Speech of Andros Kyprianou, General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL, to the Plenum of the Central Committee of AKEL on the Programmatic Congress of AKEL 15/16th February 2014
7th January 2014, Nicosia
Today’s plenary session of the Central Committee will discuss and approve the “Theses” which will be put before the whole Party membership and subsequently to the Programming Congress in February. This debate is not without a strategy; it is part of our general effort to renew, reorganize and regroup with a view to defending the interests of Cyprus, the workers and people of Cyprus in general.
In recent months we have begun a dialogue with party members on both the governance of the previous five years, and about the way in which we operated as a Party. Our goal was to listen to party member’s opinions, thoughts, reflections and concerns. At the same time, our goal is to convey to them the positions and views of the Party leadership on all these issues, but more specifically our thoughts on how to move forward; how we will again manage to give hope and set out a perspective to the Cypriot people and ow we will lead the struggle for a better future where progress and prosperity will prevail.
In trying to respond to the opinions heard by the party grass roots , but also the demands put forward by the party base we have proceeded in two directions. First, in renewing and reconstructing our organizational mechanism and second, in clarifying and elaborating our positions on key issues dominating our country’s political life.
The successful response to these two important issues we believe will be a decisive factor in the future course of our Party, but also of our country in general. It is extremely important that our Party emerges from this process stronger. A powerful AKEL means support to the efforts to achieve a just, functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem. It means resistance to the anti-people’s policies that the Troika wants to impose on Cyprus and the Cypriot people. It means struggle to disengage from the anti-peoples policies Memorandum and the defence of working people’s rights and gains. It means resistance to the Government’s scheming, in line with the Troika’s policies, which is aiming to serve the interests of the few to the detriment of the interests of many.
We are called upon to discuss today all of these issues; to agree on proposals that will be put before the programmatic Congress and if approved will represent the foundation on which we will base our future actions.
The discussion in the Central Committee and Party base organizations should be open and creative. All the different opinions need to be submitted for waging a rich and constructive dialogue. Subsequently, we will go to the Congress and through a synthesis of views we will outline the political framework in which we will develop our actions in the coming years.
The discussion we will conduct today in the Central Committee is of particular importance, bearing in mind that the reflections in the base organisations will be based on this debate. I am sure that the dialogue we will conduct will be thorough and effective. It will complete the reflections and thoughts that were developed in the Political Bureau, forming the basis upon which we will reach out to the party membership.
Today’s plenary session of the Central Committee will make a general review of the period that has passed. This is necessary in order to draw those lessons that will lead us forward. More emphasis however must be given to what should be done to strengthen AKEL; how we will shape conditions that will reinforce its unity and that will give it the possibility to address the people more effectively.
The context in which we were called upon to develop our activity and struggle in recent years was extremely difficult. Comrade Demetris Christofias asserted and was elected to the Presidency of the Republic in order to overcome the stagnation on the Cyprus problem, achieve a just solution of the Cyprus problem and improve people’s quality of life.
Important steps were taken on the Cyprus problem, especially when Mehmet Ali Talat was in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community. While quite a lot of progress was registered, it unfortunately was not sufficient to arrive at an agreement.
In the socio-economic field a lot was achieved, especially up to the beginning of 2011. However, the impact of the global economic crisis, together with the crisis in the financial sector, caused insurmountable difficulties, which the Christofias government attempted to tackle. Regretfully besides the objective difficulties, problems were also caused by the counterproductive, populist and extremely levelling way the opposition functioned.
Unfortunately, in recent years the political life in the country, has been dominated by petty expediencies and considerations; considerations which destroy everything in their wake. This is going on at a time when the situations pose before us big and crucial issues. The position and stand taken by the opposition in Cyprus then is a characteristic example. For the sake of expediencies a fierce war was unleashed which indeed intensified from the very beginning of the negotiations conducted by comrade Demetris Christofias.
The same ruthless war was also extended to the issue of tackling the economic crisis. Despite whatever mistakes and omissions, no one can deny that the fact that Christofias government had as its steadfast policy the defence and strengthening of the welfare state, public property and wealth, working people, SME’s and in general the defence of all those in need in the face of the attack unleashed by the neoliberal, anti-peoples policies of the ruling class in the European Union and the Troika. The Anastasiades government is dismantling this policy day by day. This is something that every Cypriot, regardless of his/her political belief has begun to truly feel. The more time passes the more the Cypriot people will realise that the Anastasiades government’s policy is a dead-end and disastrous for the country.
