Greece: Social-Patriotic KKE Calls for the Defence of “Our Country’s Sovereign Rights”

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 30 September 2022,


The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is a long-standing Stalinist party which constantly receives between 5-8% of the votes at elections. It is also a key force in the international Stalinist milieu since it has been the initiator of the so-called International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties – a loose alliance which holds annual conferences since 1998 and which collaborates on a federalist and loose basis.

The KKE combines reformist policy with left-Stalinist positions on some theoretical and political issues. For example, as we pointed out recently, the KKE – in contrast to many other Stalinists - considers China and Russia as imperialist states. [1] Let us note in passing that, at the same time, this party has also taken extremely counterrevolutionary position on other issues – like its support for the Assad dictatorship which has drown the Syrian Revolution in blood since 2011. [2]

However, we also emphasized that while the KKE takes a left-Stalinist stance on some issues of world politics, it also has always adhered to arch-reactionary positions on some issues of domestic policy. One of the party’s most outrageous positions is their unashamed defense of Greek chauvinism, as we demonstrated somewhere else. [3] They show such “patriotism” not only against the imperialist EU but also against neighboring countries which are semi-colonies like Greece itself. [4] This concerns particularly Türkiye and even Macedonia – a small country which has historically suffered from brutal national oppression by the Greek state. [5]

On several occasions in the last years, the KKE officially announced that it supports “the struggle for the defense of the borders and for the sovereign rights of Greece”. At a public rally, its General Secretary, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, literally said: “We communists will, as we have always done in our century-long history, stand in the front row defending our territorial integrity and our sovereign rights. We are doing this so that any foreign intruder who dares to attack Greece will be annihilated.[6]

In an actual press release, the KKE demonstrates that it has not changed an inch. As it always does in times of tensions with Türkiye – Greece’s long-time arch-enemy – the party calls people to rally around the banner. In response to a recent speech of Turkish President Erdoğan at the UN General Assembly, the KKE denounces his “provocative statements” and “aggressive rhetoric”. Most importantly, it warns against Türkiye’s “actions against our country’s sovereign rights.[7]

This is nothing but a repetition of the KKE’s appeal to anti-Turkish chauvinism. It goes hand in hand with its bourgeois social-patriotic policy of closing ranks with the ruling class in times of tensions with neighboring Türkiye.

Such a policy of social-chauvinism is not only a reactionary violation of the principles of Marxist internationalism. It is particularly absurd in the case of the tensions between Greece and Türkiye. The current conflict (like many others between the two countries in the past) is centered around Greece’s “sovereign rights” on numerous small (and often unpopulated) islands which are directly off the coast of Türkiye.

Greece’s possession of this islands rests on the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. This treaty was forced upon Turkey by the imperialist Great Powers which at that time supported Greece and tried to keep the young republic in check. Hence, the treaty has been extremely unfair to Turkey as it gave almost all the islands of the Aegean Sea – the northeast extension of the Eastern Mediterranean – to Greece. Many of these islands, however, lie very close to Turkey’s shore. As a result, these islands serve to extend Greece’s maritime boundaries right up to and around the Turkish coast, leaving Ankara with little access to its surrounding waters.

Hence, the KKE’s call to defend “our country’s sovereign rights” is not only an unprincipled and treacherous capitulation to Greek chauvinism. It is also a shameful defense of an unfair treaty against Türkiye which was imposed by the imperialist Great Powers. [8]

The RCIT, like all authentic communists in Greece as well as internationally, rejects the Stalinist-chauvinist policy of the KKE. Revolutionaries can not defend capitalist Greece against Türkiye, not to speak about oppressed countries like Macedonia. Neither can they defend Greece’s possession of almost all the islands of the Aegean Sea. In a military conflict between Greece and Türkiye, all other factors being equal, Marxists take a defeatist position against both capitalist camps.

[1] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: A Progressive Step Towards Anti-Imperialism. Some Stalinist parties refuse to support Russian or EU imperialism in the current NATO-Russia conflict, 17 February 2022,; see also a pamphlet by the same author: Putin’s Poodles (Apologies to All Dogs). The pro-Russian Stalinist parties and their arguments in the current NATO-Russia Conflict, 9 February 2022,

[2] See on this e.g. the pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: Syria and Great Power Rivalry: The Failure of the „Left“. The bleeding Syrian Revolution and the recent Escalation of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the US and Russia – A Marxist Critique of Social Democracy, Stalinism and Centrism, 21 April 2018,; On the reactionary position of other Stalinist parties see e.g. by the same author: Stalinism: Assad’s Best Friends Forever. A commentary on a joint international initiative of Stalinist parties, 3 July 2019,

[3] See e.g. an essay by Michael Pröbsting: Stalinist Chauvinism: The Example of the Greek KKE: Is “Defending the Sovereign Rights of Greece” against Turkey and Macedonia Legitimate? Marxist Internationalism versus Bourgeois Social-Chauvinism, 12 November 2018,; see also chapter II.3 (“Excurse: Greek Chauvinism and the Macedonian Question“ as well as chapter V.3 “The Struggle against Greek Chauvinism: The Macedonian Question“ in Michael Pröbsting: Greece: A Modern Semi-Colony,

[4] For our analysis of Greek capitalism see the book by Michael Pröbsting: Greece: A Modern Semi-Colony. The Contradictory Development of Greek Capitalism, Its Failed Attempts to Become a Minor Imperialist Power, and Its Present Situation as an Advanced Semi-Colonial Country with Some Specific Features, November 2015,

[5] For our analysis of Turkish capitalism see the essay by Michael Pröbsting: Is Türkiye a (Sub-)Imperialist Power? The economic, political and military features of the Turkish state, its class character and the programmatic consequences for socialists. A contribution to an ongoing debate amongst Marxists, 25 September 2022,

[6] See the above-mentioned essay for more quotes and sources.

[8] See on this e.g. RCIT: Turkey and the Growing Tensions in Eastern Mediterranean. Theses on the complex contradictions between imperialist and regional powers, the Arab Revolution and the consequential tactics of Marxists, 28 August 2020,