Saturday, January 3, 2015
Mr. Samaras has requested that the Greek parliament be dissolved, following parliament’s failure to choose a new president after three rounds of voting. (euronews)
These elections will be crucial not just for Greece, but Europe overall. With the current opposition party SYRIZA, tipped to win these elections by promising an end to the German inspired austerity program, it is clear that the European but also global focus will be on the Greek elections results.
Because if SYRIZA keeps its promise to the Greek people to end austerity, meaning that Greece will have to abandon the bail-out program and its commitment to its European partners, the very existence of the euro currency is in jeopardy; at least according to some analysts.
It is understandable that the Greek people are fed up with austerity and rightly so. After six years of massive salary and pension cuts, combined with a rise of taxes and reduction of social services, their living standards have been constantly been reduced.
If there was a solution or recovery in sight, the Greeks would grin and bear it for a little while. But the situation is actually getting worse. The very social fabric of the country is being dismantled and there is a very real threat of a social unrest, even civil war, if Europe is not careful.
What is making this reality even more infuriating, is that the ordinary Greek people are not to be blamed for the mess; it is the Greek political and industrial elites, in cooperation with their European counterparts that created the crisis.
A fair amount of blame is to be laid to the neo-liberal agenda that Europe has adopted for the past few decades, giving way too much weight and power on its banking sector, than focusing on the real shortfalls of the European economy as a whole.
Now the European elites fear that if SYRIZA comes to power, the smooth cooperation that they have established with the Greek elites over the past few decades will be damaged; and about time. Both Greece and Europe in general need a political shake up.
In their despair, they threaten the Greeks about a euro-exit if SYRIZA keeps its promises, adding that hell will be unleashed upon the country. In reality they know that if Greece exits, more countries will chose to follow suit, like Italy, Spain and Portugal.
That will definitely mean the end of the euro-zone as we know it; a plain scaremongering. It is evident that the European elite (including the Greek one) are terrified of a change of a status quo. Thus they are focusing too much energy in propaganda with doomsday scenarios on the election of a new Greek government, that will not be lead by any of the established political parties.
Their attitude is hypocritical. Instead of wanting to punish the Greek elites for lying about Greece's economy, they are trying to actually protect it and empower it. If that does not prove their guilt and fair share of blame on the situation of the Greek economy, then what is?
The real problem of Europe is intergovernmental-ism. Since the end of WW2 and the creation of the EEC, the European elites worked together without the knowledge and consent of the European voters, in modeling our continent after America.
They favored the interests of the strong multinational corporation lobbies, against those of Europe's voters and tax payers. With the rise of "radical left parties" (as they describe them) like SYRIZA, this balance is being challenged; and it is a good thing!
If we want to create a better, more equal continent, it is highly favorable for the ordinary citizens, to have a strong European Left. SYRIZA can be at the forefront of this development. The party's policies may sound and indeed in most cases they are unrealistic and populist.
But they are using them just to get into power. It is unlikely that once they get elected, they will implement everything they promise to the Greek people. It will be a political suicide to bring the country to its knees by implementing disastrous economic policies. Besides, which Greek government ever in the country's history kept its promises to its people?
I do not think that anyone in SYRIZA would want to be the party that will get Greece kicked out of the euro, out of the EU and try to turn the country into a communist haven! If they ever want to get re-elected they will not proceed into such madness.
Most likely they are using these promises to get the votes of the ordinary Greek people. Populist as it may be, it is the only way to beat the propaganda and scaremongering that the Greek establishment is unleashing upon the Greek voters, through the country's media.
Once SYRIZA gets elected, it is expected to tune down its rhetoric and act more logically. If they want to save the country and work for the good of its people they have no choice. There will be some compromise between the SYRIZA led Greek government and its European counterparts.
In other words, SYRIZA won't be able to implement all that is promising, for the simple reason that everything in politics is a compromise. If they want to remain in power and do not damage the image and reputation of Greece, isolating it and turning it into a pariah in Europe, then they will have to meet their European counterparts half way.
That will be just and fair. After all the Greek debt is not just Greek, but European. The Greeks, Cypriots, Irish and the Portuguese are not paying to save only their banks, but the European and American bond holders in Europe's banking system! Thus the bail-out money that these countries have received, are not staying in their economies but through them, they are returning to the continent's banks.
Their promised policies may sound little more than mambo-jumbo at the moment, but Europeans are missing out the whole point.
If the European Left gets more power by organizing itself and if the Southern countries stand behind SYRIZA and Greece, Europe can become a fairer and more democratic continent.
When the voice and interests of the people can also be heard in the European powerhouse that is the EU, not just those of the big corporations, then it will be a historic victory for all citizens across the continent.
Europe and above all Greece, need this radical change, we should not fear it. Either it is SYRIZA or any other leftist but reasonable party, they will bring the much needed reboot that European politics need. The established political parties have created the current mess and nothing will ever change if we keep voting for them.
Only under the pressure of "radical" parties like SYRIZA, will Europe's elites consent to change, hear our voice and respect it. Either you support the Left or not, the Greek struggle can and will define European politics for decades to come, for the benefit of the whole European working class. And that can only be a good thing.