So What Happened in Greece?

posted in: The Bigger Picture | 0

varoufakis-greece

By now, I suspect that many Greeks will have woken up this morning and discovered to their fury that their elected government last night totally betrayed its own principles and mandate from the people and voted to accept from the European Union (at the decree of neo-liberal German neo-fascists) what amounts to economic dismantlement of their country and ‘human sacrifice’ of the poorest and most vulnerable in their population.

Hell, I live on the other side of the planet from Greece and I’m spitting mad about it.

An overwhelming majority of Greek MPs voted in favor of the reform package, with 229 voting ‘Yes,’ 64 voting ‘No’ and 6 abstaining. This is despite a notable rift in the ruling party; 39 Syriza MPs spoke against the measures supported by their leader. The name of every member of the parliament was called, and their votes publically noted.

Effectively, the Syriza party have committed political suicide. Given that the Greek people were brave enough to vote en masse against new austerity measures despite an avalanche of scaremongering and propaganda, there is no way they will countenance a betrayal of this sort. If anti-EU sentiment had a sizeable presence in Greece (and indeed, many other EU countries) before last night, just wait and see what happens next. This is the sort of thing that causes civil wars and revolutions.

Yanis Varoufakis has been a most instructional presence throughout the process, and his blog entries of late are essential reading. I feel I have a ‘confession’ to make in this regard – I, like many others, no doubt, probably paid too much attention to Tsipras and not enough to Varoufakis during the last six months. I allowed the media reports of Varoufakis’ ‘controversial’ style to distort my perception of what the substance might be of his works, rather than doing more first-hand research and checking for myself. So, sorry Yanis. I’ve found your blog extremely informative over the past week or so, and I might just buy your book The Global Minotaur, too!

So what exactly happened? Varoufakis spoke in an interview on Australian radio (well worth listening to in its entirety) of an overwhelming atmosphere of gloom in the prime minister’s office after the recent Greek referendum, at a moment when they should have been celebrating. So it seems likely that either Tsipras was unable to cope with the idea that he would have to bear the responsibility for overseeing a ‘Grexit’ in order to protect the sovereignty of Greece, or he was given some kind of information (or, more likely, threat) in private that made him unwilling to refuse the creditors’ demands? Joe Quinn made some interesting speculations along those lines in his show on SOTT BlogTalkRadio, Behind the Headlines. He also summarises the situation in excellent recent articles on the Greek financial crisis.

Perhaps also Tsipras lacked knowledge about precisely the kind of ‘people’ he was dealing with. Varoufakis also may not have known exactly how far these creatures were/are willing to go as well, but a recent interview he gave shows that he may have some awareness of their nature. It seems quite clear though that Varoufakis knows that the ‘bailout’ deal just agreed to will not save the Greek economy, but only forestall and worsen an eventual collapse – assuming that it is not refused by the parliaments of other EU countries that need to approve it. If Varousfakis’ statement about German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble secretly pushing for a ‘Grexit’ all along is true, then perhaps Schauble now thinks that the necessary ‘example’ has been made of Greece in order to keep the other EU countries in line, so he will no longer pursue that outcome.

It is quite likely however, that Schauble’s psychopathic policies will have unintended consequences that may affect his little ‘orchestra’ more seriously than he thinks. In the meantime, it appears that the 1% oligarchic ‘elite’ will continue vacuuming up the wealth of the Western world. You certainly cannot deny their efficiency at what they do.

It seems that former Greek ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos may be right:

‘Greece deal is too tough, too late, the death of Greeks’

Alas. Perhaps the Greek people can at least take some small consolation that it was their government that failed them, and not the other way around. Hopefully that will motivate some of them to seek a way out of the labyrinth of debt slavery their country has fallen into.

Knowledge protects.

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