The ‘mainstream media’ still cannot be trusted to report a story fairly and accurately.
Therefore, to provide you with a fair and accurate analysis of the political situation in Greece I have contacted and discussed the situation with a well-known Greek writer and political analyst, Petros Arguriou. (Note 1)
Prior to the election that was held on 6th May 2012, there were 3 main parties that effectively held the vast majority of the votes, usually in the region of 80%.
The 3 parties that clung on to that 80% were:
New Democracy – the neoliberal evolution of what could be called Conservatives or the traditional Right.
PASOK – the neoliberal evolution of the Greek Socialist party in an almost contradictory position of being Populist-Capitalist, or state supporting Capitalists. The reason for this seeming contradiction is explained by its history, but such histories are beyond the scope of this blog.
KKE – the communist party, a relic of the past and a party that seems to object to any change.
What changed, both dramatically and historically, on 6th May 2012 was that these 3 parties combined were only able to poll a mere 35%, less than half of their previous total. This result represented a dramatic shift away from the ‘traditional’ parties and demonstrated quite clearly that the Greek people were no longer prepared to continue supporting them and made their voices heard loud and clear at the poll.
The remaining 65% of the votes were divided amongst a varied group of other parties. These were:
DHMAR – a splinter group from Syriza, but one that supported the memorandum (austerity measures)
Independent Greeks – a splinter group from New Democracy, that was vocal on the issue of Papandreou being brought to justice for his crimes against the Greek people.
Golden Dawn – a Greek NeoNazi party.
Syriza – a coalition of a number of other groups that became known as the party that was the only one to take a firm stand against austerity measures.
Such a medley of parties, understandably, was unable to produce a clear winner in the May election, in which no individual party gained more than 20% of the votes, despite the fact that in Greece the party that is ‘first past the post’ is gifted an extra 50 seats. The situation soon became apparent that a new election was required.
This new election will take place on 17th June 2012, in just a few days time.
The above background sets the scene for a better understanding of the current events in Greece and the mainstream media coverage of such events.
I am not referring to the appalling behaviour by one member of the Golden Dawn party who attacked political opponents in a TV debate, although this was covered by the Guardian, amongst others. (Note 2)
What I prefer to cover, because it is about the issues, is the Greek media coverage about the parties and their policies.
The overwhelming media reports are aimed at attacking Syriza; it has become the party under attack, by most of the other parties most of the time.
The reasons for this are probably because Syriza is the party that is now expected to be the outright winner at the next election and therefore such attacks are aimed at reducing the popularity of Syriza.
Syriza after all has a plan. It is a plan that is aimed at assisting the Greek people. (Note 3)
For more details on what Syriza stands for. (Note 4)
All of which begs the question, if Syriza has the best policies for helping the people, why are they being attacked from all sides?
There is of course a deeper motive for attacking Syriza and for diminishing their popularity and it is a motive that hits right at the heart of the cause of the financial crisis in the first place; in a nutshell it is based on the fact that, if Syriza wins and implements their programme, the ‘finance oligarchs’ will lose their control.
Syriza’s policies will not help the banks via the IMF/EU/ECB, the troika as the Greeks call them, in fact it will remove their powers.
Whilst it would be no doubt interesting to explain the full background of the ‘finance oligarchs’ and how they have pulled the strings of many Greek politicians, who are responsible for allowing their country to be used and nearly destroyed, it is however also beyond the scope of this blog to detail such a background as it would turn it into an entire book.
Suffice it to say that Greece has been used as a ‘lab-rat’, this much has been admitted by Papandreou, but even lab-rats do not always do as they are expected.
The media, that is for the most part controlled by corporations run by the ‘finance oligarchs’, is creating a ‘spin’ on this in order to blackmail the Greek people into believing that a vote for Syriza is a vote to exit the Euro and a return to the drachma. This is a complete fabrication. According to Petros “We’ve never seen such a vicious psychological attack. We have never witnessed such co-ordinated propaganda.”
It is quite clear that the problems lie with the Anglo-American imperialists, those finance oligarchs who own the banks and are imposing ruthless austerity measures on the people for their own reasons.
Of course there is corruption in the higher echelons of Greece too, some well-connected Greek businessmen were able to acquire state-owned businesses when they were privatised. They were then able to obtain even larger loans using such assets as collateral for larger state-owned businesses. This is what is laughingly called the ‘free market’. What is not funny is that some of the state-owned assets were sold off at ridiculously low prices to outside interests, i.e. non-Greeks. All of these transactions have taken place with either the knowledge, if not the complicity of the members of the Greek governments.
