Valorous Greece, she is not dead!
Democratic Greece is being attacked by Capital without cause. The Greeks are strangled because previous governments received billions. Now there is no money, yet speculators claim profits. This is no reason for plunging a nation into dire austerity.
Valorous Greece, she is not dead!
Fernando García Izquierdo
I feel sad. They want to strangle peaceful little Greece and I know they are indeed very strong and very cruel. We should all stand up and fight; it is not enough to say we reject the ‘monetary union’ for Greece, euro, drachma, peseta, escudo or whatever: what might that signify?
The evil is much deeper. It is a question of capitalism-imperialism, it goes back (all the problem) to the inception of the system of capitalist exploitation: land, capital, labour; profits and wages and so on; the rest, circulation of commodities, speculation, banks, loans, interest… is something added, to cause the worker’s hardship. And Money.
As always happens when slogans are shot up to the media, ‘Grexit’ being one of them, meaning the exclusion of a party from the banquet of capitalism, accumulation of Money, the enemies of the human race are trying to mislead us. It is Not simply a monetary matter, as I have said. There are other more important factors. Geography, history, the fight against communism. They are still at it.
At a certain moment in the past, capitalism-imperialism needed Greece, as it needed Portugal and Spain. There was the cold war. All these countries, and others later on, were seen by the Grand Satan as strategically situated places to be utilised in our war of civilizations.
From riches to rags
Ultimately there is nothing, it seems, that can ingratiate Greece with the Free World’, but the acceptance of a Plan of Austerity’, very cleverly prepared by those superhumans we sometimes call ‘technocrats’.
If the Greek people and their government adopt it (Plan of Austerity) the country will again be accepted into the fold. If not: On your knees!! But austerity signifies for the people much poverty, less education, culture, public services and so on and so forth. And it cannot be. Even the fact that these things are being considered is unacceptable. How do normal people, say Madame Lagarde, Frau Merkel, Signore Craghi and others, dare get together, like the witches of old, and start calculating how many little Greeks we are going to let die, etc. This is inconceivable.
It used to be seen differently. When Europe was still the colonising power of the world, capital used to flow in our streets and alleyways, and the whole Free World rejoiced. Even uncouth German metal workers used to promenade their beer-bellies freely and contentedly on the beaches of the Blue Mediterranean.
Something went very wrong in the twenty-first century. Are we Now going to get rid, ladies and gentlemen, of Greece because Capitalism has Fallen and is Dying?
War, is that what you want? To destroy everything? as we have been doing in the neighbouring Middle East and North and Central Africa.
It was not always like that.
The European Union is not a thing only of the last few years, and if we want to understand anything in the named ‘Greek Question’ we had better get to the bottom of things. I happened to live during five months in Cologne, West Germany, a few years after World War II. (As an anecdote, I’ll mention that during some celebrations I saw Der Alte Adenauer, the newly named Chancellor.) I had a vision of West Germany, with the physical marks everywhere of the past war still quite palpable. All the same, there was in West Germany (newly constituted) such a sign of prosperity, work, reconstruction and in a word, Wealth that (coming from an impoverished country still under the boot of fascism) I would have liked to have seen in the Madrid I had left behind. Perhaps the reader has heard of the American Marshall Plan, millions and millions of dollars (a present from Washington) were received by the Bonn Government all those crucial years.
When ‘Europe’ was all generosity.
During the past two decades, I went to Castille, the region where I was born, quite a lot and lived there for long periods. I had previously seen in other parts of Spain, during my summer holidays a most exquisite splendour. We were Europeans at last. I presume it was the same in Italy, Greece, Portugal.
Money was pouring in from ‘Europe’. Suddenly Spain was caring about the preservation of heritage: and it was urgent to ‘reconstruir’ such architectural jewels like the palaces and gardens of the Alhambra, in Granada. And everywhere the same, right to the last, forgotten romanic ruins of a Mudejar church in the Meseta. Everywhere you could see big painted placards: ‘La Comunidad Europea ha subvencionado estas obras.’ (the European Community subsidises these works.)
Moreover, in the villages of Castille the peasants were now quarrelling about how much money each one was to get from the European Community. Disputes arose between my cousins and people I knew. This was the reason for the discussions and actual brawls: money was handed down to the peasants from Brussels in consideration of their keeping their respective pieces of land fallow. The ‘European’ technocrats had determined that the lands of Castille would stop producing wheat, because French wheat was twice as ‘competively’ produced and, besides the grain was bigger than in the Peninsula.
When I read these days that Frau Merkel and Herr Schäuble are teaching the Greeks lessons about democracy-cum-economics, I always think of those days when the United States and Britain and other western countries decided to split occupied Germany in two and the Federal Republic of West Germany was born in 1949.
It was decided that Germans and French would become friends again, within the Free World. The Union of Steel and Coal was formed. Then the Common Market etc. I was a young man then. I can say truly that northern and western Europe was Paradise. Full employment, full ‘gaspillage’ or waste, in all sections and aspects of industry and life. Great prosperity for some decades. Until in 2008… there came the collapse!!
Seven years have gone by since, and there is little that works any more. Still worse: it will be worse tomorrow, as we all know in our heart of hearts .
And now, are we going to allow the German Banks to smother Greece on the ground that a few billion euros lent to successive Greek governments (previous to the present one) have been lost forever and consequently the German Banks which speculated on the past operations are not going to receive their expected profits?
I have read (three times) an article published in the current (August 2015) issue of ‘Le Monde Diplomatique’ entitled ‘Leur seul objectif était de nous humilier’ (‘Their sole purpose was to humiliate us’), written by the man who for a few months was Greece’s Finance Minister. It is a wonderfully clear, well written article, and it expresses (to me) the profound sentiment of a man who, at the moment to which he refers in his writing, was representing all the Greek people, to the salvation of whom he was devoting, I think, all his life: and in any case a great deal of energy and knowledge. A member of the Syriza party he followed the programme presented to and approved by the people (perhaps he still works with the party), and because of all this he was acting with determination and enthusiasm.
This man, Yanis Varoufakis, is good, frank, sincere - qualities all of these that you hardly ever find in politicians of our time, in people like Sarkozy, Bush (father and son), Berlusconi, Blair, Strauss-Kahn and thousands and thousands of the so-called ‘great men of our time’.
How do I know this? that Mr. Varoufakis is not like them, that in the article I am referring to he comes out as a sincere man and a sane politician? You see, I happen to be an old person, and having lived a long time and observed the world, I have seen life around me, men and women. And I dare to judge this man and without fear of making a mistake I say he is good.
I am now going to follow him, at least partially, in his article (and allow myself to make some comments). To begin with, I see how patiently he acts, in these very tragical matters and circumstances, vis-à-vis certain persons who at the very least are, as the French would say, ‘tres mal élevés’, ‘rude’, you would say in English. Comic characters indeed (I say) who, had the circumstances not been so tragic, I would have howled with laughter, representing them in my imagination.
For I see them, reading the article, Mr. Varoufakis pictures them so well.
Thus, on January 30, 2015, a few days after his election as Greece’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Yanis Varoukakis was showing Mr. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, representing ‘Europe’, a complete plan of action, going on into the matter of the debt, etc., step by step, explaining what Syriza and the prime minister, Alexei Tsipras, proposed to be the future conduct of the new Greek government...
And Mr. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, we read, hardly opened his mouth. ‘Cela ne marchera pas,’ he said in conclusion. ‘Ce le mémorandum, ou l’échec du programme.’ Full stop.
Can it be believed? Is that a civilised manner of initiating some public conference. Is Greece a colony of Germany or of Capitalism, a Satellite, so to say at the service of some Satanic Conqueror?
Two parties had come to a Conference, quite a normal thing to do in inter-state politics and at international law generally. Under feudalism, reunions of this kind entailed the appearance of a lord, on the one hand, and the serfs on the other. The lord ordered, like in the present case, scarcely uttering a word. There was always the bailiff by his side with the whip.
So, dear ‘Mr. Europe’! No comment, eh? Only the memorandum? Let us see about that.
According to my dictionary, a memorandum is a written note where all the details are given of what has to be done, so as to make things clear at the outset when the matter is very serious.
It was always the same, under fascism, in the country where I was born. ‘¡Ordeno y mando! Yes, there was fascism in Spain, ‘por Obra y Gracia de Mussolini y Hitler’. I saw this type of men when I started to study Law.
Very convenient for the great capitalist powers of today, in the Free World, to keep the lords in power, with their bailiffs..
This is absolutely intolerable, and the whole world is now fed up. I don’t care if you command in ‘Europe’ or you are merely stooges of the Hidden Powers. Reply at least!!
Do not tolerate it, sane people of Europe and the world. Do not let this sort of public conduct be imposed on the people. Power!! Teach the arrogant fellow a good lesson.
A memorandum of austerity.
Five or six million Greeks cannot accept willingly to be confined to poverty all their lives. Who can believe that a people who (for whatever reason) had known a certain standard of living in past decades is not going to react against such an imposition? Who is to say that such an imposition, little by litle starvation, is to become the law and practice to be followed? I have another idea instead of starving four of five million people. Give them employment!! Your own System only sees the people as objects to be exploited, to be reduced to near starvation.
There is only one thing sought by the great and powerful of today: to give all the power to the Banks.
‘Pauvre, pauvre pussycat!’, the first of the European nations, chronologically speaking, once Number One in erudition, refinement, culture, literature… today absolutely defeated. I hear every day on the radio that Athens has come to an ‘agreement.’ Like this in the French language : ‘Athènes est arrivée a un accord avec ses créanciers.’
‘Créanciers! Indecent speculators, I would call them. Look at the way their activists mass their capital. Even some times ‘Time’ magazine calls them wolves, sharks, birds of prey. An American Magazine! They are all the same, money-makers, that is all. Hard to understand, rational animals, human nature.
And poor Mr. Tsipras who it seems once believed that it was true that fantasy of a free world, elections, government of the people, by the people and for the people, is now being forced to come before I-don’t-know-whose judgement. New elections! Or his government may be trying per-secula-seculorum to salvage something, a minimum quantity of Bread for the children, at least for the time being. Don’t lose your sleep, Madame Lagarde, they will manage to survive, somehow.
