Today’s process consists an important point for the reconstruction of the Youth of SYRIZA, the youth of the radical left that is called today to play a central role in the big fight not only of the party but also of the government itself and the change of correlations in Greece and Europe.
In a fight that is extremely hard to give since we are in a political and social conjuncture brandly new for our political affairs.
For the first time a few months ago we were called to give a hard and unequal fight in order to put an end to the policy of internal devaluation, austerity and authoritarianism.
We were called to implement a radical political plan in opposition to the political and bureaucratic elites of Europe but even in opposition to the domestic oligarchy.
We had to face reactive and neoliberal circles in Greece and Europe, which were ready to do everything to secure that the political experiment of SYRIZA would fail.
We found ourselves in a situation of absolute financial suffocation, we received attacks from every side but we fought for dignity with determination and self-denial.
And we managed for the first time to bring the greek issue and the greek crisis in the political frontline of Europe and the whole world as what it really is:
As an attempt of the leading financial and political circles of Europe to turn the crisis in an opportunity to take the human rights away, to dissolve the labor market, to fulfill a huge operation of redistribution of money and power against working classes and the youth.
During the first seven months of our government, during the tough negotiation we used all of our forces in order to reclaim the right of greek people, the right of people who were brutally hit by the crisis for five years.
From the pause of payments to the IMF, to the referendum, we did what nobody else dared to do not only in Greece but also in whole Europe.
You all know the answer of the lenders: Capital controls in greek banks and a raw blackmail at the night of the 12th of July so that we are forced to accept an adaption program that despite being milder than the previous ones, it is far from reflecting our social and political vision.
There were many that accused us that night of joining the notion that there is no alternative to neoliberalism.
It constitutes conscious misrepresentation and political near-sightedness.
Not only have we not adopted this political and social prospect, but it is us who play a leading part in the great struggle of the European movements and the European left in order to change the odds and reverse the neoliberal course of the E. E.
The government’s stance during the last months has created deep ruptures in the internal of the European societies and the major political powers in Europe.
It is our stance and our view that keep the political and ideological confrontation in Europe alive.
From the European Socialists to the Greens and the European Left, political fronts capable of stopping the frenzied course of neoliberalism come to life.
This development is nothing else than a product of the Greek government’s and Greek people’s tough fight. It is them who started this storm throughout Europe.
We already have a huge political crisis in Portugal which shows us that Europe is gradually being divided into two sides.
On the one side we have the already formed political camp of neoliberalism. On the other side we have the under formation camp of those forces whose object is to change today’s policy of austerity and curtailment.
We deeply understand that this struggle of formatting an opposing figure is not a short fight.
It is not just a single attack at the enemy’s fortress.
It is a long lasting war that requires the creation of political alliances, the emergence and the strengthening of social movements, as well as the formation of social networks and careful strategic planning.
There is also need for persistence, patience and temporary compromises in order to prevent the Left from becoming just a falling star.
Comrades in this fight we do not just desire to fall gallantly. We want to win.
Our goal is not to preserve our clear conscience and hand the European societies over to neoliberalism.
Our goal is to keep our strategic posts and be the cause of new developments, to form alliances in order to achieve tangible improvement in the everyday life of the working class and the young people..
Today this is our plan and my opinion is that it is currently the only viable plan for the European Left.
Especially when developments in the domains of refugee crisis and terrorism create new destabilization risks and require a common front and a common plan to fight the continuous and persistent crises.
To avoid the danger of a new conservative and racist pullback in Europe.
To tackle the root causes which produce refugee flows and nourish terrorism.
To make contributions towards peace and stabilization in the wider Middle East.
We are talking here about challenges of historical dimensions. And today, the Left must answer: Will it form a political plan and alliances, in order to meet the challenges, or will it be isolated, returning to its traditional oppositional position and academic criticism?
We have given our answer to this question and we have formed our political plan. And in this political plan, the Youth of SYRIZA holds a crucial role.
Opposite to the empty theorizing domestic leftism, you have the mission of building a youth organization radical left and also well grounded to the real concerns and expectations of the vast majority of young people.
The Greek Left does today not need another self admiring and self concerned group. It does not need an organization, which will merely reproduce itself in a narcissistic manner. And all of you today know that very well.
Because otherwise you would not be here. Otherwise you would have preferred the safety of escape from the difficulties of political struggle. You would have preferred the safety of your keyboard and inexpensive criticism.
So you know very well what youth organization the Greek Left needs today. And you also know that you will face many difficulties in the process of building it.
Because you have to get away from the certainties and the conveniences of simple oppositional speech.
Because, for the first time, you need to answer difficult questions, as we have to do, as well:
For the role of the party’s organizations in the new conditions of the governmental power.
For your own role in the new conjuncture.
In order to combine the conquest of the governmental power by the Left, even in crisis conditions, with social demands from below.
Difficult questions, indeed.
But questions that need to be answered, if we want to have possibilities of success in the long-term race that began on January 25th.
And for these questions there are political and theoretical deposits that can be useful and show the way.
Probably, the main out of these deposits is the knowledge that the conquest of the governmental power by the Left, does not imply the conquest of the state power, as well.
Because the state has its own autonomous structures and is based on administrative networks that have their own priorities, their own designs and serve their own interests.
The battle with these autonomous power networks in the University, in the media, in the unions, in the Local Government, in justice, is a totally political battle.
Because, there, in the base of society, is where the correlations really change and where the conditions for the major and radical movements and ruptures are formed.
Apart from the great strategic questions, we need to keep firmly in mind that out there, there is a society which suffocates, a youth, of which you are also a part of, which has lost its rights and has dispossessed its perspective.
