These last few days we have watched the attempt to ease the political crisis caused by the lock up of ERT (national radio and television) with the strategy of “forward retreat” applied by the new governmental formation. The withdrawal of ministers of DHMAR (leftist party) and the reformation with a more active participation of PASOK (socialist party) in the two-party, now, coalition government, were the vehicle for the exit from this crisis. This development was also the only possible solution for a regime which as it seems cannot even go to elections without the approval of Schäuble. The new government of ND (new democracy, centre right party)-PASOK, relieved now from the weights of people like Manitakis “who was an obstacle in the application of the program”, is ready to unleash the worst attack this place has seen since 2010. this government will be the most “memorandumed” and more ruthless and this can be seen from the placement of specific ministers in all key-ministries “economy, labour, health, administrative reform”.
It is the government that will have to fire thousands of public workers, abolish public organizations, hospitals and schools, vote the new memorandum being prepared for this land and cause a housing crisis with the opening of property auctions at the orders of the troika. It is a government that now does not need leftist crutches which were necessary for social legitimacy a year ago.
The three-party government, was a state of emergency solution, in order to continue the program of fiscal adjustment and avoid a “violent” withdrawal of the country from the euro. The dilemma “Samaras or chaos” placed by all the forces of domestic, but also european elite (I remind Hollande’s interview on Mega a few days before the elections), worked on a part of society and thus ND was revealed as the powerful partner of the newly formed coalition government.
In this period of crisis we are going through, which first of all is political, it is very clear that any coalition government is not to be long-lived. This happened with the pieta of Papandreou, the same in the transitional period of Papadimos and PSI, the same will happen with the three-party government and the application of the medium program. This motif which is created with the repeated composition of governments in small time frames of political time, is a tool in the hands of north european countries in order for them to relax the social dissatisfaction of the greek people.
Here however there is a contradiction. Germany is pressured by the USA and G.Britain to solve the european debt crisis and re-build the European Union. Greece is for the last five years been at the edge of the knife so much of the european debt crisis, as well as the global economic crisis. It is simultaneously the “victim” of this crisis, with the consequences completely reversing the economic and social conditions, but also the image upon which the new Europe is being built. From this point of view, the massive increase of unemployment, as well as the rapid decrease of the GDP are not only consequences of the fiscal program for the restructuring of greek economy, but simultaneously the economic tools for the formation of a new agreement of economic stability for Europe. We are talking about a long term procedure which will impoverishe countries, such as greece, in order to feed the german credit institutions with capitals which will “head north” and strengthen Germany even more as a competitive player in the economic war ignited by the global crisis of ’08.
The contradiction, therefore, I mentioned, is this: In order to accomplish the program of the Germans and Troika needs, first of all, political stability, faithful and obedient governments, social smoothness and mainly depth of time. Whoever believes that the greek crisis will pass immediately, I will remind them the recent report of the Bank of Greece, which predicts destructive consequences after 2020. in reality, Germany and the Troika would need a military dictatorship at this point to impose their program in the depth of time. Because, however, this cannot happen because its too risky, is chosen this model of “service” short term governments, keeping however, all the basic characteristics of the dictatorships as this land has known them.
The “accomplishments” of the Troika’s program and its application by the greek governments are known to all, but above all are carved in our lives now. So, lets see, how the policy of Germany has been applied in the last year, through the three-party government!
After the relief of the international markets from the results of the elections in greece, the first moves of the government were to calm everyone down, that it will be faithful and will follow the program. The positions concerning the re-negotiation of the memorandum flew away, already, the day after the elections. The governments first move, which placed the general strategy frame in which it will move, was the raiding of the MAT (riot cops) in Halivourgia*. With this first move of an oppressive character, it firmly stood against the interests of the workers and next to the domestic employers, answering (late of course) the issue raised by a large part of the people before the elections and was no other than a turn of the policy which impoverishes the people and gives everything to the domestic and transnational elite and its vultures. Also, it establishes the “dogma of the fist” according to which it will govern and turns against dynamic parts of society which resist and workers from various branches.
The beginning is with the anti-authoritarian movement and the invasion in squats and social spaces. The answer of the movement is direct and deters the further extension of this front. It is, simultaneously, in all its wideness also a model of political answer to an oppressive operation. The dogma of the fist continues on strikers with the political enlistment of workers on the Metro, the dockers, the oppression of farmers mobilizations and last the preventive political enlistment of the announced strike of the teachers. E governments strategy is to apply the program while attacking any social resistance small or large. It also evident from the police-juridical occupation of Skouries** in Halkidiki after the dynamic resistance of the residents against the gold mining company. The dogma of the fist against these indigenous people of this land secures the environment and stability for the investments and the growth this country needs.
The term growth is the government and Samaras favourite term. A prime-minister who makes known to all at any opportunity, whose interests he serves. In a recent speech of his at an economic forum, he mentioned that he stands next to the businessmen because its through them that the rest of the people will eat some bread. But he knows very well that this land is not intended for new development (the greek stock exchange was recently characterized as an emerging market, instead of developed as it use to be called), but on the contrary for every bit of its land to be sold to foreign funds and be a poor colony of Germany in the decades to come.
