The Radical Left in the 2024 EU Elections

04 May, 2024

Summary of the Political Program

Is there an alternative?

In the era of multiple crises, the situation in Greece is becoming less and less economically, socially and politically viable. The stakes ahead of the European elections on 9 June are extremely important for the Left and the social movements, but also for anyone who fights with faith so we can live differently.

The current condition of the prolonged domination of the New Democracy, despite the cracks it suffers, is sustained:

● The imposition of a harsh neoliberal policy. Inflation, combined with non-existent or minimal increases in wages, housing, electricity through the energy exchange, transport, have brought workers, youth, freelancers and farmers to their knees. Never in the post-independence period has there been a government so profoundly reactionary and at the same time so eminently effective in its plundering, which has brought about so many changes to the detriment of the popular strata and in favour of big business interests. It is a government that has handed the country and its public wealth over to the oligopolies – local and foreign. It is tightening the repression and tightening its grip by controlling the public administration, the judiciary and every aspect of the state apparatus, as well as the vast majority of the media.

● The lack of any systemic opposition, with the successive crises and the overall transformation of SYRIZA, which is the culmination of its post-2015 course and its neoliberal adjustment, but also of political opportunism. In the same context, PASOK remains fully embedded in the dominant concept and the interests that support and are represented by it. There can be no hope from the New Left and those who defended policies of impoverishment and remain in a concept of governmentalism at all costs, without even self-criticism for the 2015-2019 memorandum policy. At the same time, the KKE, despite its presence in labour and social spaces, is content with a wait-and-see attitude, which is complemented by its steady isolation from other left forces and common struggles, and the regressive positions it has adopted on crucial issues.

● The political and social empowerment of the far right, which tends in some cases, with the help of the mainstream media, to project itself as an anti-systemic force.
However, the people, the workers and the youth, are not remaining inactive. We are in a phase of widening popular discontentment and intensifying the challenge to government policy. Any confrontation with Mitsotakis’ government must be done in leftist terms: not only at the level of the European Parliament and the parliament, but also at the movement level, on the streets and in the workplaces, putting forward issues that rally, that are related to everyday life and living. The question is: Can we make things go differently? Can we develop serious, immediate and future alternatives to the policies that dominate today? Can we build a strong foundation of social and political opposition? We choose to fight the European elections together, because we believe the answer is clearly yes.

In this electoral battle we are promoting and defending a coherent political plan that aims to transform anger into action with concrete demands. We seek to be at the heart of major, key social movements, bearing in mind the political conclusions of the previous historical period: that there are no solutions to society’s major problems without a confrontation with the dominant establishment.

On the road to the European elections…

For more than 15 years, the European Union, which has shaped its institutions and decision-making bodies to function structurally in the interests of big capital and at the expense of the layers of society, has been in the throes of a deep crisis. In this context, the EU has failed to manage a series of specific crises (pandemic, war, precision, climate disaster). At the same time, the frustration of expectations over the past decade, due to the authoritarian imposition of harsh austerity policies under the memorandum, combined with the undemocratic and anti-social architecture of the EU, have caused disillusionment, a shift towards conservatism, the strengthening of nationalism, and ultimately the strengthening of far-right and regressive forces, which, together with the traditional right, now constitute the reactionary majority in Europe.

So we are in a European Union that represents everything that we oppose. A European Union that has reacted to the inevitable crisis of the euro by showing an extremely anti-social neoliberal face, tailored to the interests of the economic elite. Which, with its “Fortress Europe” policy, continues to condemn thousands of refugees and migrants to watery graves in the Mediterranean. Whose response to the climate catastrophe is only declarations and guidelines for ‘green policies’, which are paid for by the poorest people and do not protect nature and the environment from the systematic plundering by big business interests. That unconditionally identifies itself with the pro-war policy of the USA and NATO and, worse still, consents to the extermination of the Palestinian people, one of the greatest crimes of our time. This European Union is not being transformed. In order to fight to the end for a better life, a total break with the EU and a permanent conflict with its policies, institutions and functioning is emerging as a necessity. However, the common resistance to the EU policy objectively becomes the common field of internationalist struggles and European coordination of resistances, with the coexistence and cooperation of different movements across national borders. The struggle for the demands of the Left in Greece passes through the struggle for the corresponding demands of the Left in Europe.

Who are we fighting for and with?

The aim of the radical left must be to build an alternative program and a diverse coalition that supports an economic policy for workers and the environment on the one hand and a transnational and culturally inclusive agenda on the other. We must therefore be clear about who and how we are addressing.

The unemployed, the poor workers and pensioners, those who work with extreme precariousness, the youth – unemployed, working, studying, the self-employed and farmers who are groaning under the weight of the poverty that is eroding their incomes, those who are losing their homes, those who cannot find housing on decent terms, those who see public space being reduced, those who understand that the main pillars of the welfare state – education and health – are no longer accessible with dignity, those who see the environment being destroyed and have to cope with fires and floods without state assistance, those who have spent their wages in the first two or three weeks of the month, those who face racist and border violence, homophobia, gender violence and dark social conservatism. We must convince all of them, yes, all of them to stand with us, to be part of our common project, articulating a discourse that speaks to them and their problems in a simple, coherent, and positive way.

We can do it differently!

Our proposal for the EU elections is not a government program, but a set of initiatives that focuses on today’s social needs and priorities. It aims to achieve progress now and open up different perspectives. A set of initiatives that engages with movements, has specific priorities and distinct political axes based on which we are called to fight in the coming period, both in Greece and in Europe.

The main political axes of the electoral cooperation are:

● Strengthening wages, pensions and people’s incomes:
○ Complete reform of the dismantled labor law with the restoration of collective labor agreements, restoration of labor rights, assertion of the right to leisure time.
○ Ensuring a decent income for every person.
○ Right of every resident to food, shelter and free transport. Effective measures to tackle the housing crisis (ceiling on rent prices, protection of first homes from auctions, establishment of social housing).
○ Substantial increases and automatic indexation of wages, pensions and benefits (with retroactive effect from 2022). Reduction of class-based indirect taxes.
○ Taxation of big capital and accumulated wealth to strengthen the welfare state and substantial increases in social spending.
○ Reduction of production costs for farmers and minimum guaranteed prices for products that leave them with sufficient income for a decent living.
○ Restructuring and deep debt cancellation.

● The Public versus the Private:
○ Defending Public Health and Education.
○ Defense of Public Goods, Services and Infrastructure (Electricity, Water, Railroads, Airports, etc.).
○ Recovery from the public sector of privatized public enterprises and infrastructure of strategic and social importance. Public ownership of banks and their reorientation towards serving social needs.
○ Defending the public space and the commons.

● Fight for Peace:
○ No participation nor involvement of Greece in the war. No more involvement in the absurd military arms race.
○ International struggle against the increase of war spending in Europe.
○ Independent, non-aligned, peaceful, multidimensional foreign policy.
○ Peaceful and non-interventionist role in the wider region of Greece and Europe.
○ Removal of foreign bases and armies from Greek territory.
○ Disengagement of Greece and Europe from NATO.
○ Withdrawal from the Militarist – Extractive Axis of Israel, Cyprus, Egypt and Arab Emirates.
○ Support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom in Palestine. Immediate cessation of cooperation with the State of Israel.

● Climate Crisis:
○ Fight for Environmental Justice.
○ Ban all hydrocarbon extraction. Gradual decoupling from fossil fuels. Public planning for the use of renewable resources with the participation of local communities. No burning of waste in the name of energy recovery.
○ No to Industrial RES (Renewable Energy Sources), which destroy nature and harm society, with the goal of profit and commodification.
○ Active support for movements to defend the natural environment and protect public space. Putting a stop to uncontrolled tourism and industrial development which significantly degrades entire ecosystems.
○ Effective political protection against the disasters of climate collapse, which disproportionately affect vulnerable social groups and have strong class implications. Maintenance of infrastructure and immediate restoration of damages in the affected areas (Thessaly, Evia and other fire-stricken regions).
○ Environmental protection policies based on respect for nature and social needs – People’s Green Transition paid for by the rich.

● People’s Freedoms and Democracy:
○ Defense of the rule of law, democratic rights, and civil liberties against eavesdropping, personal data theft, crime cover-ups (Tempi, Pylos) and manipulative electoral regulations.
○ Front against police violence and repression. Abolition of authoritarian laws prohibiting demonstrations. Disbandment of all bodies used in a lethal manner to suppress social resistance. Repeal of provisions related to university police.
○ Reform the law (especially the Criminal Law) in a democratic direction and establish democratic principles on the basis of the defense of citizens’ and workers’ rights.
○ No to the violation of the Constitution – abolish the unconstitutional law regarding private universities.

● Demands for Rights:
○ Institutionalization and expansion of the rights of women and LGBTQI+ people. Support the demands of the feminist and LGBTQI+ movements.
○ No woman, no LGBTQI+ person, should live in fear of physical or psychological violence. Legal recognition of the term “femicide”, creation of new structures and strengthening existing ones for abused women and LGBTQ+ individuals.
○ Lifting all kinds of social exclusions, providing material and mental assistance and facilitating access to employment, education, health, transport and services for homeless people, drug addicts, people with disabilities and mentally ill people.
○ No fellow human being, refugee or migrant, should live in fear of violence at the borders of Greece or drowning in our seas. And no stranger, no foreigner should be deprived of their right under international law to apply for asylum.
○ Abolition of Fortress Europe, the Dublin Regulations 1 and 2, the EU-Turkey Agreement, and all racist exclusionary policies; closure of inhumane detention centers.
○ Integration of refugees and migrants in Greece and other countries with respect to their cultural and religious origins, with respect to human rights and access to housing, health, education, with full labor rights.

The differentiation of our united ballot stems from its character, which prioritizes elements of collective, horizontal and democratic operation. This character is expressed and reflected in every aspect of our election campaign. Through equal representation of forces and unaffiliated activists, gender quotas, with the elevation of people from different political currents, trade unions and movements — especially those of the current period — as well as people who are aligned with the policy priorities we want to highlight (vulnerable workers, young people, immigrants, LGBTQI+ individuals). At the same time we make the political choice of rotating Members of the European Parliament, conveying a different understanding of politics and responding in a positive way to the crisis of representation.

In this way, we seek for our candidacy to be able to represent all those who have banded together in our struggles, in our social spaces, as well as those who have their eyes on these struggles and have not found the political body that will be able to represent them. We aspire to unite all political collectives, activist spaces, and unaffiliated individuals who have not given up, have not accepted the logic of “there is no alternative”, and were not afraid of the demonization brought about by ongoing resistance.

The Hour of Unity and Social Counterinsurgency and Opposition is now.

Θέλεις να μαθαίνεις για τις δράσεις του ΜεΡΑ25; Γράψου εδώ.

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