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Intervetion by Yrjö Hakanen in the 3rd Congress of the European Left

04.12.2010 - 23:57
(updated: 06.06.2016 - 13:48)
We have participated the demonstrations of the European Day of Action organized by the European trade union movement against the cuts in jobs, pensions and public. In Finland too, we organized demonstrations in which the activity of the Communist Party, other left forces and of the Network of Critical Trade Unionists resulted in the involvement of the biggest national trade union centre in Finland. It is essential to continue and to broaden this European wide struggle.

The hard cuts in social expenditures promoted by the governments as well as the ever more strict neoliberal command of the EU over individual countries have only aggravated the crisis. This crisis is not due to workers' salaries, pensions or public services. It is a crises of financial-capitalist system. The way banks and investors can play with the fate of entire nations reveals a crisis of democracy, too. In addition, this crisis is entangled with the energy crisis, environmental crisis and significant changes in international power relations.

The crisis requires us to step up our activities to defend the rights of the working people, like minimum wages and basic income. At the same time, it also stresses the need to open the perspectives for a radically different type of development. It is necessary to rise up in debates and struggles the questions about power and ownership relations, to raise the issue of an alternative to the power of capital and to the current devastating development model. It is necessary to put forward marxist analyses and the perspectives of socialism.

Wide-ranging strikes and demonstrations in Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Island and just a few days ago in Ireland are encouraging examples, showing that there is no need to resign in front of the policy of the European elite and the lords of the banking system.

To continue and expand this struggle is a major challenge for the European Left. The decisive force for change will grow from social and class struggles in the workplaces, in residential areas, in universities and in mass movements. That is why the question of a more effective organizing our common struggles and coordination of these struggles are first and foremost connected to the extent in which the members of our parties are in each country involved in this activity. It cannot be done through a top down approach. Activity-based cooperation between our party members is also a challenge to develop the trade union network, the women's network, Transform! and other networks of the European Left.

It is also a question of the nature of the European left as a network and joint action of Socialist, Communist and the Red-Green parties. In the Communist Party of Finland, we hope this will develop to an All-European co-operation. Many factors underline the importance of All-European cooperation: for example, the struggle to end social dumping, on environmental issues, the promotion of peace and disarmament as well as the fight against xenophobia and extreme right.

The current crisis is a crisis of an increasingly internationally operating capitalism. The escalation of the crisis threatens the future of whole mankind. Our work is part of the international struggle against capitalism and imperialism, against all forms of exploitation and oppression, for freedom and for a new kind of civilization.

The achievements of the Latin American Left are an encouraging example for us. The question whether emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa, will adapt to the rules of global capitalism or whether they will open up new ways for a different type of development, is of growing importance.

Dear comrades,
I bring to you greetings from the North. In Finland, cold winds are blowing - and I do not mean just the winter frost. The Nordic welfare model is being step by step dismantled and privatized. Dissatisfaction with government policy and also with parties that participated previous governments has channeled into strong support for a right-wing populist party and into xenophobia.

To meet this challenge it is necessary to bring together communist, left and red-green forces. I believe that in this respect cooperation within framework of the European Left will open us new opportunities and prospects. The Political Action Programme that has been placed before this Congress offers a good foundation. The delegates of the Communist Party of Finland support the adoption of this action program.

Yrjö Hakanen Pariisi 4.12.2010: