Neoliberalism has shown its teeth to the people of Greece and all Europeans. On January 25, 2015 the Social Democratic Party Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) won the parliamentary elections and the next day formed a coalition government with the right-wing Independent Greeks (Anel). Common denominator of both parties was opposing memoranda over the past five years that had led a big part of the population in poverty and destitution, and had laid the foundation of a totalitarian dominance of neoliberalism, perhaps unprecedented in the history of the Greek state.
A few days later the “negotiations” between the Greek government and representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union began, that is the so-called “Troika”, which the government euphemistically renamed “the institutions”, thinking that something will change if you change the name (a speculative explanation was that troika was treated as a single entity while in fact they were three representative entities which did not all serve the exact same interests and therefore during negotiations their contradictory interests can be manipulated by the Greek negotiating team to improve its position). From the outset it was clear that Europeans (and partly the IMF) had no intention of signing a “decent [honest] deal” as they referred to the government as being clumsy, having illusions about the role of these institutions and of corporatist capitalism. It was clear that the European neoliberalism wanted to humiliate and discredit the Social Democratic government, pushing for a more aggressive neoliberal transformation.
Each time the Greek government proposed something, the European blackmailers demanded even more painful measures, more privatization, more poverty for the Greek people. The mass disinformation is dedicated to a real orgy of terrorization, propaganda programs on TV and radio literally 24 hours a day. They did not stop the terrorist propaganda even after the referendum was lost to a majority NO to the proposed deal. (The referendum was for a YES/NO to the European proposal, which the media clearly portrayed as an unconditional YES to measures or “Total destruction of the nation and its economy”). It was clear that something important was at stake for the media owners.
Here we note three things. The first is that the intention of the government was the signing of an agreement to measures that did not alleviate the burdens of the working class, but which would allow the administration to continue ruling as a social democratic government in a totally neoliberal environment. It was clear that apart from this naive aspiration the coalition government had no alternative plan in case this failed. The second is that after the elections, the leader of the right-wing New Democracy party did not resign, obviously hoping that the Troika would ensure the end of the coalition government, between social democrats and nationalists, thus to retake power shortly after negotiations would fail. At least this would have promised political and economic continuity. The third is that the three neo-liberal parties that supported the “YES” in the referendum, in order to avoid a Grexit, they would cooperate and offer their support to the coalition government, stating that they would vote in favor of any agreement with the “institutions”, offsetting any loss of votes by more radical government deputies.
Towards the end of June it seemed that the “negotiations” were coming to a standstill. Creditors had proposed a far worse agreement than was the previous memorandum proposal. The coalition government was caught in a bind. On the one hand if they accepted such a proposal in the eyes of voters they would resemble or equal the previous neoliberal governments. On the other hand, if they refused the proposal, European elites would force Greece out of the Eurozone and the European Union [the propagandized legality of the Eurozone not having the authority to exclude a member was nonsense as once the ECB would cut liquidity to Greek banks the government would be enforced to publish its own currency and abolish all customs treaties signed with the EEC, therefore taking itself out of the Euro and the EEC in order to survive]. What would happen was well known to all. The European Central Bank would constantly devalue the new Greek currency and the European Union would sabotage the few products that were produced in Greece as retaliation for abolishing its treaties, after plundering of the country by multinationals, eliminating its agriculture, livestock and industry, and demolishing the increased proportion of the so-called third sector (services e.tc.).
In this case of course the real masters (protectorate of) of the country would suffer the damages, which is the United States. Greece is a top customer of the US arms industry [a huge chunk of its debt is due to this relationship]. In this case, Greece with a constantly devalued currency could not buy weapons, oil, etc., all served by US based multinational interests (and therefore dependency to). Let’s also not forget the geopolitical significance of Greece to serve US interests and plans in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The administration therefore, being caught in a bind, played the wild card of the referendum, speculating that people would vote against the European proposal. Indeed, on July 5, with closed banks, 61.3% voted against the European proposal in a referendum in which the percentage of abstention reached 38% (therefore making the actual percentage that voted for the European proposal less than 20% of the voters’ body). A few days later the government returned to the table of “negotiations” with European blackmailers (banks being forced shut by the ECB) waiting around the corner. This time the neoliberals reminded the Greek Social Democrats and their nationalist crutches who the real master in Europe was. They proposed a series of measures far worse than on the earlier proposal, which the government agreed to after dismissing the possibility of an exit from the eurozone, knowing what an exit would entail in an aggressive neoliberal environment.
The new measures to be voted in Parliament are the hardest to be imposed on the country by the national and transnational capital in the contemporary history of the Greek state. Neoliberal hegemony has made clear it will not tolerate any left-social democratic parenthesis. For us the answer to the above methods of both neoliberals and social democrats is very clear: No to neoliberalism, and no to social democracy. However, a simple “no” is not enough. Those from below must self-organize and respond in a combative way to the onslaught of neoliberalism. If not, the total enslavement of Greek society (and not only) and the imposition of neoliberal totalitarianism are more than Ante Portas.