-Samaras-PM and Rapanos (non-registered Economics MInister) are allegedly ill.
-Much talk is made regarding the fact that Greece joined the Euro mistakenly by other countries (and it took em a decade to find out!)
-The PM will be housebound and wont be allowed to leave his home for at least another week!
-ND has placed many of the old guard of its personnel in govt.
-Almost all the rich those with over E100k in bank accounts shipped it abroad so they voted for the Drachma in practice.
-PASOK is in open warfare within its ranks with Loverdos-Hrisohoidis in one wing and Venizelos in another, aiming to change name and also has no big names in the present govt, which was the main point of conflict between the wings.
-The Troika cant see anyone so they aint coming and due to the pre-electoral and electoral period of the last three months there has been no movement in Greece.
-Schoeble (German Economics Minister) stated that the US should like after its own house first and dont focus too much on the Eurozone and Tony Blair shouldn't ask for Germany to bailout S Europe with Eurobonds when the UK hasn't joined the Euro. If they joined we could do that. The Greeks haven't completed any of the promises they have made with the bailouts.
It appears ND will be burnt like PASOK over the next two months in order to then before or after a return to the Drachma, they hand the sunken ship over to Syriza
The crisis of the Eurozone isn't a crisis of monetary union per se, but a fundamental crisis of capitalism.
Monday, 25 June 2012
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
One of the main arguments used by the KKE against joining an electoral slate of the Left was that Syriza was social-democratic and pro-EU. That in and of itself was an issue but not strong enough to be used against joining an electoral slate by maintaining a separate organisational form.
The KKE sold the line that Syriza was creating a new PASOK, in other words that we have another 4 decades of tweedle dum tweedle dee politics. ND would alternate with Syriza and the KKE would be squeezed into third place. They emphasised the various PASOK figures who joined Syriza (ex-MP’s, union bureaucrats etc.) and the cover support given by the Greek CBI. All well and good so far. One in theory can’t argue with that, the facts speak for themselves.
But then again, the KKE had NO PROBLEM governing with ND alone in 1990. Then they were allegedly cleaning up the Augean stables of capitalism and the corruption of PASOK. Then we had Mitsotakis in charge of ND. Clearly a man whose history and close connections with the Bush family a figure who must be ‘better’ (or worse?) than Tsipras and with whom the KKE had no problem in governing.
If they Left had united it wouldn’t have increased its vote by 20% to 2.3 million but nearer 60% as it was going for government and could have set a minimum target of getting rid of the Troika. They would have had the support of both IG and even GD. Those that didn’t vote for the anti-Bailout proposals in Parliament would be exposed for all to see. People would have trusted them for this proposal alone.
That is why no one won outright. People don’t believe in politicians to do what they say. A big hue and cry was made over the slap to the KKE’s MP Kanelli. MP’s think themselves above normal people. Daily people are being slapped by tax demands, by bosses who don’t pay wages, by a collapsing social system. Thousands have committed suicide. This is what people are concerned about, not tv shows and fake debates.
The KKE holds the primary responsibility for this disastrous outcome as they have both the organised forces on the ground and the largest active following. Now as the results show they have been trounced. If they break apart and splinter that will be good for the whole Left. Its time they joined the dustbin of history so we can move forward.
Let no one be fooled. Whatever the make up of the new government, whether a faction of the Left joins or not, as long as they continue the same disastrous economic policies, the situation will get worse not better. If millions of Greeks demonstrated peacefully last year ending the duopoly of PASOK-ND as electoral forces which dominated with 80-85% of the electorate for 4 decades, this ain’t coming back. Next time round, the reaction won’t be peaceful. An argentinian style exit is getting closer not further away.
Monday, 18 June 2012
The Left in Total received 1.9m votes in May which has now increased to 2.3m ie by 20%
ND-Made illegal immigration its main point in the last week alongside the costing of economic measures.
From 2.25m votes ND-PASOK in May increased their total vote by 10% to 2.5m votes
Syriza in the final week stated the following, in Proto Thema which the media replayed and replayed
ants would get unemployment benefits
-would get to bring their families to Greece
Under the circumstances if they wanted to win they would have just kept quiet.
Syriza-Stratoulis on the tv panels yesterday showed how happy he was that they would become the official opposition. Its as if a weight had been taken off their back.
The KKE whose slogan was a Strong KKE lost half its electoral base, it is now where Syriza was in 2004 and 2009. Its now the last party in Parliament with 12 MP's
The KKE lost severely in the working class districts of Piraeus and central Athens, hovering around 3%.