The difficulties we have encountered on the Cyprus problem and the consequences of the economic crisis encouraged the political attack we came under; an attack which intensified in the aftermath of the tragic accident at the Mari naval base. I will not repeat what has already been said many times. Suffice it to say that the recent public statements by Mr. Polyviou on the pretext of the issue of Mari exposed the real motives and expediencies behind that unprecedented political, ideological and personal attack on D. Christofias. From that time onwards, the target was the positions of the Left itself on the most critical issues for the country – the handling of the Cyprus problem, the economy, the question of the natural resources, the strengthening of the welfare state and other issues. Certain circles and forces believed that the negative situation that had been created for us represented a unique opportunity to undermine and weaken AKEL, to marginalise it to the periphery of political life, therefore leaving the people in reality at their mercy. They did not manage it, as they never did manage to do so in the past.
I do not intend to come back to what happened at that time, or neither to what was said, nor to how the political life of our country has gone backwards since then. I will just state that AKEL does not perceive political engagement as a personal cause or matter, nor reserved just for a select few. We view politics as a struggle of masses of people; as a struggle of ideas and positions. In this struggle, we are obliged and must take clear positions, as we have always done anyway.
One could say that the various developments in the economy, but on other issues too, overtook us or took us by surprise, or that from time to time different approaches have appeared within the party on important political issues. Perhaps to some degree, there may be some truth in this.
However, we must all take into account the environment in which we act, a complex and complicated environment; an environment that demands we are guided by a steadfast ideological compass and clear political position, regardless of the temporary problems we shall face. Positions that have at their heart the interests of the people, the interests of working people; positions that will break the chains that keep society tied to the old and rotten; positions that clash with vested interests, the establishment, conservatism, racism, nationalism and chauvinism. The Programmatic Conference’s goal to be held in February is precisely the formulation and elaboration of these positions that will guide our Party in the coming years.
This objective is intertwined with the organizational strengthening of our Party from the base grass-roots to the leadership level. We have already proceeded to the renewal of the Secretariat and the Political Bureau of the Central Committee; changes aiming at enhancing our Party’s effectiveness, which became possible due to the voluntary withdrawal of leading comrades.
There have been malicious comments by certain circles about these changes: the opposite would have surprised us. Let me make it clear that these comrades’ experience and knowledge are invaluable and they will continue to offer their services to the Party. Their place has been taken by younger comrades; comrades who have many capabilities, possibilities and perspectives to offer to the Party. Besides, this is the goal of all those who join the ranks of the People’s Movement ∙ to serve and struggle for Cyprus and its people in the ranks of AKEL and the People’s Movement of the Left.
The renewal of the Secretariat and the Political Bureau was preceded by the change in the leadership in three District Committees. At the same time, we called for the evaluation of the work of the Party base organisations, which is on-going. The goal is to help them function as efficiently as possible; to develop intense action and enhance their active intervention in the life of local communities. Towards this end, especially in the current economic and political conditions, the Local Cultural and Sports Clubs of the Peoples Movement of the Left also have a role to play. The upgrading of the quality in the content of their presence and activity must be a permanent task.
The reason is simple. For AKEL, political work does not begin and does not end on television panels, or is confined to party conference rooms. The Party cadres and members have a duty to be with the people daily, to intervene to solve their problems and defend their interests and needs. In doing so, they will elevate higher in the people’s consciousness institutions and public posts whether this is a parliamentary seat or participation in municipal or communal councils, or in any other public institutions. The cadres and members of AKEL have an obligation through their actions, ethics, honesty, integrity, modesty and humility to lead by example; to be an example in political life, conveying the message that we are not all the same; that there are forces who work selflessly, guided solely by how they devote their services and struggle to society .This is what the members of AKEL must be.
This assumes a double meaning today. In the very difficult conditions we have to work in, mainly due to the consequences of the economic crisis, the members of AKEL are called upon to be in the forefront of struggles. The way the European Union tackles the crisis, the policies it has implemented in the name of the common currency, but also its existing institutional structure have put a disproportionate burden on countries of the periphery to which Cyprus also belongs. This is the context of the crisis. This conclusion is not only AKEL’s, but also of a whole number of independent economic analysts internationally. In every country it is the majority of the people and not the privileged few that are only and always called upon to shoulder the burden, with the privileged few as a rule remaining generally untouched. The members of AKEL must combat this political position.
