The 13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties was held in Athens on 9-11 December 2011 with the theme: Socialism is the Future!

The international situation and the experience of the Communists 20 years after the counterrevolution in the USSR. The tasks for the development of the class struggle in conditions of capitalist crisis, imperialist wars, of the current popular struggles and uprisings, for working class-popular rights, the strengthening of proletarian internationalism and the anti-imperialist front, for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of socialism”

The meeting was attended by representatives from 78 Parties from 59 countries. A number of parties that did not manage to take part for reasons beyond their control sent written messages.

We salute from Athens the growing popular struggles releasing huge emancipatory potential against imperialism, against capitalist exploitation and oppression, and for the social, labour and social security rights of  workers’ all over the world.

The meeting was held in critical conditions in which the deep and prolonged capitalist crisis continues to prevail in the international situation, accompanied by the escalation of the aggressiveness of imperialism which is expressed in the decisions of the Lisbon Summit for the new NATO strategy.

This reality confirms the analyses outlined in the statements of the 10th, 11th, 12th, International Meetings that took place in Brazil (Sao Paolo) in 2008, India (New Delhi) in 2009 and South Africa (Tshwane) in 2010.

It becomes increasingly obvious for millions of working people that the crisis is a crisis of the system. It is not faults within the system but the system itself that is faulty, generating regular and periodic crises. It results from the sharpening of the main contradiction of capitalism between the social character of production and the private capitalist appropriation and not from any version of the management policy of the system or from any aberration based on the greed of some bankers or other capitalists or from the lack of effective regulatory mechanisms. It highlights the historical boundaries of capitalism and the need to strengthen the struggles for anti-monopoly anti-capitalist ruptures, the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism.

In the USA, Japan, the EU, and in other capitalist economies the impasses of the various versions of the bourgeois management are being demonstrated. On the one hand the restrictive political line leads to a prolonged and deep recession; on the other, the expansionist political management, with large state support packages to the monopoly groups, finance capital, and the banks, intensifies inflation and leads to the swelling of the public debt. Capitalism converts corporate insolvencies into sovereign insolvencies.

Capitalism has no other response to the crisis beyond the mass destruction of productive forces, resources, mass dismissals, factory closures, and the comprehensive attack on workers and trade union rights, on wages, pensions, social security, the reduction in people’s income, the huge increase in unemployment and poverty.

The anti-people offensive is strengthening which is manifested with particular intensity in certain regions. The concentration and centralization of monopoly capital is intensifying the reactionary character of economic and political power. Capitalist restructuring and privatisations are being promoted, aiming at competitiveness and maximisation of profit of capital, at ensuring a cheaper labour force and the regression of decades in terms of social and labour rights.

The intensity of the crisis, its global synchronisation, the prospect of the slow,  weak recovery intensify the difficulties of the bourgeois forces in managing the crisis, leading to the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions and rivalries while the danger of imperialist wars is being strengthened.

The attacks on democratic rights and sovereignty are intensifying in many countries. Political systems become more reactionary. Anti-communism is being reinforced. There are generalised measures against the activity of the Communist and workers’ parties, against the trade union, political and democratic freedoms.

The ruling classes develop a multi faceted attempt to trap the people’s discontent through changes in the political systems, through the utilisation of a series of pro-imperialist NGOs and other organizations, through attempts to channel the people’s discontent into movements with allegedly non-political or even with reactionary characteristics.

We salute the people’s and workers extensive struggles and uprisings, for democratic, social and political rights against the anti-people regimes in the Middle East and North Africa, namely in Tunisia and Egypt.  Despite the contradictions which the current situation manifests, it constitutes a significant experience that the Communist movement should study and utilise. Simultaneously we strongly condemn the imperialist war of NATO and the EU against the Libyan people and the threats and interference in the internal affairs of Syria and Iran.

We consider that every foreign intervention against Iran under whatever pretext attacks the interests of the Iranian workers and their struggles for democratic freedoms and social rights.

These developments confirm the necessity of strengthening the Communist and Workers’ Parties in order to play their historical role, to further strengthen the workers and people’s struggle in defence of their rights and aspirations, to utilise the contradictions of the system and the inter-imperialist contradictions for an overthrow at the level of power and economy, for the satisfaction of people’s needs.

