Report on the Third Euro-Mediterranean Conference, Athens, Greece, 18-20 July 2015
Editorial Board, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 24 July 2015, www.thecommunists.net
On 18-20 July, the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Conference took place in Greece’s capital, Athens. This conference was organized by the Balkan Socialist Center, “Christian Rakovsky,” and the RedMed network. RedMed is a web site run by three political organizations affiliated to the Coordination for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI): the Ergatiko Epanastatiko Komma (EEK-Workers Revolutionary Party) of Greece, the Devrimci İşçi Partisi (DIP-Revolutionary Workers’ Party) of Turkey, and the Partito Comunista dei Lavoratori (PCL) of Italy. The biggest section of the CRFI is the Partido Obrero in Argentina.
The conference could hardly have taken place at a better time and location. Two weeks after the historic vote on 5 July for OXI on the referendum of the EU-Troika ultimatum, the conference was breathing the air of a pre-revolutionary situation in Greece. This was reflected in various enthusiastic speeches.
The event was attended by about 100 persons. In addition to the organizing parties, there were also delegations and representatives from socialist organizations in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Russia, Ukraine (via Skype), Finland, Denmark, and Poland. In addition, left-wing intellectuals like Hillel Ticktin (editor of the Marxist Journal Critique), Latief Parker (A South Africamember of the Editorial Board of Critique), and Alex Steiner from the US (editor of the blog permanentrevolution.org) addressed the meeting. There were also representatives from the PSTU, the main section of the Morenoite LIT-FI.
In addition, the conference was addressed by guest speakers from the NAR and OKDE Spartakos which are both part of the Greek left-wing coalition Antarsya.
The RCIT was represented by its International Secretary, Michael Pröbsting, who spoke several times at the conference.
The conference listened to numerous interesting reports about the condition of class struggle in the respective countries. Of particular interest were the speeches from Savas Michael Matsas (EEK) on the situation in Greece after the OXI-Referendum and of Sungur Savran (DIP) about the perspectives of the class struggle in the Middle East.
Naturally the numerous contributions reflected different points of view. For example the contributions from Russian and Ukrainian speakers often expressed softness in their opposition to Russian imperialism, a failure which is related to the devastating tradition of Stalinism in those countries. Likewise, we noted important political differences with the comrades from the RedMed Network. While the RCIT characterizes Russia and China as imperialist powers, these comrades do not. Furthermore, while the RCIT continues to support the Syrian Revolution despite its petty-bourgeois Islamist leadership, the RedMed comrades have stopped their support and take now a defeatist position.
However, irrespective of these differences, we saw the conference as an important and useful event which brought together socialists from various countries in order to discuss perspectives and program for the coming class struggle. Such a place for constructive and serious discussions is very much needed in periods like the present one containing as it does so much potential for revolutionary developments together with the dangers of counter-revolution.
See photos of the conference and listen to a speech of Michael Pröbsting here