Returning to the governing of the last year we realize that the fist dogma bared fruit keeping the bar of social resistances very low. This managing which was emanated, mainly, from Samaras himself and his team attempting many times to monopolize the far-right agenda, brought euphoria and arrogance to themselves. The repeated actions of legislative content which imposed prerequisite measures of the troika, basically found no social resistance, neither oppositional, of course, since SYRIZA as the main oppositional force does not desire, up to now, to clash with the government and take power. With the looming certainty, therefore, Samaras decided to close down ERT. In a sudden move and with one more act of legislative content he fired 2,5 thousand employees and forbid the broadcast of a signal on radio and television.
This move is included in the same frame of aggressive policy against the workers of this land. It is a fact that the government has agreed on the firing of 2 thousand workers and 2 more by the end of the year. With the action of legislative content, however, not only did they succeed in that part, applying the program that is to say, but also the ability of the minister of economy to order from now on the closing of any public organization over night. Putting aside any conspiracy theories, this move does not hide anything else than the faithful application of the program.
The time chosen was when it would cost the less because of summertime where viewing is very low. The planning, therefore, did not hide the reason for holding elections. In reality it was the same as the previous fronts and it presupposed the immediate occupation of structures of ERT after the announcement of the lockout (as happened in the offices on Mourouzi street, Katehaki and ERT3). It was the factor of the mobilization of the people which stopped the government planning. The tens of thousands who gathered at the radio headquarters the same night combined with the, almost catholic dissatisfaction caused by the move of closing ERT, brought the first, substantial, political wound to the government and Samaras personally.
The “autocratic” strategy of Samaras who saw the gain of political advantage, in contrast to his two governmental partners who were tumbling, starting a campaign to attract foreign investments, found its limits at its beginning. Obviously, neither the updating of credit ability can convince anyone, who knows the situation of greek economy, that an economic miracle has occurred while Samaras is in power. The shipwreck of privatizing DEPA (national gas company), the obstacles with OPAP (greek organization of football prognostics) and DESFA (management of national gas transmission system), the half billion deficit in the budget, as well as the discovering of new deficits in the EOPYY (national organization of health services) and insurance funds, surely give the image that the “success story” is nothing more than another of Samaras’s “stories”. Closing ERT was the first incident which produced an important political cost to the government and especially ND.
But why did closing down ERT cause the immediate reaction of a large part of society? The answer is located in four points.
1. The “decide and order” has tired, but mainly has enraged the greek people. Most realize that we live in a period of a “state of emergency”, where acts of legislative content at least replace the whatever parliamentary function.
2. The official unemployment has passed 27% of the population. Firing 2.600 workers with a simple governmental announcement is too much.
3. State radio-television, besides a tool of state propaganda, was for many Greeks and immigrants a entertaining-cultural antidote to the swamp of private television.
4. The most important reason is that its the same thing that made the people of our neighbouring Turkey to revolt and resist Erdogan’s government. It is, exactly, this accumulation of social hardships created by the economic crisis and its management by the domestic elite. It is the poverty and wretchedness which pushes thousands to the wall of desperation, even suicide. It is this policy which with a fascist way imposes itself for a 4th year from the third dummy-government of Germany and the Troika in a row. It is the moment the glass spills over.
What the greek people should learn from the year of governing of ND-PASOK-DHMAR is that no electoral confrontation can be the way out of its problems. Just as no government whether based on the right, or the left can re-plan the economy, neither renegotiate anything with the Troika. Obviously, the current government formation cannot convince anyone that it will save the land and make things better in the years to come, neither of course a formation with SYRIZA as its trunk, which has buried anything concerning abolishing the memorandum for time now, and is integrated more and more in the nucleus of the regime. The greek people cannot wait for any solution from the regime parliamentary forces, since the regime is completely dependant and subordinate to the Troika and markets. It must self-organize through every mobilization and and struggle that will come up, it must see the individual struggles as an opportunity to subvert the totality of the policies of the regime. It is an exclusive job of the proletarians to be the forces of “cleansing”, to impose real social justice and cease to listen to the government or far-right “sirens” who preach the struggle against corruption. Those who are the usual suspects for the crisis cannot become the vehicle for exiting it. It is time to be inspired from the heroic militancy and persistence of the turkish protesters, the time of struggle for the subversion of the policies of the Troika and the regime. It is in the path of struggle where the foundations of the social revolution will be placed, the revolution of the poor and weak, where the people will re-plan economy, and their own life.
*Halivourgia is one of the biggest steel factories in greece. The workers were on strike for 9 months in 2011-2012.
**Skouries is an area in Halkidiki, where residents fought the cops and riotcops who were protecting “Greek Golds” while they were trying to build a gold mine next to their homes.