Abstention became a historic high with 37.5% of the vote in certain areas it reached 60% like Florina
The farming areas in Crete switched from PASOK to Syriza.
PASOK lost 1% but around 100,000 votes.
GD marginally lost 15k but maintained its electoral base in contrast to what the KKE argued that people should 'correct their voting behaviour'
IG lost many votes that probably went to ND after its anti-immigrant turn.
LAOS was wiped out and this will be the future of Democratic Left
ND will be burnt if they run the new govt as it will be a continuation of the bankster Papadimos govt as the Democratic Left have zero forces within Greek society if they join the IMF roadshow
Friday, 15 June 2012
Known as the United Social Front the platform was at the bottom quarter of the square overlooking the two 4x hotels that have shut down in the last two years. It was organised in such a manner to show large crowds. Only a few years ago the whole square could be filled up and the platform would be in the middle of it.
Now no party and in particular one that hovered around 4% can fill squares. People have lost faith in organised politics as it is organised as it has become fashionable to say one thing prior to elections and do the exact opposite when in power. There must have been around 25k. For a party which received 1.1 million votes and is poised to receive more, there are no electoral offices that have been rented and there is no actual organised increase in membership, proportionate to the rise in electoral support.
First up was Sofia Sakorafa who read her speech in a calm but wooden manner representing those essentially that have left PASOK, who have grown in the last period, ranging from union bureaucrats to alleged close collaborators of PASOK (images have appeared in the press that Dourou who had water thrown at her by GD in a tv panel talk show, was a close collaborator of the imprisoned ex-Defence Minister of the Siemens scandal Akis Tzohatsopoulos.
In the crowds one could discern all the different groups that make up Syriza, KOE, Xekinima, Marxistiki Foni (last two were in PASOK for over twenty years-Grantites) DEA (ex-SWP who voted for PASOK for as long as they were independent). They have all found a home in the most Europhile party of the Left assuming a new era is dawning where we can have reformist parties in an era when reformism is dead.
But they are there only because Tsipras appeared on the stage and gave an unscripted speech which essentially was focused on the message of unity and that this is the time for the Left. Enough damage has been done enough destruction and that if the current economic policy continues the Eurozone will break apart. The era of corruption is over and we need to get Greece back to work. Terrorise the terrorists he stated. Compared to all else Tsipras can hold his own but the content is lacking.
Only one in five Greeks who are officially unemployed get any benefit whatsoever of 361 euros per month and the tax bills issued this month to all have essentially dropped wages and pensions by another one or two monthly amounts. Most wages are now around E1k (less than UK's minimum wage) in the public sector and the economics of depression don’t seem to change as capitalism is collapsing and no amount of manoeuvring within the present socio-economic system will change that. Things are about to get a lot worse.
If Syriza assumes power the Europhiles will pre-dominate and try to do everything in their power to defend the Eurozone and go against its left wing and its own electoral base. To what extent they will be successfull will depend on a variety of factors. One is that they are united prior to assuming power. Once in power the internal faction divisions will come to the fore. That is why Syriza doesn’t want to win outright and wants to govern with others. The rotteness of the far 'left' grouplets is about to be magnified for all to see.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Tsipras arrives at the top table with the 'big boys'...
The electoral shockwave whereby a party, which in previous parliaments had not the slightest possibility of even entering, alongside a splinter from it, achieved a 500% electoral increase on a programme which basically proposed the abolition of the Accord-Bailout with the Troika. We had essentially a massive drop in the electoral base of the two main parties in power for the last 4 decades whereby their combined vote fell from around 80-85% to just 30%.
Unable to comprehend the size of their victory and in the absence of a mass movement on the streets, they have tried to prepare for the formal and technical requirements of power in an extremely short period of time. They have marginalised their own ‘left’ (Lafazanis) and loudly promoted the position that they want to remain in the Euro, the Eurozone and the EU through all outlets, the press, television, radio etc. The oligarchic elites that run Greece have realised that the PASOK-ND roadshow no longer holds any mass credibility. A regime in which its elected representatives can no longer walk the streets, cannot hold public meetings, have difficulty eating in public, have to appear with riot police constantly teargassing citizens, can continue no longer. The constant suicides and the associated political notes left behind these deeply symbolic tragedies, undermine the fabric of a society already in disarray. It is all too apparent that the difference between committing suicide and taking up arms against politicians is now so slim that the system requires a change of personnel. But this shift is really an adaptation to a popular desire for radical change by broad layers of people impoverished by the constant application of depression economics set in motion by the Troika. Those are the reasons the shift occurred to Syriza, not because of its programme, which essentially didn’t exist and is only now in the process of formation, and because both PASOK-ND announced 150,000 sackings in the public sector i.e. around 20% of the total workforce, alongside mass privatisations of anything and everything left in the government sector.