The peoples of southern Europe, together the Cypriot people too, are currently under the unprecedented attack of the decisions taken by the ruling circles of Brussels. Instead of reflecting on the systemic nature of the crisis and finding a solution to it, the crisis is used as a pretext to legitimize cuts in wages, pensions, social benefits and social rights, for the selling-off of public wealth and property.
It’s enough to see what is happening today in the other countries implementing Memoranda, whether in Greece, Portugal or even Spain. Six years of recession in Greece, unprecedented unemployment in Spain, increased poverty levels in Portugal are just some of the characteristics facing southern European countries that are in the stranglehold of the Memoranda. At the same time, the creditors, issuing the permanent threat of not rendering the “next instalment” are assuming the economic and political dominance in entire countries, thus reducing the exercise of national policy to the very minimum. Worst of all, this is being achieved with the tolerance, if not the support, of the Government.
In truth, how democratic is it for a country to accept “there is no other alternative” as it is being argued? Not to have any other choice other than the restructuring process of the Cooperative Movement? Not to have any real choice to the confiscation of homes and residences? That has no real choice to the privatization of profitable Semi-state organisations? That has no other alternative because otherwise it will be driven into bankruptcy? Isn’t even the very respect towards a sovereign state being negated by statements such as those made by Mr. Dijsselbloem addressed to Greece equally provocative when he said that some have “lost their patience with her”? This was stated, despite the implementation of the most painful measures that the Greek people were burdened with, regretfully without any results, after 6 years.
AKEL was being accused hysterically in the past when it pointed out that we should not blindly accept anything coming from the European Union, when it warned that Brussels is imposing policies as a “Directorate” and that these policies will threaten the peoples with destruction. Life itself has unfortunately confirmed in the most painful way our Party’s evaluations. Therefore, the political representatives of big business and the monopolies should stop insisting on calling us “anti-Europeans”, “dogmatists” and many other terms. We advocate a different Europe; a Europe of the peoples, a Europe of peace, democracy and social justice.
Besides, we have seen the supposed “solidarity” of our European partners that was advertised so much during the election by Mr. Anastasiades, as well the results of the policies they have imposed on us. We have seen these policies and we are suffering from them since March until today.
Unfortunately, nor can the developments surrounding the Cyprus problem said to be hopeful so far. The efforts aimed at issuing a joint communiqué are continuing. The abandonment of the Christofias – Talat joint communiques have anything but proved to be a wise move. This is not the time to be searching for the petty-political expediencies that led Mr. Anastasiades to this desperate action; an act and move that just as our Party had warned simply allowed the Turkish side to table unacceptable positions, simultaneously trapping us. The pressing and overriding need now is that we work collectively in order to start the talks as soon as possible, within the correct framework and on the correct basis.
The passive passage of time consolidates and perpetuates ever more the occupational faits accomplis. The future of the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the land of their birth is being threatened directly. The need to intensify the efforts for a correct, just, functional and viable solution is urgent. It is urgent to clarify once and for all that we cannot be negotiating forever and rejecting everything, but neither that we should blindly accept everything put forth. It is urgent that everyone realises, both within and outside Cyprus, that the solution must be based on the principles and values of International and European law, and on the relevant UN Resolutions and the High Level Agreements; that the solution provides for the full demilitarization and withdrawal of the settlers; that it reunites the country and our people within the framework of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as defined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions; that it leads to a unified state with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship; that it safeguards the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, including the right of return of the refugees to their homes and properties; that it reunites the country and our people and does not institutionalise the separate living of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
For AKEL, the solution of the Cyprus problem is a priority and its life goal. The reunification of our country will be the happy epilogue of the foreign-instigated tragedy planned and directed by imperialism in our country in 1974. However, it will also create conditions for development and growh that will lead to economic recovery and progress and prosperity for the people of Cyprus.
In saying this, in no way do I imply that we must accept any solution under the pressure of economic blackmail. At least in the case of Cyprus, let’s take the gun away from the table without turning it on the Cypriot people.
