The Recent Elections and PASOK’s Victory did not Solve Any Problem
The elections of the 4th October belong to the past and we are all now facing the raw reality. It’ been hardly a month since the elections and the winner has already started to “forget” his pre-election promises, following the formula we have been familiar with, every time that power changes hands between the two bourgeois neoliberal parties, PASOK and ND: the social security funds are empty, we delivered a devastated country, the situation is worse than we had expected, et.c..
1. The electoral victory of PASOK was big and surpassed even the most optimistic predictions, nearly reaching 44% (43,92%) and securing a difference of about 10 points from ND. The power however was conquered with the same number of votes as in the 2004 elections -when PASOK had lost by ND- apparently due to the higher abstention.
2. After its political collapse, ND collapsed electorally, as well (33,48%), losing over 8 points and surpassing even its historic lowest percentage of the 1981 elections (35,6%). Its decline was especially big at the labour and popular areas, apparently due to its extreme neoliberal anti-labour policy.
The total of the two bigger parties (77,5%) is reduced compared to the past, which shows that bipartisanism is in decline.
3. The two reformist parties had their percentages reduced. KKE lost about half a point compared to the parliamentary elections of 2007. The remarkable thing is that most of its losses were at the labour and popular areas. There are three main reasons which explain the decline of KKE and they don’t seem to be conjunctural: a) the weakening of its links with the working masses, b) its sectarian, disruptive and, partly, fringe policy and practice, and c) its extreme Stalinist turn which it took in its 18th Congress. Despite losing about half a point, SYN/SYRIZA went rather well, considering the image of dissolution it presented just before the elections. This, however doesn’t mean anything in particular as the great, thorny problems in its interior remain –if they haven’t increased after the conquer of power by PASOK, which has always caused some of its tendencies to reveal their pro-governmental feelings and their tendency to be incorporated in the bourgeois state.
4. In spite of increasing its power by 1,8%, LAOS did nothing special and, in no case, did it verify the dynamic it seemed to have acquired at the European elections, in June 2009.
5. All the ballots of the radical left organizations remained at their usual low levels taking, on the whole, a mere 0,66%, just below the 0,68% of the 2007 elections. The relatively big decline of the two maoist organizations has been a remarkable result. As far as ANDARSYA is concerned, the 0,36% it took is extremely disproportional to its numeral force and presents a decline compared even to its percentage at the European elections (0,68%). However, even more important than the low percentage of the radical left is the fact that none qualitative feature can be extracted by it, for example a concentration of votes at a labour area, et.c..
In addition to the other weaknesses, the low percentages of the radical left also show its weakness to turn its social weight and its participation in struggles into political and electoral influence.
6. Abstention, as expected, was lower than at the European elections but higher than at the previous parliamentary ones.
The Worst Are To Come
The electoral victory of PASOK does not mean a social rallying or even a trust to its platform and its policy. It is more a vote in order to get rid of an anti-labour and anti-popular, incompetent and corrupted government, which went even further to “promise” that it would do the same and more if it won the elections. Nevertheless, the vote to PASOK also contains a hesitant illusion or, more generally, illusions concerning elections.
After its victory, PASOK is facing the tough reality created by the neoliberal policies that itself as well as ND followed: big economic crisis, social and political crisis, mountains of deficits and depts of the Greek economy (the public dept, the dept of enterprises and households, aw well as the dept of social security funds). PASOK, of course, is not going to solve all these enormous problems with its garrulity, its fancies about a “green economy”, or, more than that by altering and “making up” power. Besides, Karamanlis –and Simitis before him- had said almost the same things when they came in power.
For the bankrupt Greek capitalism to recover, for the profits of the capitalists to be maintained or even increase and for the EC policies to be implemented, PASOK is going to enforce a cruel neoliberal bourgeois policy and attack the hard core of the social and political rights which the working class and the youth still have. Irrefutable evidence is reality itself: after only a month in power, PASOK “forgot” its promises about Olympic Airways, the railway enterprise, the telecommunications enterprise, the ports, the unfair taxes … as well as the bigger part of the crumbs it had promised to give. Now it talks about cutting down the public expenses on education, health and social security (which is said to need “deep radical changes”), cutting down payments and dismissing people in the public sector.
It won’t be long before PASOK is faced with huge dead-ends and G. Papandreou has the fate of his predecessors, Simitis and Karamanlis. To make things worse, Papandreou does not even have the latitudes that Simitis and Karamanlis had when they came in power, as everything is in a much worse condition (economy, political and social crisis, deficits, depts, et.c.) The crisis that ND is going through may favour PASOK, as also does –or even more- the crisis of the labour movement, but all these are minor problems compared to the problems of global capitalist system and the dead-ends of Greek capitalism.
Struggle to Be Saved From Their Crisis
What the working people have to expect from PASOK and the generalized crisis is more poverty, degradation, unemployment, violent redistribution of the produced wealth, enormous inequalities and repression. These are the results of the crisis and decay of the capitalist system and the bourgeois policies. Only if all the working people organize our resistance and our struggles together, will we be able to stop them. More than that, only if we adopt an anti-capitalist policy and fight for the socialist solution, will we be able to save ourselves from their crisis.
Organization of Communists Internationalists (Greece)