Monday, 8 February 2016

Syriza One Year On

By Michael Nevradakis

It has been one year since the elections which brought SYRIZA to power in Greece for the first time. One year from the time where millions of people in Greece and around the world took to the streets to celebrate the "hope" and "change" and the "end of austerity" that were to surely follow from the so-called "first time left" government in Greece, which we were told would not just save Greece, but all of Europe and indeed the world. One year from the time that the same media which have served and continue to serve as pro-austerity cheerleaders, and clueless academic leftists, were telling us that a government of hope and change had finally arrived.

At that time and even months prior to the election, here at Dialogos Radio we were warning about the impending flip-flop and lies and broken promises and continued austerity which were to follow, once SYRIZA came to power and about SYRIZA's insane insistence on Greece remaining in the European Union and the euro. For saying these things, we were the "bad guys," we were called fascists and supporters of the previous governments and were undermining the political party of "hope" and "change" which was supposedly the only political force capable of delivering Greece to the promised land, and a promised land which, of course, was firmly within the EU and the euro. We have the podcasts and the articles to back up our predictions and warnings, for which we were the bad guys at the time. And all of those who knew how to make such characterizations and accusations at the time tend to remain silent and selectively forgetful nowadays.

There is also, of course, a large percentage of people in Greece who continue to believe that Greece must remain in the EU and in the Eurozone at all costs, as if Greece will pack up and move to South America or Africa otherwise. As if Norway, which is not a member of either the European Union or the Eurozone, is not a part of Europe.

We must, in other words, believe that Greece must remain in a foreign, German currency called the Euro at all costs, a currency which was created by design to destroy the European social state. We must believe that Greece must remain, at all costs, in the same supranational union where the leaders of Germany, Holland, Finland, and even the Czech Republic and Slovakia, shake their finger at Greece and accuse the Greek people of being lazy, unproductive, ungrateful and useless and of living beyond their means. Apparently Greece must, at all costs, remain in the same European Union which has stripped Greece of its national and political sovereignty and which is ruled by political leaders who have, on numerous occasions, revealed their utter repulsion towards democracy and the popular will. We must believe that Greece must, at all costs, in a union whose leaders have called Greece and the people of Greece racist and fascist and xenophobic rather than finding a mirror and looking at themselves. Instead, Greece must, at all costs, remain in a union where it is threatened with expulsion from the so-called Schengen zone because it is purportedly not doing enough to protect the borders of a Europe-wide union whose goal is supposedly the elimination of borders. These characterizations are made against Greece, which is the country that has been the recipient of the large bulk of the refugees. This is the Europe where Greece must remain at all costs, we are told, the same Europe that has privatized and taken control of Greece's airports and harbors at truly humiliating, worse than third-world terms, and which is now preparing to take control over Greece's production of olive oil as well. And while all this is going on, the world's media and even celebrity intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky are telling us that Germany is the best country in the world, has done more for the refugees than any other, and that Angela Merkel is the person of the year. The same Germany which has, in many cases, confiscated the wealth of incoming refugees, where arson attacks against refugee camps have become a regular occurrence, and where refugees in some cases have been housed in former concentration camps.

And at the same time, the Greek people must accept, at all costs of course, a government which is comprised of proven liars, traitors, former members of the corrupt PASOK, and criminals, a government whose officials do not dare utter a word even when they are the recipients of the most humiliating of dressing downs at the hands of their European so-called "partners" who are, of course, "good" and "civilized." We must believe that the Greek "second time left" government wants the best for Greece, that it doesn't actually want to impose austerity but that it has no choice, that it has been blackmailed and that if it does not enforce these austerity policies, that the country will be booted out of Europe. In other words, Europe is "bad" and we are supposed to believe that "this is a coup" and that Greece is being blackmailed by the "bad Europeans," but at the same time, Europe isn't bad enough that Greece should actually contemplate leaving or something crazy like that. We must accept more austerity, more cuts, more privatizations, more memorandums with the vague promise that "we will change Europe and take it all back" and that if Greece leaves, catastrophe will strike, as if in the countries which have not adopted the euro or even in Greece prior to 2002, everyone lived in caves. And heaven forbid Greece loses access to the "borderless" Schengen zone. How else will everyone's precious sons and daughters freely find employment in the oh so civilized countries of Europe?

It is truly a miracle that even now, within this climate of fearmongering and terror and political blackmail, that 44% of Greek people polled in a recent and reputable pan-European Gallup International survey, stated their desire for Greece to leave the Eurozone and return to a domestic currency, a slight majority as opposed to the 43% who say they want to remain in the euro. But of course we will not hear this survey result on any of Greece's major, oligarch or state-owned media outlets, and definitely not in The Guardian, the BBC, the New York Times, Reuters, NPR, or any of the other supposedly quality and objective international media either.

In closing, to put it bluntly, shame on all of you who still want this Europe and this EU and the euro, and to all of you who can't put down the theory books and wake up and smell reality.

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