I say so because this may be used simply as an excuse by Mr. Anastasiades that they put the “gun to his head”. However for Cypriot society and the Cyprus economy the gun’s trigger has already been pressed. More than nine months since Mr. Anastasiades agreed with the Troika the situation is deteriorating more and more. The banking sector has been constricted and restructured forcibly, causing households and SMEs and other businesses to face unprecedented difficulties in order to meet their obligations. Additional cuts have been imposed in public spending leading to significantly reduced the income available for consumption. Domestic demand has fallen, with direct consequences on the labour market with unemployment soaring to new heights. Working conditions are becoming increasingly more difficult, whilst many properties are threatened with confiscation. At the same time, public wealth is being prepared to be sold-off, whilst the utilization of natural wealth, if it does not pass into the hands of monopolies, will be utilised much later than originally planned.
Our Party has submitted several proposals to relieve the thousands of Cypriots who are on the brink of economic despair such as, for example, through the tabling of the Bill for the suspension of indebted households debts, or the proposal for regulating rents and the efforts to address the high cost of borrowing in relation to interest rates. Unfortunately, in this process, instead of finding an ally in the Government, we were faced with decisions even worse than the Memorandum’s provisions.
On the road towards the European elections we will put forth a series of proposals for the economy to society, but also to the Government. We know very well of course that the only thing these proposals will achieve is to provide some relief to the Memorandum’s consequences. The radical tackling of the economy’s problems will only be achieved through Cyprus’ disengagement from the Memorandum.
With the Memorandum, as eminent economists have also pointed out from abroad, even if Cyprus does manage to survive, Cypriots will wake up one day in a country that will not be theirs. It is precisely this scenario that we as AKEL want to reverse, namely the economic and political subordination of Cyprus to the monopolies, the economic and political surrender of Cyprus to foreign interests. The government and ruling parties insist on talking about “sacrifices for the sake of development.” However, they do not reply to the following questions: sacrifices for whose benefit? Development for whom?
Under the Memorandum there cannot be any growth for the people’s benefit, neither a comprehensive social policy. With mathematical certainty Cyprus society is being driven into deep recession, poverty and unemployment. Our Party, evaluating developments since the events of March, has studied alternatives. We dared to speak out clearly about the need to exit from the Memorandum, for the need to study the proposal for the issuing of a domestic currency. We are at the same time ready to discuss other proposals. Suffice that we all dispel all the illusion that the Memorandum can lead us somewhere.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about how we got to this stage. As AKEL, we have many times referred to the real causes of the crisis, quite bluntly. When certain forces and circles boasted that we had “the best bankers in Cyprus” and a Governor of the Cyprus Central Bank who “when he spoke foreigners stood in awe of”, we denounced the dangerous games played by a section of bankers for easy profits and dismal supervision conducted by the Governor of the CCB Mr. Orphanides.
Seeking causes and consequences of the economic crisis, some circles have noted what was said in Greece, that is to say the reference to the most popular phrase that “everybody ate from the pie together”. This phrase today is hanging as a shadow over all the political parties, spreading depreciation and alienation, the equating of political forces and the ridiculing of political life and involvement.
Our Party cannot, and indeed must not, tolerate such shadows, not only because it has nothing to hide, but because by definition the Party of the working people, the Party of the Left resolutely fights and combats corruption, as well as interweaving interests. The stamping out of these phenomena, which are not a current phenomenon but are inherent in the system itself, is among our priorities. The goal is that without populism and aphorisms, we should always be a step ahead on these matters, by first and foremost leading by our own example, with full transparency concerning our own finances and complete transparency regarding the economic situation of each member of the leadership, with realistic proposals submitted to society based on the three pillars “legislative regulation – effective control – exemplary punishment”. Every citizen also has a role to play in this process wherever he/she ascertains corruptive phenomena which he/she should be encouraged to denounce.
Since some circles and forces will rush to state that AKEL is saying all this but does not mean it since it doesn’t accept the Findings of Committees that apportion responsibilities on some cadres, I would say only one thing: they are right. AKEL does not accept Findings of any rigged procedures characterised by blatantly obvious subjectivism and the interests they serve. AKEL only accepts objective and well-documented and substantiated findings, as was the case with the “File of Cyprus”, established after 10 years of research, with submissions, testimonies and documents which the Democratic Rally party DISY rejected, but no one ever faulted it for that.
