Communist Party of Greece

Published 23rd April, 2012

The Communist Party of Greece or KKE is descended from the Socialist Workers’ Party of Greece (SEKE) founded in November 1918 which changed its name in 1924. It describes itself as far left and believes in Communism and Marxism-Leninism.

The party played at times a prominent role in inter-war politics and was a leading force in organising resistance to German occupation. This led to its military wing attempting to seize power in 1944 and then on to the civil war of 1947-1949. The party was banned in 1947.

Ideological splits within the party in the nineteen-sixties led to the rise of KKE Interior which favoured the reformist direction of Euro-Communism. The KKE itself was legalised again in 1974. After a period of co-operation with other left-wing parties the KKE reverted to fighting elections on its own with a high point when it won 13 seats and 12.9% of the vote in the 1981 General Election. It suffered from internal disputes and then participated in the Coalition of the Left and Progress or SYRIZA.

They remained in this group for the 1990 elections but withdrew in 1991 but divisions continued and in 1993 they won nine seats, in 1996 11 seats, in 2000 11 seats and in 2004 12 seats, averaging between 5 -6 % at each election. In the 2007 elections their vote rose to 8.15%, giving them 22 seats, and, under the continuing leadership of Aleka Papariga, they won 21 seats (7.54%) in 2009.

The Communist Party of Greece is a member of the International Meeting of Communist & Workers’ Parties and the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL).

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