an important but difficult struggle, directly connected to the task of rebuilding the social movement and the Radical Left at the national and European levels.

To face that challenge, a maximum assembling of forces is necessary. This is the dividing line between any serious attempt at reorganization and automatisms of verbalism and sectarianism, leading to deadlocks.

We support coordination and cooperation with the initiatives launched within the European space with the aim of allying forces of the Radical Left and breaking away from current references of SYRIZA, of the European Left Party, breaking away from the policies of euro-reformism.

We support the coordination, cooperation and reunion of the forces of the Greek people's movement, democratic, anti-memorandum and anti-austerity, and of the Radical Left, in prospect of the European elections and on the basis of resistance to austerity and neoliberal reforms, resistance to imperialism, racism and nationalism, based on the analysis that these goals can only be achieved through a policy of rupture, overthrow, disengagement and exit from the Eurozone and the European Union, through the will of implementation of a program of progressive transition, of productive and social transformation, with reference to the working class and people.

Demonstration in front of the European Parliament in solidarity to the Greek people

We furthermore consider that the struggle for a Europe of deeply democratic and independent countries and sovereign peoples is more than relevant today, it is necessary. For a Europe of peoples who will build the most advanced, internationalist and egalitarian political and economic cooperation, opposing any hegemonism and nationalism, and opposing NATO.

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