GREECE – AFTER THE ELECTIONS
Syriza’s victory, although not massive, was indeed of historic importance. After 4 years of harsh austerity and humiliations the people finally got rid of PASOK (socialists) and Nea Dimokratia (conservatives), who have been in power since 1974 and have literally looted the country. Syriza’s victory is certainly not the solution to the problem but a necessary step towards the solution.
Greece since 2010 is an occupied country by the IMF, the BCE and the EE through colonial ‘loan facility agreements ‘. These three institutions have been dictating to their local collaborators (PASOK-ND governments) all necessary measures so that they make sure they get back their ‘bail-out’ money. Austerity measures brought about a collapse of the economy, a complete change of the legal country profile and the Greek people at the edge of genocide.
Ever since Greek political parties were divided in two blocks: the pro-troika and the anti-troika. Pro-troika was of course PASOK & ND , as well as lately POTAMI; anti-troika were KKE (the communists), SYRIZA (left) and ANEL (right). SYRIZA was born in 1992 after the secession from KKE on grounds of Maastricht Treaty as a pro-European, left party. Despite its name it’s what one would call ‘’social-democrats’’ and certainly not ‘far left’ or ‘radical left’, as mainstream international media refer to. Syriza was for the Maastricht Treaty, for the euro-zone and only in papers against NATO. It started to gain force after the ‘Squares’ movement’ in 2011 as an alternative to PASOK-ND. Besides Syriza won last elections not because it convinced people of its political positions but essentially because of people discontent against PASOK-ND policies. Another controversial point is that many PASOK- deputies who had voted the first or even the second ‘memorandum’ joined Syriza when they realized that Syriza would be the new winner.
ANEL, on the other hand, were born in 2012 when deputies abandoned Nea Dimokratria denouncing it for treasonous behaviour. ANEL represent the ‘patriotic, traditional right’ and have absolutely nothing to do with ‘far right’ or with the nazi party. They are equally pro-EU, pro- Eurozone and pro-NATO. Given the circumstances the coalition SYRIZA-ANEL is the best option we could have.
As opposition to PASOK-ND governments both Syriza and ANEL never took radical action against the PASOK-ND coup-d’état pretending that solution should come through Parliament, thus legalizing all illegal laws and measures taken by the 2010-2015 Parliament. Syriza won the elections by promising among other things debt repudiation, cancelation of all ‘memoranda’, cancelation of the devastating tax on estate and trial for those who have gained from the country’s bankruptcy. Everybody knew that it was impossible for Syriza in spite of the good will to fulfil those promises because simply all those promises would require full rupture with the very European Union.
The choice of key-ministers of the new government confirmed this lack of will for rupture at once. New finance minister, Mr. Varoufakis, besides from becoming a star overnight, made clear during his public relation European tour that all Greece wants is a different name for the troika and a different name for the ‘memorandum’. No more debt repudiation, no more end of memoranda. He even repeated the same arguments as the previous government by saying that ‘Greece does not want that the people of Europe should pay more for Greece’! Instead of explaining that European tax payers gave money to European banks through Greece and that Greece’s debt is illegal and therefore should not be paid, he made Greek people look like once again as a spoilt child who only asks and never gives back. Besides, rumours have it that Varoufakis is a Soros ‘Trojan Horse’ inside the new Greek government. According to columnist Wayne Madsen: ‘Varoufakis’s background indicates that Greece’s new finance minister is at home and comfortable with the banker elites…Also, Varoufakis’s commitment to work within the IMF and European banking system is obvious from what the Greek finance minister wrote on his website. After calls by American financial writers Paul Krugman and Mark Weisbrot for Greece to follow the example of Argentina and default on its debts and exit the Eurozone altogether, Varoufakis argues that Greece must «grin and bear» the measures imposed on it by the bankers and the German government as a member of the Eurozone. And that means the SYRIZA finance minister surrendered to the whims of the bankers long before SYRIZA’s electoral victory’.
Another controversial person is the new foreign minister, Mr. Kotzias, also former adviser of PASOK governments. Kotzias suggests a bi-zonal, bi-community solution for the Cyprus dispute, thus recognizing the division of the island!! His plan is even worse in terms of Cyprus’ national sovereignty than Kofi Annan plan.
On the contrary, statements about privatizations freeze, riots police, rehire of all laid-off public sector workers, are very well seen and comply with electoral promises. Furthermore, the most pleasant surprise came from Zoe Kostantopoulou, who was elected as new Parliament President. During the inaugurating speech she held yesterday, she sounded to be at the opposite of the ‘spirit of submission’ Tsipras represents. New Parliament President can be considered as a brilliant exception and a hope to the dying political system of Greece.
We’ll be able to come to safe conclusions about new government during this weekend’s programmatic statements, although not much is to expect. Syriza will most probably submit to the EU’s ultimatum because they have neither choice nor any plan B. Even if Greek government decides not to abide with EU, it will be impossible to handle a bank run. On the other hand time is very short to organize a referendum on Grexit.
If Syriza is an interim and a moderate solution for Greece, its people seem to be willing to impose a final solution. Although reluctant for the past four years, the Greek people are now ready to provide full support to the government to say no to EU’s blackmail against all odds. One thing is for sure, the times changed in Greece, and with or without Syriza the Greek people will realize that it’s better off the EU and the Eurozone.
EPAM International Relations