The two events which showed that the previous government of the unelected banker-nominee Papadimos could no longer continue was the February 2012 General Strike, the biggest since the fall of the junta 38 years ago in which more than 1.5 million took to the streets of Athens and the state, with its agent provocateurs, burnt down Athens in order to blame the protestors. They were unable to sell this lie and 4.5 million Greeks refused to pay the new property tax via their electricity bills despite being threatened to have their power cut off.
Greek nation has to go through the motions - critical vote for Syriza.
The divisive and sectarian position of the KKE in refusing for over two years to have joint demos with everyone else and for over a year refusing to even stay in Sindagma Square which was captured and presided over by the movement of Indignants, who, in May-June 2011, in their millions, for over two months, hit the main squares of Greece, led to the KKE not having any growth in its electoral base. It, like its politics, remained in a stagnant swamp. Its pretence of being against the EU and the Eurozone are just for show. In all its public pronouncements it has never once called for a return to the Drachma which it calls a ‘sideshow’. It now places the maximum demand of ‘Revolution’ as a counterweight to Syriza, when in practice it became famous in the fall of 2011 for sending all its members to defend Parliament during a General Strike, in case people tried to storm it. It fought pitched battles throwing people from the high upper level of Sindagma Square and only by a miracle no one was killed. If they manage to hold onto to their electoral base it will be a miracle, if they lose just half of it, that’s expected, if they don’t get even 3% it will be a cataclysm. Having stated they don’t want power or unity of the Left, no one takes them seriously. Having been unable to shut down the three factories of Manesis (steel manufacturing boss) by demobilising every dynamic resistance at its base, they have held on to a strike in a sectarian fashion and though only 6 workers were originally to be fired, 120 have now been put on the list and the strike is split by their policies. Their electoral base has now been matched by the retro fascists of Golden Dawn.
Mass media of Disinformation against Syriza
For over four weeks the media has started a barrage of attacks against Syriza. These range from the claim that it isn’t a party, Syriza being made up of 12 different organisations, to the claim that it wants to unilaterally abolish the Accord-Bailout, to it not having costed its economic programme, to its wanting to legalize every illegal immigrant who happens to be in Greece, to its being in support of the Drachma. And so on. One has to take into account that the privately owned Greek media has big commercial interests behind it (ship owners, big construction firms etc.) and the change from the established parties has been a difficult transition. It is noted that Syriza has had more favourable coverage from the global media than from the domestic. The latter has tried to emphasise its contradictions, and in so doing, absolving their own support to the Troika. But this device isn’t lost on the nation when it hit the squares, calling the journalists ‘scumbags, snitches, journalists’ which is what they are. How did the director of the Greek CBI hint at supporting Syriza and how did Laliotis (one of the kingpins of PASOK) also essentially indirectly support Syriza if it is an anti-systemic force and not an EU party committed to the ideals of the Euro and the Eurozone? The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
We don’t have illusions in the role of Syriza. We have seen them in action over the last two years. They refused to energetically support the Indignants; instead they focused on giving speeches in the bottom half of Sindagma Square. When people trying to storm Parliament had pitched battles with the riot police, they left. They voted for Maastricht. They are committed Europhiles.
What will the Troika do?
For more than a month there has been a concerted effort by all international institutions and political leaders to instruct the Greeks how to vote. Gone are the days of not intervening in national elections of other countries. The new order has to dictate both the politics and the vote. But expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas from the Marie Antoinettes of the global order shows how distant they are from the reality of the man and woman on the street.
Since the introduction of the Euro a decade ago, Greece has seen the unleashing of a wave of easy borrowing, the subsequent crisis spiralling out of control and five years of depression and austerity. With 1 million officially unemployed but, in reality, around 2 million (as only those who are able to claim for a full 12 months are registered) and around 1/3 of those lucky enough to have work being paid either not on time or not in full. Add to this the fact that 90% of small businesses are now connected solely with the moribund internal market, the bottom has fallen out of economic activity. There is an anticipated drop of between 15-25% in tourist revenues which comprises 17% of GDP and so we will see thousands more fired and added to the endless tax demands for everyone excepting the super rich. We are also witnessing the third major cut in wages summing to cuts of 25-35% since the IMF set its terms for Greece. Children arrive hungry and faint in schools, and there is a massive rise in suicides due to the economic crisis.
