On Saturday 30th October, the Centre for Marxist Research (KME), the research instituted of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), held an important conference on the question of developments in the European Union and its prospects in the light of its recent enlargement, with special emphasis on the relationship between the project for ‘European Unification’ and the struggle of the European proletariat for socialism.
The Conference was attended by delegates from just over a dozen countries, representing theoretical journals and institutions, as well as by individuals with party affiliations. The countries represented included Britain, Belgium, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and of course Greece.
In their presentations, comrades dwelt, inter alia, upon themes such as the rivalries and conflicts within the EU, as well as between the EU and the US; the EU and war; the militarisation of the EU and its relationship to NATO and US imperialism; the EU constitution; democratic freedoms and rights win the EU; and the attitude of the proletariat towards the EU.
In his thoughtful opening address, Comrade Georgiades Panagiotis, director of the KME, set the tone by stating that the entire EU project was aimed at creating an imperialist bloc as a rival to US imperialism. The issue for the working class, he said, was not whether American or European imperialism prevails, but to utilise inter-imperialist contradictions to defeat both and establish socialism. He also stressed the continuing validity of V I Lenin’s teachings on imperialism and warned the delegates concerning the harmful effects of the Kautskyite theory of ultra-imperialism, now being revived under half a dozen new titles – all for the purpose of numbing and ideologically disarming the working-class movement.
Comrade Panagiotis laid special emphasis on the Leninist thesis of the uneven development of capitalism, the inevitability of war as long as imperialism exists, and the possibility of the “victory of socialism in a few or even in a single country”.
Finally he stressed the importance of waging a relentless struggle against opportunism and social democracy, without which, he said, the struggle against monopoly capitalism – imperialism – cannot be carried out.
Lalkar was represented at this conference by its editor, Harpal Brar. We are not reproducing his contribution since its contents, in one form or another, have appeared in Lalkar in the recent past.
On Sunday, 31 October, to mark the conclusion of the executive council meeting in Athens of the World Federation of Trade Unions, a labour rally of several thousand workers was held in an indoor stadium, which was decorated with slogans such as the following: Out with the American imperialists from the Korean Peninsular! Long live the Palestinian People! A Palestinian state with Jerusalem its capital! Viva El Pais de Fidel! Patria O Muerte! Vinceremos!
Leading trade union representatives from Greece, Vietnam, Syria and Cuba addressed the rally and their speeches were greeted with enthusiastic responses and frequent applause. The most poignant moment came when a delegation of half a dozen Palestinian children from Ramallah mounted the platform, their fingers upwardly pointed in a victory sign. The crowd simply went ecstatic with joy. The speech of the Palestinian youth – no older than ten or eleven – in Arabic (with translation into Greek) was punctuated with one thunderous applause after another. The rally ended with the singing of the International – the battle cry of the international proletariat.
Lalkar takes this opportunity to thank the KME and the KKE for the invitation to attend the Conference of 30th October and the warm and generous hospitality provided by the Greek comrades to Harpal Brar.