Not only must this outrageous Ponzi scheme cease, but that Greek assets must be returned to the Greek people. The debate over whether they should be ‘state-owned’ or not is a separate issue. What is important is the recognition that the Greek islands, for example, cannot be sold off to ‘other’ people as part of the exploitation of the Greek crisis.
While these huge money transactions were taking place, the Greek people were having their wages cut, their taxes raised, prices raised, living standards cut and their lives ruined in order to repay the apparent ‘debt’ that is essentially a banking debt and has nothing whatsoever to do with the people.
The enforced policies of ruthless taxation, by treating everyone as if they have an income of 5000 euros even if they have no income at all, can be called nothing less than looting or plundering.
“It is the neoliberals, the neo-imperialism the imposes asphyxiating regulation in the name of the free markets, that is imposing ruthless taxation in the name of stateless markets, that is pouring taxpayers money into a bankrupt and criminal banking cartel. Governments in EU are bankrupting EU nations for the sake of economy. And when they say economy they actually mean the Monetary system cartel which is robbing nations of their wealth, their prosperity, their social welfare and peace, their future.”
Webster Tarpley has recently been severely criticised for calling such austerity measures genocidal, but when there have been a large number of suicides as a result of these measures, how can they possibly be called anything else? (Note 5)
The polls since the 6th May election have given Syriza an even greater percentage of the votes, suggesting somewhere near 30%, which could be enough to gain the outright majority and form the government. The most recent trends are indicating that an autonomous Syriza government will be formed.
Unless of course, the other parties can mount a suitable offensive to scare the people. The Greek system however, does not allow any further polls to be taken and so no further information about the effects of such fearmongering can be analysed.
Whilst it seemed as if the noose of fear could continue to be tightened further and bring all the Greek people into line with what the ‘oligarchs’ wanted, they clearly failed to understand real people. There is only so much fear that people can live with. If the threshold is reached, then the ‘fight or flight’ instinct becomes apparent. Sadly, as mentioned above, many Greeks have opted for suicide. On the other hand, many, many more Greeks have opted for ‘fight’ mode. They have had enough fearmongering and propaganda and this ‘fighting spirit’ was demonstrated in the May elections when Syriza polled a far greater percentage than they had previously polled, or were expected to poll.
The Greek people are reportedly continuing to shrug off their fear, which is a good sign that they will not be cowed into believing the media hype as displayed in this defeatist attitude that was reported on Sunday 10th. (Note 6)
However, there remains a great deal of frustration in Greece that is due to a unique scenario there. In order to host the 2004 Olympics, Greece had to use immigrant labour. Again, this is NOT the fault of the people. The decision to use cheap immigrant labour was taken by the ‘global network’, obviously designed to maximise profit, but with the outcome of depriving Greek natives of income. Adding insult to injury in the eyes of many Greek people, this has led to a further problem of the immigrants who were then abandoned after their labour had been used and left in Greece in what has become a kind of ghetto.
This issue of the treatment of immigrants and the immigrant reforms in their manifesto is now being used against Syriza.
It remains to be seen if this one aspect of their manifesto will be enough to deter voters on Sunday. If sufficient numbers of the Greek people understand propaganda and the way it is being used as a weapon against Syriza they will realise that the ‘immigrant’ issue is just another tool in the propaganda toolbox of the establishment.
However, being elected and forming a government is only the first step. What will follow will be the ability to hold onto power and implement their policies.
The challenges Syriza will face can only be appropriately called a Herculean task. As a government they will face the wrath of the finance oligarchs, the EU, the IMF and the rest of this establishment.
I am certain Alexis Tsipras and his colleagues in Syriza are not unaware of this, but they are not letting this stop them from trying their best, for which they must be applauded and supported.
That is why I have written this blog, to inspire as many people as possible to speak up and support Syriza, even if you are not in Greece. We must show them our support, which will give them confidence to continue the struggle – and ultimately win.
The ‘finance oligarchs’ have their sights set on much more than Greece, which is just the first step. But this one step is a step too far, because if they succeed in Greece they will continue their march to destroy and control most other European countries, and further on east to Russia and China.
They will not stop; unless we stop them! And stop them we must!
I would like to extend my thanks to Petros for all his help and to conclude with his own words to explain the importance of the forthcoming Greek election,
“We have to save our future, we have to save humanity, we have to save the future of humanity and the humanity of the future.”
NB In particular the broadcast dated 12th May 2012, which was the first broadcast after the election, and each subsequent broadcast has included reports from Greece.