Programme June 26-28, 2015
all for an International Forum (Athens 26-28/6/2015) and the establishment of a European Co-ordination of Left political parties, popular organisations and social movements fighting for exit from the European Union, the euro and NATO.
Friday 17.00 – 19.15 workshops
1. From economic to political crisis. The examples of Italy and Spain
* Enea Boria, Movement ORA, Italy
* Giannis Kibouropoulos, journalist, Greece
* Manolo Moreneo, Frente Civico “Somos Mayoria”, Spain,
2. The conflict in Ukraine and the geopolitics of the European Union and NATO
* Kostas Gousis, Solidarity campaign with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine, Greece
* Mariia Muratova, Borotba, Ukraine
* Petros Papakonstantinou, writer-journalist, Greece
* Dimitris Patelis, MARS (Frontal Left Alignment) , Greece
3. The workers‘ and popular resistance against neoliberal policies in the EU
* Giorgio Cremaschi, ex president of FIOM (Federazione Impiegati Operai Metallurgici), Italy
* Benoit Martin, CGT Orange (Confédération Générale du Travail), France
* Antonis Dalakogeorgos, general secretary of Piraeus Labor Center, president of Panhellenic Union of Merchant Navy Sailors, Greece
* Christos Panagiotopoulos, Initiative for a Class independent Labor Movement, Greece
4. France: The impasse of the Left, the rise of the Far-Right and how to avoid it
* Michèle Dessenne, M‘ PEP (Mouvement Politique d‘ Émancipation Populaire), France
* Giorgos Mitralias, Contra-xreos initiative, Greece
* Joël Perichaud, M’PEP (Mouvement Politique d‘ Émancipation Populaire), France
Friday 19.30 – 22.30 Plenary
Is the EU our common home? Lessons from the “Greek experiment” about crisis, debt, Eurozone and EU
* Sergio Cesaratto, economist, Italy
* Inge Höger MP, Die Linke, Germany
* Stathis Kouvelakis, King’s Kollege, member of Central Committee of SYRIZA, Greece
* Giorgos Melissaropoulos, MARS (Frontal Left Alignment), Greece
* Jacques Nikonoff, M’PEP (Mouvement Politique d‘ Émancipation Populaire), France
Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 13.30 plenary
EU and conflicts in Middle East. Roots and effects
* Ali Fayyad, MP, Hezbollah, Lebanon
* Apostolos Fotiadis, researcher on EU and immigrants, Greece
* Javier Couso Permuy, Izquierda Unida, member of European Parliament, Spain
* Moreno Pasquinelli, Campo Antiimperialista, Italy
Saturday 17.00 – 19.15 workshops
1. The growth of reactionary populism and neo-fascism in Europe.
* Joel Perichaud, M’PEP (Mouvement Politique d‘ Émancipation Populaire), France
* Giorgos Sapounas, member of Central Committee of SYRIZA, Greece
* Victor Shapinov, Borotba, Ukraine
2. Mediterranean ALBA is an alternative to EU?
* Mauro Casadio,Rete dei Comunisti, Italy
* Dimitris Kaltsonis, as. professor of theory of state and law, Panteion University, D. kordatos Society, Greece
* Pedro Montes, economist, Asociación político cultural “Socialismo 21”, Spain
3. EU and left governance: the need for a strategy of ruptures
* Dimitris Belantis, member of Central Committee of SYRIZA, Greece
* Kostas Markou, member of Central Coordination Committee of ANTARSYA, Greece
* Jacques Nikonoff, M’PEP (Mouvement Politique d‘ Émancipation Populaire), France
* Panagiotis Sotiris, MARS (Frontal Left Alignment), Greece
4. Germany: the Euro as an instrument of a new imperialist policy of the ruling class
* Wilhelm Langthaler,Committee “EuroExit”, Austria
* Kostas Papoulis, Sxedio B (Plan B), Greece
* Thomas Zmrzly, Initiative .e.V. Duisburg, Germany
Saturday 19.30 – 22.30 Plenary
The Eurozone is the problem – exit is the solution. Policies and alliances for the Left
* Stefano Fassina, MP, Democratic Party, Italy
* Dimitris Mitropoulos, MARS (Frontal Left Alignment), Greece
* Manolo Moreneo, Frente Civico “Somos Mayoria”, Spain
* Antonis Ntavanelos, member of Political Secretariat of SYRIZA, Greece
* Angelos Xagios, member of Panhellenic Coordination Committee of ANTARSYA, Greece
Sunday 10.30 pm 14.30
General Assembly. How the anti-EU Forum will continue
18.00 Anti-EU demonstration
Friday and Saturday night at 10.30 will be held in the area of the forum rock, hip-hop and Greek traditional concerts.
Ιn all European Union (EU) countries and especially those belonging to the Eurozone, vicious anti-popular policies are pursued relentlessly by the EU and its member governments: massive cuts in social spending and wages, increasing taxation for the working people and decreasing that for the rich, shameless subsidies to large corporations supposedly to create jobs that never materialize or are short-lived, privatizations and dismantling of public services and social security. The result is an exponential increase in poverty, social inequality, mass unemployment and lack of job security.