This perspective and the loss of expectancy for a better life is Left’s greatest enemy.
Because it’s this loss which feeds the monster of fascism and nationalism, which touches off fanaticism and intolerance.
Against this reality, the government, as well as the Party and the Youth, must find answers.
Practical answers, that will directly change the everyday lives of young people.
And we must find those answers with the choking fiscal reality as a given.
This is a hard equation.
But we have already taken the first steps.
In the field of education we have repealed many of the authoritarian measures of the last decade, which canceled the self-regulating function of Universities and freedom in academic life.
We have abolished the Institutions’ Councils and restored the academic asylum, which is, for us, an emblematic conquest of the student movement.
Very soon we will be initiating a wide social discussion, which will involve all of our society’s institutions, regarding a major democratic reform of our educational system.
And in this effort, the Youth of SYRIZA has a key part to play with ideas and suggestions, original as well as radical.
In combating unemployment we have made significant progress in cleaning up the programs and redistributing the funds in a way that benefits the unemployed, by reducing the fees directed to the Centres for Professional Education and other intermediaries to the lowest possible levels.
At the same time, we restructured the regulatory framework, so as to prevent businesses from replacing their staff with subsidized working positions.
We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but rest assured that, with our government, the macabre party of exploiting the unemployed by businessmen and intermediaries is coming to an end.
Regarding the labor market, we have set as a central goal, the fight against undocumented, uninsured labor, while we have also pledged that workers will be paid equally, regardless of their age.
But in the field of investments as well, we have formed the new NSRF in a way that would allow us to support groundbreaking initiatives by young scientists and researchers, so as to put an end to the wave of immigration of the Greek youth to countries abroad.
Soon, we will also submit the new legal framework regarding the social economy, with the intent to strengthen a production model that would be competitive toward the private sector of the economy and would promote relations among the workers and with nature that would challenge the traditional hierarchies of the capitalist economy.
Regarding the human rights, we have already passed a law which gives citizenship to second generation immigrants and in addition to this, the extension of the cohabitation agreement to include same-sex couples, is under public consultation.
It is therefore somewhat more than obvious that we have already started a long road for the radical change of the greek society on all levels and fronts.
We have already done many for which we should be proud.
However we know that societies don’t change only through laws and decrees.
For all these and for even more we need social availability and collective mobilization.
Because in every big reformation that we will attempt, we will either be opposed by the social forces of conservatism and authoritarianism or the representatives of the economic and politic oligarchy.
So, it is you , the youth of SYRIZA , who must be at the front of the organization of the movements and struggles versus the social forces who want to maintain the existing status.
You should lead a great social, political and ideological struggle to defend the principals and values of the Left Ideology, the principals and values of the working class.
The solidarity, democracy, self organization, equality.
You must assist so that the creativity of the new workers and scientists can be used for social emancipation and not for profit.
Because in every field at work, school, University, neighborhood family appear controversial ideologies.
And knowledge, skills and creativity of each one of us is always at the service of an ideology.
And the Left, we all, we are obliged politically, to give space and create the conditions so the practices that promote our strategic plan, the plan for social emancipation, gain ground.
To win every day and every moment at the never-ending social battle, at the daily social-class competition.
On every front therefore of the social-class competition we must organize our forces.
To strengthen the grassroots trade unions and to struggle alongside the workers against the impunity of employers.
To participate in collective processes of student unions towards the complete reconstruction and radical reorientation of the student movement.
To support the self-administration regimens of the Left and organize social economy initiatives.
To support social movements in defense of the environment, to deepen democracy, to defend individual rights and freedoms
To defend minorities, fight against patriarchy, sexism and homophobia.
Give a hard and determined struggle against the fascist threat and nationalism.
So, like us in the party, you have a lot to do.
And in your fight I want to assure you personally that you will have the full and unconditional support of the party.
We will help by all means and in every way.
Because the success of this government and also the future of the party itself depends on your success.
I know that you are in a stranglehold.
I know that you have an immediate need for clear victories.
I do not promise you that the fight will be easy.
I do not say that the period of difficulties and political blackmails is over.
What I can promise you, though, is that both the government and the party will do everything in our power so that the spring days of Greek people will not be few and premature but to be constant.
To lead sooner or later to a sweet summer of progressive reforms for the deepening of democracy and social rights in our country.
To lead in the summer of popular sovereignty recovery but also social and employment protection.
We will do whatever we can to stand up to the expectations of the greek people, the working and the young people, but also to your expectations for a great radical change in our country.
And I can assure that despite the necessary political compromises, despite the necessary retreat in front of much bigger forces, our strategic goal not only doesn’t changes, but becomes stronger.
We do not remain in power just for the management of the crisis.
We remain in power in order to fight to bring our strategic goal, the social transformation, closer.
And we know well that this goal, nowadays, cannot happen only in one country alone.
Broader alliances and change of the balance of power are needed.
I was in Turkey the day before yesterday.
I met, among others, the leadership of HDP, the party of the Turkish left.
And you know, it is different to speak to people who fight, not with the danger of being accused of not being radical enough, but with the risk of their own lives.
They told me, that to them SYRIZA is a source of inspiration.
Do not have second thoughts because of your choice to reach a compromise with Europe.
Historic leaps need historic compromises in order to be stable.
Otherwise they are leaps in the dark.
We draw our inspiration from the struggles of people for democracy and freedom.
Our vision is democratic socialism, the socialism of the 21st century in Greece and Europe.
It is our vision and strategic goal that defines our actions today and our steps and decisions tomorrow.
And from that goal we will never resign!