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The Militant, 21 September 1946

Jean Paul Martin

State of Greek Political Parties
Before the Recent Plebiscite

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 38, 21 September 1946, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


ATHENS, Greece – On the eve of the plebiscite, the

Greek labor movement is divided into four parties:

The Community Party [sic] – The Greek Communist Party is far and away the strongest; during the war it developed influence over the “Resistance” and thereby over a large part of the peasantry in the country and the ruined middle class of the cities.

The Communist Party reached its highest point immediately after the “liberation” of Greece in October 1944 and before the December events. After the defeat and the Varciza agreement, its influence diminished rapidly, to rise again somewhat as a result of the aggravation of the economic situation and the excesses of the reaction.

Internal Crisis

Since May 1946 this party has been visibly going through a profound internal crisis.

An opposition which has developed is headed by a number of old cadre-elements of the party, among them Petsopoulos, and militants of the “Resistance” such as Orestes and Zacharias, who, thanks to their exploits, won great prestige among the party ranks.

In a separate article we will discuss the development of this crisis and the accusations of this opposition against the policy of the Stalinist leadership. This crisis is in reality the result of the whole impasse into which the opportunist and adventurist policy of the CPG has led, before and especially after the “liberation.”

Faced with the brutal reactionary offensive trying to achieve the complete destruction of the labor movement, the Stalinists at present answer with the slogan: “Conciliation!”

The thesis which it daily develops in all the columns of its central organ Rizospastis is the following; It is the monarchist reaction to whose interest it is to feed and spread the civil war. The CP says to the people: “There are no monarchists and democrats, there are no Rightists and Leftists. There are only

and above all the Greeks. Greeks of all parties, don’t play the game of reaction. Reconciliate yourselves ...” etc.

This treacherous tactic represents the greatest danger for the immediate future of the Greek working class, because it sabotages all effective resistance to the reactionary offensive and demoralizes the workers’ ranks.

The Socialist Party – The Greek Socialist Party is a recent production of social and political regroupings which took place in the country during the war.

The socialist movement as a mass movement of importance was non-existent in Greece before the war. When the Communist Party took the leadership of the “Resistance” movement and created the EAM, it formed or helped form a whole string of “democratic” .and “socialist” organizations which it used as fronts. Among these socialist parties, the most important one has become that led today by Professor Svolos and Tsirimokos, who come from the left wing of the Liberal Party of Venizelos.

This Socialist Party has benefited from the aid of a few reformist trade union leaders, such as Lascaris and Stratis who have a certain influence among the railway workers. Its base is composed especially of city petty-bourgeois and above all of intellectuals.

The Archeomarxist Communist Party was before the war part of the London Bureau and today is hunting for an international orientation.

Its influence is limited to certain labor circles of Athens, the Piraeus, and Salonika; it publishes a weekly newspaper, The Class Struggle.

Trotskyist Party

There is, finally, the Internationalist Communist Party, which accepts the program of the Fourth International, and which is the product of a recent unification of three separate Trotskyist organizations.

This party publishes a weekly newspaper, The Workers’ Struggle, and collaborates with the Archeomarxists in the trade union field. In its manifesto issued by the Unification Congress which took place at the end of July, it advocated:


The climate existing in. Greece on the eve of the plebiscite is that of civil war.

The capitalists do not hope to restore their economic power in Greece, and British imperialism cannot consolidate its domination in this strategic part of the Balkans and the Mediterranean, without a “strong” regime which finishes off the struggles and resistance of the masses.

This “strong” regime which the capitalists are preparing, and which they wish to crown and consolidate by the return of the king, does not. despite the terror against the masses, have enough of a mass base so that it can be characterized as fascist.

We are witnessing the birth of a military and police dictatorship of the worst sort which also makes an appeal to declassed elements still isolated from the broad masses, which it arms and organizes against the labor movement.

Need Support

The fighting spirit of the working class is not broken, but the policy of capitulation of the Communist Party, which concentrates on the slogan of- “Conciliation,” can lead to a crushing defeat. The Greek workers needs the active support of the European and world working class, World-wide labor opinion must be informed about the Unspeakable crimes which capitalist reaction, aided by British imperialism, is committing every day against the Greek masses.

Let us not permit the capitalists to replunge into the barbarism of dictatorship and fascism a country whose workingclass was in the forefront of the anti-capitalist struggle engendered by the last war.

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