08 August 2019

Defeating the Alexis Tsipras led Syriza (Coalition of Radical Left) in the elections, the Conservative New Democracy Party leader Kyriakose Mitsotakis has taken over as prime minister on 8th July in Greece. The communists have lot to learn from the last one decade’s experience from this country. In the post Second World War period when Greece experienced mass uprisings led by the communists, the US-British led imperialist forces had succeeded to defeat the Communists and impose rightist regime there. But following ever worsening severe economic crisis in 2014-15 once again, workers led people’s uprisings took place challenging the IMF- European Union imposed stringent economy measures on this highly indebted country. While the social democratic communist party remained as a mere spectator, the radical left forces formed a coalition, Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras and led the uprising. Syriza challenged the Euro-zone dictates and IMF’s bail out conditions and called for a moratorium on the IMF-EU debt. It called for an alternative development paradigm including nationalization of core sectors. The Syriza led rebellion and its vision of a revolutionary alternative to imperialist led neoliberal regime inspired the people of Greece and the communist movement internationally. The spectre of a communist revolution once again haunted the forces of reaction in Europe.

As the workers’ led popular forces had occupied the streets and challenged the ruling class and their imperialist promoters, the Syriza won almost majority seats in 2015 elections and Tsipras took over as prime minister. But as the imperialists intensified pressure, instead of challenging it as the masses wanted, once again, as repeatedly happened in history, the leadership became weak-kneed and betrayed the revolutionary movement. Back-tracking from its stand of calling for a referendum to come out of Euro-zone, Alexis Tsipras compromised and started negotiations with IMF and EU agreeing to a shameful bail out dictated by them. The Tsipras leadership went on surrendering, once again making life more miserable for the masses. When the question of migrants from Syria and other neighbouring countries became serious, Tsipras government refused to take a progressive stand. In this situation, with a right populist agenda the conservative party has won the elections, Though the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party could not advance its position, the conservative victory shall move in the ultra rightist direction. Once again the revolutionary communists have lost the possibility for putting forward a socialist vision and to lead the struggling people forward.  The communists should take lessons from it. n

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Kabeer Katlat

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.