Democracy for Sale

By IndepthAfrica
In Europe
May 9th, 2012
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Igor IGNATCHENKO

On May 6 Greece is to hold snap parliamentary elections against the background of unparalleled social-economic and political crisis. No matter all the bail out “aid” tranches received the situation us not getting better a bit, one can hardly call the living standards of Greeks to be satisfactory at present. The more credits the government takes the more the noose gets tightened on the whole country. The first aid package (approximately €100 billion) only worsened the situation, the Greek external debt grew twice to € 360 billion but the crisis was there to stay. More and more often the Greeks start to blame their politicians for the hard times. It’s them, as they see it, who have sold out the country to international financial organizations.

The two leading political parties of the country are discredited: the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), that won the last elections in October 2009 (headed by former finance minister Evangelos ), and the right-of-centre New Democracy (ND) headed by Antonis Samaras. The both parties took part in signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union that tightly tied Greece to foreign creditors.

According to April 2012 survey conducted by Greek Kathimerini newspaper the right-of-centre New Democracy (19%) is to lead on May 6, the Socialist Party- PASOK (14.5%) is running second, the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA) headed by Alexis Tsipras (13%) is third, the Democratic Left claim to be the fourth (12%). The Communist Party headed by Aleka Papariga (11%) and the nationalist “Independent Greeks” party led by (11%) Panos Kammenos are trailing behind among the leading five.

The Greek political parties are represented in one chamber parliament with 3% of the votes, that allows the Greek extreme right Golden Dawn party (5%) and, possibly, one more right wing party – the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S.) headed by George Karadzaferis (3%), to get there.

Various polls show the two oldest Greek parties that have been overwhelming leaders up to now in the country’s political system – the right-of-centre New Democracy and Socialist party – PASOK (both created in 1974 right after the Black Colonels regime was overthrown), – don’t get even 35% of votes together. It means none of the leading two can form the government of its own and other parties will play the role of arbiter while setting it up.

The Greek opposition is mainly concentrated on the left flank. Together they can get up to 40% of votes. All opposition parties opposed the Memorandum of Understanding between Greece and the European Union, but there is nothing they can offer to Greek people as practical measures to overcome the catastrophic results of the crisis. Perhaps such a peaceful recovery is already not achievable. No matter which party comes to power, it’ll have to carry out the obligations towards the EU taken by previous governments.

The nationalist parties also have a chance to have a representation in parliament. The Independent Greeks party is of special interest, after just a few months of existence it is estimated to get 11% of votes. The party is founded by former New Democracy member of parliament Panos Kammenos. The main idea of the Independent Greeks is a necessity to fight against the “new world order”, that “ferociously attacks the Greek families”. The party demands the cancellation of state debt as an unlawful one, stands up against destruction of nation/states and political dependence on the European Union.

The political opponents of Kammenos call him a “conspirologist” meaning he blames foreign creditors for aspiring to capture the undiscovered Greek natural wealth (oil, gas, uranium) and trying to establish a “new world order” by giving credits to Greece. In his turn Kammenos puts a blame on former prime-minister George Papandreou’s family for resorting to the IMF aid for personal gains. Surveying the connection between the “new world order” forces and Greek economic catastrophe, Panos Kammenos quotes David Rockefeller (from the book The World’s Last Dictator by Dwight L. Kinman): “We are on the threshold of global changes. All we need is some large-scale crisis that will make people accept the new world order”.

The far right Golden Dawn party gets special attention of Western media nowadays. It’s has existed for almost thirty years but only now, at the times of crisis aggravation, has started to increase the number of supporters, mainly representing discontented youth destitute of employment, social benefits, stipends. Having refused Neo – Nazi rhetoric in recent years this political group has focused on economy, fight against corruption and immigration – the issues acute for and understandable to every Greek. Today the Greek Neo-Right of the Golden Dawn stand against immigrant flows to Greece, support toughening immigration laws. “Greece for the Greeks. Foreigners, all out!” – that’s what their slogans are like.

According to the New York Times, the Golden Dawn is the only Greek party that is not afraid to stage noisy manifestations on the streets of Hellas, any accident involving immigrants is an occasion. The Golden Dawn advocates enjoy wide support in central areas of Athens crowded with illegal immigrants. The party members harshly criticize economic austerity, they demand nationalization of banks and natural resources, introduction of autarchy as a system of management, when the country produces all it needs and consumes its own production. Many are ready to give their votes to the Golden Dawn as a gesture of protest against the parties that the voters are rather fed up with.

The radical right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), that is frequently compared with the French National Front of Marine Le Pen, may also get into the parliament. Its ideology is a combination of traditional Greek nationalism, Greek Orthodoxy, anti-globalism, anti-Islamism and Euroscepticism. The Popular Orthodox Rally stands against illegal immigration seeing it as the main factor spurring crime and unemployment growth. It criticizes European integration, predicts loss of sovereignty and establishment of “new totalitarianism” on the continent. The party leader Giorgos Karatzaferis has already blamed Germany for getting the whole European Union “under the German boot” – these accusations are not destitute of substantiation in the eyes of the Greeks. Karatzaferis is not alone in his views. Anti German sentiment is widely spread among the majority of Greeks. The whole Greece was shocked by the German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s statement that the Greeks would have to partially lose its independence to get out of crisis. The German editions are full of calls to make Greece sell its islands, the Acropolis of Athens and all the cultural heritage to pay off debts to foreign money-lenders. The Greek companies get bankrupt, they have nowhere to go for money. Every day foreign investors, first of all the German ones, buy cheap land, energy producing companies, factories, mines, airports, roads, banks, ports.

The prolonged economic crisis makes Greece more radical. The time of moderate political parties appears to be over. The political situation gets more heated. The Greeks are not ready to tighten the belts more and more as years go by – as they see it, it’s the government, not the people, who should be made responsible for economic policy errors or banal theft. The people refuse to understand why the crucial issue of their readiness to acquire new credits has not been submitted to national referendum. They are inclined to think the greedy government swindled them out of money colluding with foreign creditors. Having lost economic sovereignty Greece may be destitute of political sovereignty and part of territory now. The demands to give away the Greek islands to pay off credits are becoming louder abroad!

The question comes up: who provides funds for the Golden Dawn party, that is notorious for its Nazi past, and why the Western media gives it so much attention? Isn’t it for the purpose of presenting Greece as a “fascist state” when the X hour comes and prepare the public opinion for the occupation of the country in case it refuses to pay off its multibillion debts? It won’t take long to find a pretext: the protection of property going into the hands of international financiers as debt compensation.

The Greece’s destiny is sad – the destiny of the country that is the cradle of democracy and the place of Europe’s birth in ancient times. If people could draw the lessons, the Hellas of today would be a good experience to take into consideration by the countries that today strive to join the European Union and “become rich”. The Brussels bureaucracy sees the EU member countries as corporations to be made bankrupt, split up, swallowed up… Not long ago Greece marked the anniversary of liberation from the yoke of the Ottoman empire and becoming independent in 1821. Is it on the way of losing independence again – this time to nationless Eurocorporation?

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