Sofia Sakorafa with the Ambassador of Palestine, Marwan Toubassi. Photograph by Pressenza
The first party congress of Mera25 (DiEM25’s Greek Electoral Wing) took place over three days: 4-6 June. The party already has a presence in the Greek parliament following the results of the 2019 general election, having received 3.44% of the votes, and is represented by nine MPs.
The political secretariat of MeRA25 chose to host its first – live – contact with its delegates in Drapetsona. The stage and the welcome kiosks were set up in Lipasmata, an area which has been renovated over the past year and handed over to the citizens; a nice, open park, with a sea view of Piraeus and aromas from Psyttalia. A place of historic importance and a lively struggle up to this day between the mayor, Christos Vrettakos, and Oil One (a D. Melissanidis entity) with the mayor very recently being vindicated.
Organizing a live conference during a pandemic was a difficult project. Masks, antiseptics and social distancing were some of the basic measures taken. In spite of all that, the goal was achieved. People got to know each other, to talk to the MPs and warmly welcomed other groups who had been invited. On the first day, Georgia, the wife of Manolis Glezos; the Ambassador of Palestine, Marwan Toubassi, and representatives of Greek political parliamentary parties. The international and European activities of the General Secretary, Yanis Varoufakis, in DIEM25 and Progressive International, were the reason why there was a series of video greetings from very important personalities: Rafael Correa, Jeremy Corbyn, John Galbraith, Ken Loach, Roger Waters, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomski, Slavoj Zizek and others.
We present the greetings sent by Ken Loach, member of the Coordinating Committee of méta, on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the congress (with Greek subtitles):
On the second day, the delegates took the floor and voting started, finishing at midday on Sunday. Pre-congress debates had started at the end of January and enhancing the basic texts culminated in the final position statements to the congress, as approved by the Central Committee on 16 May. 34 amendments/additions were made to the 22 position statements which with amalgamations resulted in 25 existing before the congress and 9 being put to the vote. Y. Varoufakis, General Secretary of MeRA25 soon made suggestions for 2 more resolutions. The first concerned the demand for the recognition of the State of Palestine and the imposition of sanctions on the State of Israel. The second concerned an invitation to the world community to break with the ‘oligarchy without borders’.
The third day was the time for other associations. People who took the stage were from the field of environmental conservation; the LGBTQI community; workers’ rights; culture and anti-fascist activities.
The General Secretary of MeRA25 closed the congress, pointing out that the party is growing and requesting the maximum possible focus on outreach until the next meeting of the delegates, next November.
Then came the time for the artists. Dimitris Zervoudakis and Spyros Grammenos were accompanied by very good musicians and gave to the people their first concert for 18 months. Dimitris Zervoudakis was thankful for ‘the dignified wage’, while stating that in the middle of the pandemic at the association of artists of northern Greece they had started giving out food, something that had not happened since the Occupation. Spyros Grammenos wowed the audience by singing Το όνομά μου είναι το δικό σου (My name is your name) and after that, to the sound of the Epirus clarinet, the dancing began.
Photos from the congress by Pressenza Athens.
Translation by Jeannette A. Arduino, from the voluntary Pressenza translation team. We are looking for volunteers!