Above Photo: Protest against docked of US warship in Piraeus, Greece, February 4, 2023. via 902.gr.
Communists have been at the forefront of the anti-imperialist struggle against the Greece’s involvement in NATO-led maneuvers.
On Saturday, February 4, communists and other anti-imperialist groups in Greece protested the docking of nuclear-powered American aircraft supercarrier USS George HW Bush (CVN-77) at the port of Piraeus in Athens. Activists from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) marched to Alexandra’s Square in Pasalimani, near the port, protesting the docking of the warship. The protesters demanded that NATO “get out from Greek bases” and called on the conservative New Democracy (ND)-led Greek government to abstain from participating in imperialist interventions led by NATO. Member of European Parliament (MEP) from the KKE Kostas Papadakis, KKE General Secretary Nikos Abatielos, and president of the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace (EEDYE) Stavros Tassos were among those who participated in the protest march.
Greece has become an important ally in NATO’s military maneuvers in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. In May 2022, the government revised and extended its bilateral defense cooperation agreement with the US, which gives the US continued access to military bases in Greece. The move led to widespread protests from anti-imperialist sections in the country. As part of the agreement, the US military will get continued and increased access to five Greek ports—Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis, Volos, and Kavala—until the end of 2028.
The Greek working class has in the past protested the docking of several NATO frigates in these ports. They have also protested against the transfer of arms and ammunition to Ukraine through Greece, and denounced the government’s complicity in aggravating the ongoing NATO-Russia war in Ukraine.
According to a report by 902.gr, nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush has been in the Mediterranean since September last year, and arrived at the port of Piraeus on Friday, February 3. The ship also visited the Greek port of Souda last October.
While addressing the protest rally on Saturday, KNE leader Nikos Abatielos said: “Nobody can act as if nothing is happening, when in the port of Piraeus, in the Aegean as a whole, there are NATO ships that are making a stop and preparing to implement their murderous plans. We are here to declare that imperialists are unwelcome in Piraeus.”
Abatielos added that “NATO does not recognize national borders, it treats the Aegean as a field for the deployment of its forces… What is more, NATO and its supporters speak of ‘NATO territory,’ which is an encroachment on sovereignty, commandeered by the staff of this murderous alliance.”