The challenge is to put in the public debate proposals that have a substance and are not mere words just for some public relations exercise. We believe there are many proposals that can contribute towards the stamping out of corruption and interweaving interests, such as the need for the strict implementation of the Law on Political Parties which we can improve. To this end we have already prepared proposals. Furthermore, we propose expanding the list of persons to be subject to control, with the inclusion of those in the executive, legislative and judicial power, as well as all the public and government officials from one scale and above. In addition, we propose the modernization of the legislative framework governing tenders and the purchase of weapons/arms programmes, the possibility of public control of all the tenders awarded to public and semi-public sector regardless of the amount, the regulation of the economic activities of Non -Governmental Organizations, including their funding. Inter alia, we also propose the publication of the audited accounts of the Mass Media, because those who judge should themselves be judged too, and many more other proposals.
There is no doubt that the socio-economic conditions will continue to deteriorate. The role of the Left is to be in the forefront of all the struggles, to be a bastion of resistance and a front for the defence of working people, the unemployed, SMEs, all those who look towards it for the future.
The experience of the D. Christofias administration has led some in good and others in bad faith to argue that AKEL must not cooperate with any other political forces again and not to assert power again with its own candidate within the capitalist system. The first thing to say is that one fully understands the feelings of disappointment many voters of AKEL feel about the stand of parties with whom we have worked together in the past, but also of those who believed that within the space of a five year term we could have achieved all that had not been done in 50 years.
Should we abandon the policy of cooperation/alliances? The forging of cooperation was always based on a specific political logic. When a political party does not by itself have the majority, cooperation/alliances with other forces is vital so that the given key goal it sets out can be made feasible. All those who share the same goal as us can potentially be our allies. This of course is not easy, as it was indeed proved. We must know that this cooperation will only go up to a certain point and stage. And for sure there will be setbacks.
AKEL’s primary objective was, and still remains the liberation and reunification of Cyprus. The objective of forging all the political cooperation and alliances we sought was the fulfilment of this strategic objective. Life itself has shown that up to a point, where the cooperation discusses the basic principles and framework for the solution of the Cyprus a general agreement can be reached. The difficulties begin afterwards when the negotiating process on the Cyprus problem commences. This is why proclamations/declarations are not enough anymore: there needs to be agreement on a more concrete framework of positions, at the crucial moment the cooperating forces should rise to the occasion. At the same time, policy positions on socioeconomic issues are assuming de facto increasing importance due to the existing conditions. Consequently, the forging of cooperation and alliances cannot, and should not, be based on emotions, nor on wheeling and dealing. They should be based on a political basis and on common political positions that will be made clear from the very beginning. For sure, no one should expect that cooperating forces will march together with AKEL until the end. Even a positive step forward for the sake of the cause of Cyprus and our society is important. We must channel our efforts towards this end when we begin building any form of cooperation/alliance.
It is therefore possible to build cooperation – alliances at different levels – political, economic, social, ecological, local authorities etc. In addition, in our own case, the political problem of Cyprus, namely the Cyprus problem, is itself a category of cooperation – alliances. Partnerships – Alliances can be built at the leadership level, at grassroots, community level, in society, on a group and strata level, in Parliament and of course all of this together, if it is feasible, or in combination of some these levels. They may even vary in their objectives, the duration and the form and content of the cooperation/alliance made.
Can a Party of our type, within the political structures created by bourgeois democracy participate in the governance of the country and be consistent with his own character? We are not the first called upon to discuss this issue. What is certain is that we cannot discuss this issue disconnected from the given situation that exists in Cyprus. The Cyprus problem was and remains a key component part of the formulation of the political programme of any political force. At the same time it plays an important role in the process of forming alliances and cooperation to assert power. An important element in our analysis for the participation in the administration of the country is the fact that AKEL is a Party of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot working people and the consistent force fighting against nationalism and chauvinism. This is an important factor in determining our Party’s strategy, as well as the fact that we are in terms of electoral strength a strong force, the biggest force of resistance to the right-wing and neo-liberal policies.
Should we participate in the administration of the country but without pre-conditions? Not even for a single moment. The first pre-condition is the broadest possible cooperation with political forces with which we can really converge on political principles and positions rather than on preconceived declarations. The second pre-condition is the inclusion in the programme of radical positions and policies, characteristic of the left. Does this possibly mean that our Party will abandon its ultimate goal? Absolutely not. We must constantly highlight and point out the qualitative difference of our Party from the rest, with our positions for the redistribution of social wealth in favour of workers and the popular strata in general, for radical democratic reforms to enhance and upgrade peoples participation and social control and in general the quality of the democratic functioning of the state and society.