But let’s go on reading.
The Varoufakis article in ‘Le Monde Diplomatique’ refers to the question of the loan. ‘L’Europe a décidé d’accorder à Athènes le plus important plan d’aide de l’histoire, soucieuse d’éviter le défaut des banques françaises et allemandes.’ He hides nothing. Mother Europe is not mingy, she hasn’t abandoned Greece altogether.
The largest loan ever granted in History. Imposing, isn’t it? Not to the Syriza government, ‘sousentendu’, but to governments long ago. I don’t want to enter in matters relative to the quality of the Greek governments that received that ‘cadeau’; but, ten to one, they weren’t far from being far right. That is what suits our Free World.
Now, since last January, there is a truly democratic government. The world knows what is going to happen. There are already in the Baltic countries voices against socialism, politicians have shouted that their countries, new adquisitions of the Free World, should be given loans, not Greece; for there is poverty and great misery in Estonia.
Never has there been any excess of the Syriza government.
I read that Mr. Varoufakis, quite modestly, gives an explanation for their (enormous) victory in the polls, thus : ‘C’est la raison pour laquelle notre partie, Syriza, a remporté les élections législatives de janvier dernier.’ He had been showing the world that nothing of what ‘troikas’ and ‘non-troikas’ have done in five years had produced any result, and how the people approved their programme, Syriza’s.
And he modestly says (in my English translation: ‘It is the reason why Syriza won the elections last January.’
Now, what is the importance attached by our ladies and gentlemen (the troika or whatever… the Commission, Washington, the Banks… to these very important, very well conducted, very honestly fought (think of Bush, to give just one case)… what does ‘Europe of January 2015’ now think of Syriza’s efforts to be plainly democratic, of the referendum that followed? What? Nothing. They even say so aloud. Democracy, Elections, rubbish, they say.
On the contrary, more severe measures were imposed on the Greek government and on the peole, because of the referendum. Give Syriza a chance! Don’t turn your honourable persons into the bailiffs of Important Birds of Prey who only think of smothering the people.
‘Cela a provoqué une chute du revenu national sans précédent depuis la Grande Dépression’. In other words, never in nearly one hundred years had Greece known such poverty. ‘They’ve caused a descent of the national wealth never-heard-of since the thirties of the last century.’
National Wealth. Read any elementary book on economy: only the work of the people can produce wealth. You, and elements of your caliber are leading whole populations towards total unemployment. There is no ‘Memorandum’ made by the capitalists and their lackeys that can correct this horrible situation. Work, employment, production, growth… the ideas which led Monsieur Hollande to the presidency of France and which later on he failed to apply.
We learn that on February 5, Mr. Varoufakis paid a visit to Herr Schäuble, a minister serving the Banks. Mr. Varoufakis knew how things were shaping on the higher spheres of capitalism-imperialism. Again he spoke trying to reassure him, to reassure ‘Europe’, i.e., ‘les créanciers’.
‘Alas! Not one of our well-founded propositions arose the slightest interest’. A frown and a sneer of cold command again.
There was more to it. When I read about these matters, the representative today of the Greek nation appears, first and foremost, as a human being. His interlocutors always seem to me to be machines, instruments, perhaps serving the Banks, something robotic..
At a given moment, the question cropped up whether a people’s freely elected government should have a say in the important financial discussions going on, and the unbelievable happened.
‘On ne peut pas laisser des élections changer quoi que ce soit.’
General Franco, dictator in Spain for close to forty years, could have expressed things more clearly. We must not allow the elections to change these matters in the slightest!
In the seventies, in Paris, I was the representative of a branch of the United States Chambers of Commerce, in one of the international Commissions because I was specialised in that particular branch of the law.
The meetings or reunions always took place in a building in Cours Albert 1er, and there were always at the sessions men (a few women) coming from all over the world, from Indonesia to Canada and from Sweden to South Africa.
I saw then important West German citizens, I say important because they were among the most powerful, generally in commerce, industry and finance. We met about once every month. For some years there was always in the chair an elderly man who presided the sessions, a respectable and respected Captain of Industry. His was a hot branch of the West German heavy industry.
It turned out that he was ‘un ancien de Nürnberg’ (the trials of Nazis where generals, financiers and industrialists, accused of war crimes and of crimes against humanity, passed before their judges, many of whom were respected Americans.)
Just by the way, I shall say that a handful of those tried were sent before a firing squad later on; one of those condemned to life imprisonment, R. Hess, was in fact imprisoned for the rest of his life and died in the Castle (prison) of Spandau, East Germany; others, who were condemned for shorter periods of imprisonment spent some years in jail.
Now, please do not commence again. I am writing all this, because five years pressing and pressing on a poor guiltless people, as evidently the Greeks are, is far too much, the more so as it seems that now worse is coming.
Nobody wants a new world war, with people dying, with catastrophes of all kinds, which we of the freeworld have originated. As we say in Spanish, ‘renglón y cuenta nueva’ and let he or she who has not sinned throw the first stone against poor wounded Greece.
Just for a mingy sum of one hundred billion paper money!!