Without the leading role of the Communist and workers parties and the vanguard class, the working class, the peoples will be vulnerable to confusion, assimilation and manipulation by the political forces that represent the monopolies, finance capital and imperialism.

Significant realignments in the international correlation of forces are under way. There is the on-going relative weakening of the position of the USA, the general productive stagnation in the most advanced capitalist economies and the emergence of new global economic powers, notably  China. The tendency for the increase of contradictions is strengthening, between the imperialist centres, and of these with the so-called emerging economies.

Imperialist aggressiveness intensifies. There are already several regional points of tension and wars and they are multiplying: in Asia and Africa, in the Middle East with the increasing aggressiveness of Israel particularly against the Palestinian people. At the same time we note the rising of neo Nazi and xenophobic forces in Europe, the multifaceted interventions, threats and the offensive against the people’s movements and the progressive political forces in Latin America. Militarization is being reinforced. The risk for a general conflagration at a regional level becomes even greater. In this sense the expansion and strengthening of the anti-imperialist social and political front and the struggles for peace in the direction of eradicating the causes of imperialist wars are fundamental.

There are two paths of development:
-  the capitalist path, the path of the exploitation of the peoples which creates great dangers for imperialist wars, for workers’, people’s democratic rights and
– the path of liberation with immense possibilities for the promotion of the interests of the workers and the peoples, for the achievement  of social justice, people’s sovereignty, peace and progress. The path of the workers’ and people’s struggles, the path of socialism and communism, which is historically necessary.

Thanks to the decisive contribution of the Communists and the class oriented trade-union movement the workers’ struggles in Europe and all over the world were further strengthened. Imperialist aggressiveness continues to meet resolute popular resistance in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This fact, along with experience accumulated so far especially in Latin America, the struggles and the processes that take place demonstrate the possibilities of resistance, of class struggle, in order for the peoples to make steps forward, to gain ground inflicting blows to imperialism when they have as their goal the overthrow of imperialist barbarity.

We salute the workers’ and people’s struggles and note the need to further strengthen them. The conditions demand the intensification of the class struggle, of the ideological, political, mass struggle in order to impede the anti-people measures and promote goals of struggle that meet the contemporary people’s needs; demand an organized workers’ counterattack for anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist ruptures, for the overthrow of capitalism putting an end to the exploitation of man by man.

Today the conditions are ripe for the construction of wide social anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist alliances, capable of defeating the multifaceted imperialist offensive and aggression and of fighting for power and promoting deep, radical, revolutionary changes.

Working class unity, the organisation and the class orientation of the labour movement are fundamental factors in ensuring the construction of effective social alliances with the peasantry, the urban middle class strata, the women’s movement and youth movement.

In this struggle the role of the Communist and workers’ parties at national, regional and international level and the strengthening of their cooperation are indispensable.  The joint coordinated activity of the Communist and workers’ Parties, of the Communist youth organizations and the anti-imperialist organizations in which the Communists have an important contribution constitutes one of the most reliable elements for the expansion of the anti-imperialist struggle and the strengthening of the anti-imperialist front.

The ideological struggle of the Communist movement is of vital importance in order to defend and develop scientific socialism, to repulse contemporary anti-communism, to confront bourgeois ideology, anti-scientific theories and opportunist currents which reject the class struggle; combat the role of social democratic forces that defend and implement anti-people and pro-imperialist policies by supporting the strategy of capital and imperialism. The understanding of the unified character of the duties of the struggle for social, national and class emancipation, for the distinct promotion of the socialist alternative requires the ideological counteroffensive of the Communist movement

The overthrow of capitalism and the construction of socialism constitute an imperative need for the peoples. In view of the capitalist crisis and its consequences the international experiences and practice of the socialist construction prove the superiority of socialism. We underline our solidarity with the peoples who struggle for socialism and are involved in the construction of socialism.

Only socialism can create the conditions for the eradication of wars, unemployment, hunger, misery, illiteracy, the uncertainty of hundreds of millions of people, the destruction of the environment. Only socialism creates the conditions for development according to the contemporary needs of the workers.

Working people, farmers, urban and rural workers, women, young people, we call on you to struggle together to put an end to this capitalist barbarity. There is hope, there is a prospect. The future belongs to socialism.

Socialism is the future!

Athens, Greece

December 11, 2011