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Just What Does Greece’s Minor Communist Party Want?

It’s not true that Greece’s anachronistic Communist party, not getting the memo that the Soviet Union broke up 33 years ago and that Europe has moved on, has no value, because it can serve as a bad example and comic relief.

It really doesn’t want to rule, preferring to spout an endlessly boring and outdated Marxist-Leninist spiel about running yellow dog capitalist imperialists and the like, and too bad Tom Tuttle from Tacoma isn’t running the party because at least he was exciting.

Known as Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas, or KKE for short – that’s pronounced Cuckoo-A with good reason – it’s led now by Dimitris Koutsoumpas, who is less interesting than watching paint dry.

It very much seems to prefer being back-benchers in the Parliament, where it has 15 seats in the 300-member Parliament and 5.3 percent of the vote, convincing only 299,595 of Greek voters in 2019 elections, in a country of 10.7 million people, to join the revolution that’s over.

KKE wants nationalization of the means of production, which has worked out real swell for Cuba as it did for the former Soviet Union, which couldn’t grow wheat without advice from Iowa farmers.

KKE doesn’t want Greece staying in the European Union or NATO, but since there’s no sugar cane fields to work maybe it can come up with a better idea for how to keep people working, or defend the country against Turkey.

The ideology of Communism is branded in the souls of its believers who see nothing else, can be convinced of nothing else, and want nothing else than nothing apparently, because when you talk to one of them it’s like arguing with Professor Irwin Corey.

What KKE wants is more convoluted than trying to figure out the plot of The Big Sleep and even reading Philip Roth’s I Married a Communist couldn’t provide any real clues.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put KKE between a rock and a soft place because it didn’t really know how to respond as Greece’s New Democracy government under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis correctly denounced it.

The low point even for the Commies came when the party boycotted the video appearance in Parliament of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, appealing for help against the Russian invaders.

“The condemnation of the unacceptable invasion and imperialist war waged by Russia on the territory of Ukraine, and at the same time the solidarity with the people of Ukraine, has nothing to do with any support for President Zelensky,” KKE said in a press release.

“And this particular meeting has just such characteristics, as Zelensky is part of the problem, head of a reactionary government, which has been aligned with the U.S.-NATO-EU camp, which is also responsible for the war and the suffering of the people of Ukraine.” Maybe Tom Tuttle wrote it.

The Communists accused the Ukrainian leader of violation of workers’ rights, supporting neo-Nazi groups and banning the activities of Ukraine’s Communist Party, and they got a boost when an ethnic Greek showed up on the video looking like a Cro-Magnon man.

A member of the Azov Battalion and identified only as Michail, he said he was fighting Russian Nazis, but touched a sore spot for KKE as the Communists – Koutsoumpas’ family were militants in the EAM national resistance and some were executed by the Nazis in World War II – appeared with Zelensky.

KKE wasn’t in the chamber to see or hear it although major opposition SYRIZA leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras, who’s not in the same league as his hero Che Guevara, said the imagery was wrong – and he was right.

“The speech by members of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in the Greek Parliament is a challenge. They spoke of a historic day, but it’s a historic shame. Solidarity with the Ukrainian people is a given. But the Nazi cannot have a say in Parliament,” said Tsipras in a rare lucid moment.

But neither do the Communists have a say in Parliament because they’re such a fringe party they make fringe parties look mainstream, and it’s too bad because at the heart of what they seem to want would benefit workers.

Skipping Zelensky’s speech is “the greatest sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who, in order to be truly victorious, must rid itself of both the Russian invasion and the Zelensky-type governments that drag them to the slaughterhouse of imperialist rivalries and wars,” they said.

They said they wouldn’t have listened to Russian President Vladimir Putin or U.S. President Joe Biden either, so unless Parliament schedules Red Dawn for a movie showing, they really don’t want to hear from anyone who’s not brainwashed.

Senior figures in the KKE, including the Vice-President of the Greek Parliament Giorgos Lambroulis and former Member of the European Parliament Sotris Zarianopoulos, were blacklisted by Ukraine’s government for being ‘observers’ in the Russian separatist elections in 2014.

That tipped their hands, of course, because they are really in Moscow’s camp but can’t find a way to explain it while Putin’s bombing hospitals and killing children in the streets of Mariupol, home to scores of thousands of ethnic Greeks.

What the Communists really want is Communists, and they put their sad ideology ahead of country, and you don’t need an eight-hour work day to figure that out. Tom Tuttle.


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