However, we must not have any illusions. As was the case during the five year Christofias governance too, so in future as well, the obstacles we will encounter will be enormous. We are referring to the commitments and the given framework shaped by our accession to the European Union and the Eurozone. It is the inevitable confrontation with powerful economic and political interests of the big local and international capital and with the conservative forces in society in general that will cause reactions which we must combat. It is the need at the same time to ensure a parliamentary majority, to combat the refusal of an entire mechanism, from the state machinery to the mass media, to enable the Left to implement its radical positions.
For AKEL to remain a Party with a strong voice and role in society and political life, which can promote the people’s interests and to fight for them, it is not merely a question of leadership. It is a matter of the whole structure. It is first and foremost a task for each and every Party member.
We are all responsible to the Party whenever we detect phenomena alien to AKEL in the life of the Party. We are even more responsible to it if we tolerate such phenomena, if we cover or assist them. The fact is that in recent years both due to the influence of the wider social environment and because of our own political and organizational weaknesses, we have come up against behaviour incompatible with the status of a party member.
It is inconceivable that a member of AKEL asserts rights but avoids his/her obligations. It is inconceivable that he/she is in conflict with the Party’s collective decisions, especially when it is done not because of a political position, but out of interest. It is inconceivable not because the Party “decides and orders” but because decisions and positions are decided collectively and must collectively be implemented by all. It is inconceivable that a member of AKEL gives in to manipulation for individual motives, that he/she develops relations characterised by clientelism, indulges in personal promotion, to think that nepotism and regionalism will ensure his/her advancement. It is inconceivable that a member of AKEL to think that only the standard fulfilment of organizational work is enough without the active participation of his/her opinion in the political discussion within the party. Even worse, if he/she thinks that the internet is an arena of internal party debate, or can replace the daily political work in the real life.
It is utterly inconceivable that the consciousness of a member of AKEL yields and capitulates to bourgeois propaganda which would like a Left without a class-based political, economic and social perception and outlook; yields and capitulates to xenophobia, racism, conservatism, cosmopolitan or rejectionist maximalist approaches with regards the solution of the Cyprus problem, to interweaving interests.
Are all of these perhaps some “holy mandatory rules”? No. The conscious dedication of a member of AKEL, his/her faith, ethos, honesty and correct ideological and political perception are all characteristics emanating from the conscious commitment to a Party of our type; emanating from the conscious discipline and loyalty to ideals far above and beyond any personal political and social advancement.
Beyond that, each Party member has a particular role to play in party life and in Cypriot society because he/she is the mirror of the Party, the voice of AKEL’S positions and messages. This is the reason why we must not be absent from nowhere: neither from the mass movements, nor from the activities and initiatives of the People’s Movement of the Left, neither from agencies, collective associations and organizations that defend rights and achievements. Even in groups, agencies, associations and organisations that demote organized struggle to a second or third degree, we should be active and express our views and positions. Everywhere where rights, gains and our people’s progress are being threatened and under attack, we need to be active too.
All of these issues will be discussed in the Programming Congress of our Party, so that the day after AKEL will emerge in society even more powerful. The Central Committee has an important role to play, both for the organization of the Conference and for the realization of its objectives. In AKEL the leading bodies were never “decorative” as perhaps is the case elsewhere. In AKEL when talking about leadership, we never talked about relying on the individual. That is why the Central Committee should lead by example through its hard work.
We are used to saying that in the nearly 90 years in the life and struggle of our Party it has withstood and confronted the all-out attacks on it. It will do so again today too. Without a doubt the Party endured and will endure until the final victory. However, it withstood and will withstand the all-out attacks, not for metaphysical reasons, nor because of tradition.
We have held on and will not yield because above all else we have correct political positions and policies – policies for the people and not gospels for the many and policies serving the few. We have endured and will endure because we are all, one of the many among the people but never any none of us tied to his/her chair/post. We have endured and will endure because whether certain forces and circles like it or not, we will continue to hold high the same banners that spawned the worker in the 20’s; the banners watered by generations of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots with their blood, toil and sweat. This is our truth; this is the truth we serve, which is why we withstand and endure.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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