Τρίτη 14 Ιουλίου 2015

The July 13th EU agreement

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

As in all great historical moments, simple people understand what is really happening before economists, politicians and commentators are able to analyze the precise details of an event.

A fisherman in an Athens market tries to hide his tears hearing from the radio the terms decided by European leaders in Brussels and imposed upon PM Tsipras and his country. That is the details of the way “civilized” and “democratic” Europe will continue on destroying his country and the life of millions of people, in spite of all the referendums of the world. They treat, using financial and political means, a whole people and his state, the same way they treated Iraq or Libya. Simply in the case of the Middle East they were using bombing, instead of financial means!

The terms European leaders decided become more and more reminiscent to Greeks of what their country had to suffer under the German Nazi occupation (1941-44).  Professor Travlos, a recognized  authority in Labour Law, says that, at first glance the terms imposed to Greece are reminiscent of the terms imposed to Germany between 1945 and 1953, as a consequence of its defeat.

The way the EU leaders are ordering the Greek parliament to vote legislation in 48 hours, revoking previous legislation it has itself passed, and sometimes not having sufficient time to translate from English into Greek the texts submitted to the deputies, it is felt, and it is a particular humiliation imposed to Greeks by German, Dutch and other leaders, obviously enjoying their clearly sadistic behavior.

It is not only a coup d’ Etat in Athens, organized with the help  of banks instead of tanks, it is clearly a coup d’ etat affecting the whole functioning and the fundamental ideology to which European Union was supposed to be based upon. The implications are clear for all European nations.

In a local SYRIZA organization people are crying in disbelief and despair.  They are crying like their fathers and grand fathers, the partisans who fought against Hitler, who won the war and then they were ordered by their leadership, after the Varkiza agreement of 1945, to give up the arms they had taken from the enemy. The An.Ell. party is also in disarray.

Two strong forces are clashing in the souls of Greeks. The first is the fundamental  psychological mechanism which leads the revolt. This mechanism was put in action, for the majority of Greeks, the 2nd or 3rd of July, when the anger and the need of people for decency and respect did overcome the fear, producing the 61% of the referendum. The second is the despair and discouragement when the leader himself and his generals capitulate. This is what making the political and social situation highly unpredictable.

Some in SYRIZA and An.Ell. speak already of betrayal. It is true that Tsipras faced very powerful enemies and a horrible correlation of forces. But, at the same time, he bears enormous, historical responsibility for not preparing, until the last moment, himself, his party and the country for the very probable scenario of a confrontation. He seemed to believe until the very last moment that, somehow, the US-Israel axis could intervene on his behalf. It is true that Obama intervened, and he probably ordered also Paris, Rome and others to intervene, but such an intervention was sufficient just for not kicking Greece out of Eurozone, out of fear of Greece turning towards Russia, not for finding any kind of plausible compromise.

We should also point to the fact that a part inside SYRIZA leadership has waged a ferocious battle behind the scenes to reverse the anti-austerity line, to reach a compromise with Creditors at any cost, to cancel the referendum and provoke a defeat of the No camp. As for forces opposing the capitulation course inside the Party, have proven all the way totally ineffective and bureaucratic in nature.

Members of SYRIZA are bewildered also by the fact that Tsipras himself has not gone public, to explain in any convincing way the reasons behind his U-turn. The Central Committee has not convened during all these weeks of the crisis. Some ministers or other leading cadres do not try even to claim that this was a retreat, necessary under the circumstances. They try to defend, against common sense, the agreement per se.

A huge question is coming now from thousands of mouths: What we do now?

“Now begins the struggle”, is the answer by Professor Kasimatis, the top Greek specialist on constitutional law, Founder and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law. Kasimatis is the author of a devastating legal critique of the colonialist “bail out” programs imposed on Greece after 2010, from the point of view of both the Greek constitutional order and European and international law.

The 13th of July “agreement” guarantees in fact the precipitation of the Greek economic and social disaster and the further destruction of Greek democracy. The Greek problem and, with it, the European problem will again explode, in the space of a few weeks or of a few months.

The agreement was imposed on the Greek government by Merkel, Dragi, Hollande and the others, by means of coercion, blackmail and economic and political pressure, under the threat, which was already put into application, of provoking the “melting down” of the Greek banking system and the return of the country to the “Stone Age”!

The agreement is the product of the massive use of political and economic pressure in international negotiations, banned by the Vienna international convention of 1969. It constitutes the first time in the history of European Union than a member is treated this way. It puts in direct danger the life of hundreds of thousands of Greeks citizens, already victims of the EU-IMF “bail-out” programs and also the security of the country.

The decisions of the EU council are a flagrant violation of the will of the Greek citizens, expressed in the recent referendum. The mandate given by Greek citizens it is even much stronger, because it was given under condition of a terror campaign against voting No by nearly all Greek mass media, under the direct threat of very strong international forces and with the ECB waging financial war against Greece, leading to the closure of the banks. One can imagine the percentage No would gain if all these factors did not exist.

According to the Greek constitutional order and to European law, the result of the referendum is of a binding character for both Greek authorities, including the Parliament and European institutions. It can be changed only by a new referendum. Once again European authorities and governments are acting, as they did all the time after May 2010, in clear violation of legality.

On the level of the economy, the program adopted is clearly a recession provoking program applied to a country that has already suffered, as a result of European “efforts to help it”, by far the biggest economic and social disaster in post WWII capitalist Europe, losing more than 27% of its GDP, that is more than US during the Grand Depression, Weimar Republic during its last three years of its existence, France or Germany during the 1st WW. If Greece needs something is immediate financial help to stop the humanitarian catastrophe and invest in the redressing of the economic situation. In reality it will get the money to pay back its creditors, increasing its own, already unsustainable, sovereign debt. The promises about some future discussion of restructuring and help for development are simply ridiculous. They have given in the past and they were not kept.

Besides, the agreement contains a lot of neocolonialist, property looting terms.

Such economic measures cannot be applied by a normal parliamentary regime. They can lead either to a civil war, either to a dictatorial regime. In fact this is exactly the ultimate result, if not the aim of the program.

25 years ago, the toppling of the eastern “socialist” regimes provoked the collapse of economy and society of those countries. Now it goes the other way around. The collapse of the economy and society are leading to “regime change”. They lead to the negation of the most fundamental political, national and social rights of European peoples, enjoyed by them after the 2nd WW, if not after the French Revolution.

The Greek program is not a mistake. If it was it would be corrected long ago. The Greek program is the result of a choice of society and the way to realize this choice. Greece is the laboratory where the future is prepared, like Spain was, before the War, the laboratory for what would follow in all Europe. This the idea dominating powerful circles of the International Finance in alliance with European elites, first of all the German elite. In Greece we have the rare opportunity to see the future they prepare for all of Europe. And this future may be not only a huge social and cultural regression of the continent, but also can lead to war with Russia, if the forces already in action finally win.

A day, back in the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity of discussing this idea with Alexis Tsipras, speaking to him about the radical character of the policy of the forces he would face. I was telling him that we face a transition from neoliberal to a “catastrophe capitalism”. He is more a fun of cinema than of Marx, so I suggested him that Kubrick has given us, with his last masterpiece, a very disturbing portrait of the real people dominating our postmodern world and preparing the advent of Totalitarianism.  Our world has nothing to do with the world of Roosevelt, Kennedy, De Gaulle etc. He looked to me in great disbelief. He could not believe or understand why there can be forces in Europe wishing to destroy his country. At least let his tragic fate serve as a warning. Illusions about the reality and the dangers we face can be very dangerous!  

Athens, July 13th, 2015

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