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Greece

Greek Communists promise radical action on unemployment as they present lists for May 6 elections

The Greek Communists (KKE) would introduce ‘radical measures for the protection of the unemployed’ and ‘mass hiring’ in social services, public works, health and education if they won power on May 6 parliamentary polls.

They would move towards the ‘complete abolition of unemployment’ through ‘the socialization of the monopolies, nationwide planning with workers’ control, exit from the EU and unilateral cancellation of the debt’. This would allow the ‘utilization of all the development potential of the country with planning for full employment will be possible’ Aleka Papariga, general secretary of the KKE, stated at a press conference on 18 April.

The KKE has just unveiled its electoral lists. These comprise 424 candidates of which 212 are participating in elections for the first time.

The candidates include activists from the PAME trade union,  the movement of the small and medium farmers (PASY), the movement of the self-employed (PASEVE), the Federation of Greek Women (OGE), the young militants movement (MAS), parent campaigners, anti-war activists, environmentalists and figures from the world of arts and culture.

The KKE has the backing of 9.7% of Greeks, according to a new poll, just behind Syriza, another radical left party,  with 9.8%.

This poll, carried out by the Marc agency for Alpha TV station predicts a parliament split into 10 parties, double the current number.

The traditional right wing New Democracy party remains in the lead with 22.3% with social democratic Pasok second with 17.8%. A new right wing formation, Anexartiti Ellines (Independent Greeks) has 9.9%, the extreme-right group of Chrisi Avgi (Golden dawn) has 5.7%, Laos, another extreme right party has 3.9%, and a small centre party, Democratic Alliance, has 3%.

In addition to KKE and Syriza, the poll sees a strong showing for other left and left of centre parties, including the centre-left Democratic Left, with 8.6% and the Green party with 3.1%.

As for the two main parties that have governed Greece in the past four decades – New Democracy and Pasok – they have been hit by corruption scandals emerging almost daily.

Pasok is in particular trouble, especially after the arrest of Akis Tsohatzopoulos for money-laundering. Tsohatzopoulos was high up in the party, had often been a minister, was up for the leadership of the party and challenged Costas Simitis for Prime Minister after the death of Andreas Papandreou.

But voters’ main focus of anger is with Pasok for the austerity measures it has been implementing which as well as generating a long economic depression leading to unemployment of over 21% and young joblessness of over 50%, involves deep salary and pension cuts.

Pasok, elected in 2009 with a slim majority but replaced in November 2011 by an Troika-annointed ‘technocrat’ government headed by a banker, is split between those who believe their should be a post electoral collaboration with New Democracy in order to complete the IMF-ECB-EU economic austerity programme and those who instead would like to have a collaboration on a governing level with the Democratic Left, a hypothesis strongly opposed by its leader Fotis Kouvelis.

Antonis Samaras, the leader of New Democracy, is promising “to lift Greece out of the crisis” mainly through tax cuts.

KKE Programme

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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