Glimpses of the future associated with a deepening economic crisis are present today. We have had declines of 25% in car journeys; in all rents ranging from 15-25% for businesses and private tenants and in national insurance contributions ranging from 15-25%. The haircut on government bonds up to around 80% has also meant government insurance schemes have had a massive drop in their capital and within the near future they will be unable to pay state pensions for the same reason that there has been an inability to pay for NHS prescriptions. For over two months Greeks have been forced to buy their own medicine and there have been shocking scenes of cancer patients not receiving their prescription drugs. By all measures the GDP drop of around 20-25% in 5 years will mirror the collapse of the ex-USSR and an expected drop in average life expectancy of a decade is already underway. The IMF-imposed bailout is thus causing a cull of the population. That is what the IMF is about anyway: it is Britain’s contribution to the world after it lost its post-war role and became an appendage to the USA. At the same time it has weakened the Euro and increased the reserve role of the dollar – just in time for the US elections.
Will the Troika throw Greece out of the EU if it votes the wrong way? Or will Syriza, if it wins, backtrack on its pronouncements and officially become the IMF’s last best hope? It is difficult to see how Greece can stay within the Accord-Bailout terms as more than a quarter of the population is essentially out of the Euro by virtue of their economic position and basic state functions such as the issuing of schoolbooks for the new term or prescription medicine no longer function. Transferring all debts to the state to the tax office and issuing new guidelines that anyone owing more than E5 K will be sent to gaol or owing more than E400 will mean that repossession proceedings can be instituted against property in any form (cars, house etc.).
Attempting to create an economic union without a political union and merging developed imperialist countries with semi-advanced capitalist countries like Greece would inevitably end in failure as a currency union cannot rely on 17 different national governments. The bankruptcy of the banks, which was based on a now collapsed property boom unleashed with the introduction of the Euro, cannot be resolved by issuing Eurobonds as the debt hole is too big.
The combined vote of the three parties of the Left was around 2 million votes, approximately equal to the size of the vote of ND and PASOK. If that vote increases by a third and a third is cut off from ND-PASOK, it will be difficult for Syriza to go against its base in such a dramatic fashion without being forced to rely on (‘leftwing’) teargas from the praetorian guards of the state.
A national government with Syriza as the main party, with the Independent Greeks in and Democratic Left with the KKE and Golden Dawn giving support, will probably be the outcome with the abolition of the Accord-Bailout. The Troika is allegedly going to demand E11.5 B in cuts the day after the elections and this will be met with a moratorium of payments which will lead inevitably to the ejection of Greece from the Euro and the Eurozone. Short of this an insurrection is likely as Greeks can no longer pay the endless round of tax demands, VAT at 23% and constant cuts in basic services.
Illegal Immigration and a breakdown of law and order will confront Syriza
As opposed to the crisis of 1932 when Greece declared bankruptcy and broke its shadowing of sterling, now a return to the Drachma will lead to issues with the Euro and the Eurozone, the second pole of the New Order inaugurated by Bush senior in the early 90’s with dramatic effect in the break-up of Yugoslavia.
The fake Left, in totality having adopted open borders, (KKE in late 70’s when it expelled militant seamen when the ship owners globalised their crews and in the 90’s with building workers who arrived from Albania) and Syriza which has always been pro-EU (predecessors voting for Maastricht) is faced with turmoil in Greek society over the issue of illegal immigration. According to Eurostat 68% of all EU immigrants arrives in Greece where they are trapped due to the Dublin 2 agreement signed by Papandreou. Greece, having neither colonies in the capitalist era, and only being constituted as a state for the last 100 years, and having been occupied by 3 countries since (during WW2) never had the institutions to cope with a mass influx of immigrants. For the last decade they have congregated in the centre of Athens, which was a commercial, shopping and tourist centre. Around 4 years ago the citizens of a central district (6th Arrondisment) Ag. Panteleomonas rebelled against the situation. The Left (Syriza mostly egged on by the globalists of Antarsya) attacked the citizens as being ‘racists’ ‘xenophobes’ etc. and led march after march against them, with the cover of the riot police. The locals, who had nowhere to go, stood firm and won their mini-battle. The square in front of Ag Panteleomonas was restored to its previous state without hundreds of illegals using it as a squatter camp.
Since the issue erupted politically in the centre of Athens, the only party that appeared to support the citizens was Golden Dawn: no one else. It’s no coincidence therefore that ND, in the form of Samaras, recently arrived in the square and stated this is where ‘illegal immigration’ essentially became a national issue and we have to do something to control it. But he is credited with his stance in Albania when he went there 20 or so years ago and praised the opportunities in capitalist Greece leading to hundreds of thousands arriving and working for the big construction firms thereby defeating the pivotal role Greek building workers had in setting labour rates for the whole labour movement.
