All posts

On the Macedonian question: Statement from DEA and the Red Network


Concerning the recent developments in the Balkans, DEA and the Red Network state the following:

  1. The background to understand recent events is the initiative of USA-NATO and the EU to impose a new “stability” and control to the region, by establishing an immediate connection of all the countries with the major imperialist organizations. The timeframe that has already been announced (the EU Summit in Sofia at the end of May and the NATO Summit at the end of June) highlights that they are moving in a fast pace to address the difficulties that Western imperialism is facing in the Middle East, and the turn of Turkey towards a rupture with NATO and the US.

Their objectives are the following:

To regulate the relations between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, so that the Greek “veto” is withdrawn and the Republic of Macedonia can join NATO.

To regulate the relations between Greece and Albania (cancel the “state of war” – agree to mutually accepted Exclusive Economic Zones in the seas), so that a closer military-diplomatic co-operation between the two countries can be achieved.

To consolidate a stable military co-operation with Bulgaria, in order to include this country to the “axis” of Greece-Cyprus-Israel (with the obvious aim of encircling Turkey).

To magnify the pressure on Serbia, so that it enters the EU and NATO.

These plans, except for the military-diplomatic field, extend to important initiatives on the economic field, like establishing new “energy routes” or connecting the port of Thessaloniki with central Europe and the Atlantic Ocean.

These plans are extremely dangerous for peace, they lead to a major re-inforcement of imperialism in every country, and they are connected to the prospect of a tighter control of political and social life in the Balkan countries by the major imperialist powers of the West.

  1. Greece is participating actively in these plans, on its own will, connecting the search for a way out of the crisis with a further penetration of the Balkans and its rise as a “local partner” of the Great Powers of the West, as a “sub-imperialist” power in the region.

The Greek state, its armed forces, its diplomacy are taking up an important role of coordinating these plans –they are at the forefront of this effort.

The theory which claims that Greece is a “vassal state” is once again proven wrong.

The necessary anti-imperialist struggle is strongly connected with the struggle to cancel the Memorandum, to reverse austerity inside the country. It is strongly connected with the necessary anticapitalist strategy.

  1. In the political field, the government of SYRIZA and ANEL has taken up the task to implement these plans. A government that is using the language and the symbols of the Left, is trying to destroy the anti-imperialist tradition that was born out of the struggles against the military dictatorship and the years after its downfall in the 70’s. It is trying to destroy the links between anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism, that were forged in the contemporary movement against the neoliberal capitalist globalization and the huge anti-war movement at the beginning of the 21st century.

The government of Alexis Tsipras is seeking for its political rescue, after sinking into the swamp of the Third Memorandum of austerity, by taking up the role of NATO’s “thug” in the Balkans, and by trying to convince the ruling class that it is the most “qualified” and ruthless political servant it can find.

A clear anti-government position is a must for the real radical Left in the struggles and the political initiatives in the period before us.

  1. Especially about the relations with the neighboring country, the Republic of Macedonia, we must state that any honest policy of peace and friendship should have as a starting point the respect to simple democratic principles, including the right to self-determination. The name of the neighboring country should be left to the unobstructed and free political will of its people to decide.

Until today, the “name question” was a vehicle for the Greek state to intervene to the neighboring country, in order to turn it into an economic and political “satellite”. This strategy included war threats (lets remind previous rallies that were organized under the slogan: “there is only one solution – move our borderline to Serbia”) or periods of financial blockade and political-diplomatic isolation, that led the neighboring country to an existential crisis, a crisis of viability as a united state. Today, the “name question” is the battering ram to enforce the signing of a deal that will turn the neighboring country into a western “canton”, where the Greek capitalists will enjoy their political and economic primacy.

In order to serve this contemporary “Great National Idea”, there is an ideological and political manipulation of history underway. We remind that the same had been done to serve the first “Great National Idea”, during the explosion of nationalisms in the Balkans, after 1910. And back then, the working class and the poor popular classes paid a heavy price of blood to the years-long wars that followed.

The Left should not take into account the ambiguous “readings” of history or the even more ambiguous theories about the “origins of nations”, when it considers the principles that will serve as a foundation to its policies and proposals. These principles should start from the non-negotiable defense of peace, the rejection of any territorial claims/annexations, the acceptance of the right to self-determination and the support for minority rights.

  1. The policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, that reflects the overall strategy of the Greek ruling class, by constantly raising the “demands” towards the neighboring country, is paving the way for the recent outburst of nationalist rallies.

During the rally in Thessaloniki, we have witnessed the nationalist far-right taking the initiative, we have witnessed a strong presence of the neonazis from Golden Dawn, in the most provocative and dangerous way.

In the rally in Athens, the right-wing party of New Democracy is trying to “incorporate” the far-right protest for the “name”, by actually taking up the responsibility for its organization. The presence of Mikis Theodorakis in this nationalist fiesta is a great gift to the Right, for the second time in his lifetime, after his support for the government of right-wing Konstantinos Mitsotakis that started the neoliberal offensive in Greece in the early 90’s.

This is a very serious threat.

The far-right and the traditional Right are trying to divert the popular anger and despair that austerity create, towards nationalist hatred.

With the help from the Church and important parts of the state-machinery, they manage to mobilize big numbers of people, although they are still falling sort from the massive nationalist rallies of the 90’s.

The Left should stand firm against this prospect: We should constantly reveal the dangerous character of these rallies, and emphasize the potential that they create for the neonazis of Golden Dawn. We should wage a struggle in all organizations and “institutions” of the workers movement, and talk to everyone, man-by-man, in order to prevent participation in these rallies and to isolate their organizers. We should denounce New Democracy and the organized far-right, without downplaying the responsibilities of the SYRIZA government that is paving their way. We should counter-pose an independent policy of the Radical Left, a policy of peace, collaboration and friendship in the Balkans, a policy of confrontation with the imperialists, which insists on the struggle for socialist emancipation.

  1. In the coming period, we need to organize our own “rallies”: to demand the cancellation of the Memorandums, the reversal of austerity and the rupture with imperialist organizations like the EU and NATO. Organizing towards this goal is urgent and it pre-supposes the unity in action and political struggle, of all the forces of the radical, anti-austerity, anti-capitalist Left.

– NO to NATO’s imperialist “solutions” in the Balkans. Withdraw from NATO now, shut down the military bases, no to armaments and military expenditures.

– A policy of peace and collaboration, based on democratic principles, towards all neighboring countries. The peoples of Balkans are our brothers and sisters.

– NO to the rallies of hatred. No to nationalism, the far-right and racism. Solidarity with the refugees and immigrants.

– NO to the governmental policy of Memorandums, of brutal austerity, of lining up with imperialism.

– Unity in action of the radical, anti-Memorandum, anticapitalist Left.

DEA (Internationalist Workers’ Left) is an anticapitalist organization in Greece. The Red Network is a “network” that unites DEA, Anticapitalist Political Organization (APO) and unaffiliated activists who sympathize with their views. DEA and the Red Network are also part of the left-wing front Popular Unity.