Sunday, December 11, 2016

Greek communists debate Brexit

Sotiris Zarinopoulos makes his point!

by New Worker correspondents

GREEK communists living in London packed the hall of the Marx Memorial Library last Friday evening to hear Sotiris Zarianopoulos – one of the two Greek Communist Party (KKE) MEPs – speak on Brexit, the European Union (EU) and the tasks facing communists in Europe.
He said that western capitalism at its present stage needed to be destructive in order to create new markets and to expand. Since the 2008 banking crisis it has been busy imposing austerity that is destroying jobs, wages, and social and welfare support structures. But there is a real danger it will resort to the ultimate destructive force – war.
Indeed, the imperialists have already made wars in the Middle East and Africa in order to create opportunities to make markets and profits from reconstruction.
On Brexit and the referendum in Britain he said that both sides were led and controlled by contending imperialist forces, and that those supporting Brexit were motivated by fear of the growing power and economic dominance of the German economy relative to the City of London. And he recognised that the British working class who supported Brexit did so out of anger at the effect of the austerity measures on living standards.
Zarianopoulos said that in or out of Europe, the workers in Britain would still be ruled by capitalists who want to crush their living standards further.
Austerity is being imposed throughout the EU under different labels and it was often the case that social democratic parties implemented austerity policies that some bourgeois parties were afraid to do so. The only way to really improve things is to organise to overthrow capitalism and to create a workers’ state.
The crisis in Europe was a capitalist crisis, a crisis of capital accumulation due to the fact that there is a lack of profitable spheres for investment. As a result of the crisis the capitalists are deliberately destroying productive sectors, driving down living standards and creating very high unemployment. The solution proposed by both pro- and anti-EU politicians is cutting wages in order to attract profitable investment.
Regardless of whether a country stays in the EU or not the problems remain. It is not enough simply to leave the EU; the working class must seize power and there must be a change of system to socialism in order to resolve the problems.
Comrade Zarianopoulos said that he had recently seen a debate on the TV between a pro-Brexit MP and a Remain MP; at the end both of them believed in the so-called flexibility of labour and imposing a burden on the working class.
There were questions about the rise of fascism, the dangers of a new world war and the prospects of expanding the KKE's electoral base. Comrade Sotiris said that the KKE did not set any great store on elections and warned the audience that: “World wars don’t start out as global wars. They start over a local or regional issue and more and more countries get drawn in.”

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