It’s no coincidence, therefore, that Golden Dawn, which had the same electoral base as Antarsya 5 years ago, ended up almost matching the KKE. And it is set to rise. The parties of the establishment, Left and Right, have had just one line on illegal immigration. The riots over the setting up of so-called ‘Immigration Centres’ in a series of towns over the last two months and the big disturbances in Patras over the murder of a 29 year old Greek are precursors to a continued rise of Golden Dawn. The ‘Far’ Left whose main characters have never done a day’s work in their lives, and have close relations with the top banksters in Greece, have encouraged its growth to the detriment of the labour movement. In total contrast with the policies of the First International they have adopted this pillar of globalism as their raison d’etre. Now, in assuming roles akin to government, their cover is about to be blown. They will face the same population with the same issues, but not behind riot police lines but in government offices. This will prove much more difficult to handle in a situation where Greeks can’t survive and the hundreds of thousands that arrive yearly are in a worse position.
The irony of the situation is that whilst GD wants to restore the former glories of Greece in taking back Constantinople and the eastern seaboard of Turkey, the ‘far’ left want to turn into a Greek anyone and everyone who comes into Greece by whatever means. Two sides of a coin and the theory of GD being neo-nazi adopts the pre-war stupidities of the state capitalist called Stinas, who termed the Metaxas dictatorship of 1936 as nazi, when it was no such thing. GD are just lovers of military coups and they would have had no increase in size if it wasn’t for the politics of the KKE and Syriza.
PASOK-ND will Disintigrate
Whatever the outcome of the elections both major parties will start to disintegrate politically, they have no reason to exist. The new formations are the new popular front in formation between the old right (IG) and the new Left (Syriza). Any attempt at continuing the old politics will force the new formations into conflict with their new electoral base. The Drachma will return either which way otherwise Greece will disintegrate. The electoral rise of the Left isn’t linked to an organisational rise at the base of society but this will change when it becomes clear that electoral changes in and of themselves do not change the relationship between the people and the transnationals that rule the world. Other forces and other politics have to be born and they will be. The markets rule the world, but man created the markets. Its about time the markets served man.
Friday, 1 June 2012
KKE’s Election Kiosk in Dafni Square-Athens
Two town squares in Athens had meetings with the KKE. Microphones were set up on very loud adn ti started prompt at 8.35pm which is unusual for a Greek public square meeting, as if they had other appointments and they needed to leave. No questions were allowed.
The first square had around 50-70 people the second between 100-150people in South Athens.The speakers read from a pre-written document whose emphasis was essentially how bad Syriza is and how pro-European they are. They spoke about the possibility of an uncontrolled default and the people should be organised and that Syriza lies when it says that we aren't on the verge of bankruptcy.
Immitos Square KKE Public Meeting
They mentioned the fact that Syrizas precursors voted for Maastricht and that the EU is the root of the crisis. They didn't mention a return to the Drachma or mention the Euro.
Their line on the EU has re-emerged as a critique on Syriza in these elections for a decade now when they have mentioned the Euro they have stated we should leave the EU and maintain the Euro. They also mentioned Antarsya alleging that whilst they have the correct position regarding the Eurozone this is just dust in ones eyes as they are an appendix of the socialdemocratic Syriza and many of their members end up in Syriza.
The same format occurred in another town square where the meeting started on time and was completed by 930pm. There were more people here, very few youth and mostly older and middle aged people.
KKE Meeting for Brahami District in S Athens
Having received around 550k votes the issue is if they can maintain them, if they lose half and go to around 4% they will be where Syriza was in 2004. If they drop below 3%, they won’t get parliamentary subsidies or representation. They didn't mention the steelworkers strike they controlled and lost, or the Coca Cola strike they didn't
control but the workers won. If they were serious about Syriza and they wanted to win its electoral base, they could have given it critical support, even joined a slate with it (and made this known) and then attacked it if it backtracked on its pre-electoral programme of Abolishing the Bailout terms. But they aren't interested in that.
The Greek electorate is now attempting to vote for a govt not just anti-Bailout parties so it is logical to see a drop in PASOK’s vote and as Venizelos stated there is no unifying ideology anymore keeping them together. Hence the KKE not wanting to govern either on its own or with Syriza, will logically see its vote drop. If it falls below GD it will be tragic, if they maintain their vote they will consider it a success, if they surpass their previous vote it will be a miracle.