This situation originates in the very nature of the EU and the single currency, as most recently encapsulated in the Lisbon Treaty. The latter is based on all the neoliberal dogmas that have already demonstrated their detrimental impact on the interests of the popular and middle classes. In the Eurozone the imbalances between countries have worsened. The euro is a weapon of mass destruction directed against employment. The single currency is only used to protect the return on capitalists’ investment by maintaining a permanent and voluntary high level of unemployment. The introduction of ‘European Economic Governance’ practices lead to a condition of limited sovereignty and aggressive disciplinary forms of economic supervision, as shown by Troika’s (EU-IMF-ECB) role in Greece (where it pushed forward vicious neoliberal reforms and a mass redistribution of income towards capital). Moreover, EU policies and the monetary and institutional arrangement of the Eurozone make the current crisis even more acute and perpetuate a vicious circle of recession – austerity – unemployment.
The very essence of this European construction is based on the values and interests of the Western ruling classes: europeanism, atlanticism, capitalism, authoritarianism. Such a system cannot change its nature; it cannot be improved from within. It must be dismantled in order to build something radically new. The EU is indeed the most sophisticated system in the world founded on an attempt to build a civilization based on market forces. The EU is a horrendous system of domination and alienation from which the peoples need to emancipate themselves.
The EU and the process of European integration is inherently undemocratic. By drastically reducing popular sovereignty at the level of the nation-state and transferring power to the unelected mechanisms of the EU, it undermines the ability of people to organize, fight, resist and transform society. Destroying popular sovereignty is the guarantee for the dominant classes that there is no turning back from neoliberal ‘reforms’. This is in line with the attempt to guarantee the domination of capitalist corporations on a global scale, pursued by supranational organizations (WTO, IMF, World Bank, NATO, EU, OECD). This can account for the increasingly authoritarian character of the EU and for its support of semi-fascist regimes such as the one in Kiev.
Currently the neoliberal policies of the EU take an even more aggressive form. At stake is not the crisis at the European periphery but the preparation of new devastating attacks on the dominated classes in the core countries of the EU. A new wave of austerity, cuts in social spending, privatization, dismantling of historic gains of the workers’ movement is under way. The need for resistance is more necessary than ever.
In front of this situation most forces of the non-socialdemocratic Left in Europe do not challenge EU. The result is a ‘Left Europeanism’ that refuses to struggle against the root of the problem, namely the economic, monetary, institutional framework of European Integration, its embedded neoliberalism, its undemocratic character. Calls for ‘another’ EU, with a ‘benevolent’ ECB and ‘European solutions to the debt’ are mere wishful thinking, not political answers. This inability to mount a challenge to EU, leaves open the political space to the racist, reactionary, pro-business, chauvinist, ersatz ‘Euroscepticism’ of the Far-Right and neofascist parties.
Exiting the Eurozone and the EU will not be acts of nationalism or economic chauvinism. They will be acts of internationalism and popular solidarity, because they will lead to the dismantling of an aggressive capitalist and imperialist integration process.
For these reasons it is of the outmost urgency to organize a pan-European Co-ordination of Left political organizations, popular organisations and social movements that fight against the EU and the Eurozone, in order to coordinate their work and reopen collectively the debate on the necessary break with European integration. The exit from the Euro and the EU must again become the cornerstone of left-wing and radical politics, the starting point for a new progressive, democratic and socialist future for the working classes and peoples of Europe.
For all these reasons an Organizing Committee (MARS Greece, Committee ‘EuroExit’ Austria, ‘Coordinamento nationale sinistra contro l’euro’ Italy, M’PEP France, Initiative .e.V. Duisburg Germany), takes the initiative to call for this pan-European Forum of Left and mass political and social organisations that will discuss the problem at hand and establish this Co-ordination. The meeting will take place in Greece in Athens (26-28/6/2015) as a sign of solidarity to the on-going struggle of the Greek people against the austerity policies and reforms of the EU.
Greece for the past six years has gone through a social disaster without precedent. The extent of the Greek crisis was a direct result of the financial, monetary and institutional architecture of the Eurozone and the EU. The ‚bail-out‘ package from the EU, the IMF and the ECB have meant extreme austerity and neoliberal reforms along with total disrespect for democratic procedure and popular sovereignty. This is another proof of the deeply reactionary and undemocratic nature of EU and the ‚European Integration‘ project in general. Popular anger and discontent against austerity have brought the new SYRIZA-ANELL government to power. Despite the fact that its program, as expressed in the so-called Thesalloniki agenda, is moderate and contradictory, the new government has been under tremendous pressure to capitulate and accept a humiliating continuation of austerity policies. It is clear that within the framework of the eurozone it is impossible for any government to exit austerity and the neoliberal agenda. That is why an exit strategy is more necessary than ever. The anti-EU forum will coincide with the deadline imposed by the EU and the IMF for a new austerity package that will extend current catastrophic policies in contrast to the will of the Greek people for an end to austerity.
The Forum will include a conference with plenaries and workshops, concerts and also a mass demonstration in the city centre.
It will end with a Political Declaration and a plan for future activities.
The Organising Committee invites all political organisations and social movements that share the abovementioned views to participate in the International Forum of Left political parties, popular organisations and social movements fighting for exit from the European Union, the euro and NATO in Athens (June 26-28 2015).