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Columns


Sunday 1 July 2012

«PROTO THEMA»

Countries are like people. You don’t have to be a psychiatrist or have a PhD in International Relations to realize it. You can come to the same conclusion if you just watch closely what’s going on around us or within us. It is inevitable for every Greek because our survival is directly linked to the political and financial circumstances abroad.
The Germans went to Thursday’s Summit Meeting the same way they play football – uncompromising and unrelenting – but, at some point during the night, the Southerners got angry. Mario Monti’s Mediterranean temperament woke up and met his country’s immediate need. And then, all hell broke loose. He threatened to veto, he bullied Herman Van Rompuy, he locked the doors – making the Danish wonder if they were “hostages” – he did everything possible for his own country.
The Germans were cornered, facing the fierce opposition of Italy-Spain-Ireland-France, whereas the whole of Europe (not to say the United States of America!) silently prayed for the Italians. Since they haven’t decided yet whether they want the European Union or not, the Germans yielded. A few hours later, they tried to salvage whatever they could, but the truth is that Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal were the winners of the Summit Meeting.
And Greece? No. It remains to be seen whether our own banks will be recapitalized directly through the support mechanisms and under the same terms or not.
But, in any case, we didn’t lose. Our membership in the club of the living was reaffirmed (“living” means any country that is in danger of a disorderly default, but pulls through and remains in the euro). I have to confess how relieved I was when I read about our humble and modest presence in Brussels – especially now, after the successive frights of the last eight months, Karolos Papoulias and his retinue are a thousand times better than the “national negotiation team”. The mere thought of the Antonis Samaras-Evangelos Venizelos-Fotis Kouvelis trio raising issues of loans, taxes, etc. at the Summit Meeting makes me dizzy.
The right time will come. Actually, it has already come. Horst Reichenbach arrives in Athens tomorrow, a few hours before the IMF and the rest of the Troika. They are our opponents. I hope our national team in politics will play better than our national team in football.
However, three players are not enough to save the country. Their teams must also be ready for war. But, for the time being, all the indications point to a civil war. Take, for example, the battle – I’m afraid that it will soon turn into a literal battle the way things are going – for ERT (public TV). The first supports a certain candidate, the second nominates himself, the third wants his brother-in-law and we all know who the fourth doesn’t want and why… Both PASOK and the oppositionary rhetoric that SYRIZA managed (!) to articulate are plagued by similar problems.
I used to believe in the old quote that everything happens “for money and/or sex”. However, the reality turns out to be entirely different. The two elements are often the pretext for dispute, but the real cause is the thirst for power.
The Germans are well aware of it. Arthur Schopenhauer introduced the idea as “thirst for survival”, which is entirely legitimate. Charles Darwin made it clear that the mere fact that we were born and we are still alive is a victory of our individual and collective thirst for survival against thousands of obstacles that pushed us towards the opposite direction. The same truth occurs for every living creature, as well as people and countries. The dinosaurs were fearsome creatures, but they perished. Atlantis was a legendary continent, but it sunk.
Friedrich Nietzsche named the thirst for survival “der Wille zur Macht” (thirst for power) and made it the focal point of his way of thinking.
The lust for power and dominance over other people stems from sexual complexes, Sigmund Freud insisted. Rationally projected, it must be so, since the sexual instinct is the reproductive instinct – despite the fact that we keep separating them – which directly contributes to the survival and evolution of the human species.
However, Sigmund Freud also said something else that was conveniently “forgotten” when his views became common knowledge and shaped our world: the human being is defined by two poles – the sexual instinct and the death instinct. By “death”, he meant destruction, self-destruction and anything that reduces the possibilities of survival of the human being individually or collectively.
In my humble opinion, the lust for death is the negative aspect of the lust for life, love and creation. It is what happens when the thirst for survival,.......................................................




Sunday 24 June 2012

«PROTO THEMA»

Up to now, we haven’t been able to take a breath since November 2009, when the newly-elected George Papandreou administration discovered – or at least that is when they officially said they discovered – that there are no money and that we owe so much and we are considered so untrustworthy that only with an iniquitous and unbearable interest rate could we borrow money in order to survive.And then came the black spring of 2010 and the Memorandum of Understanding No. 1, the Troika became a part of our life and our life became something different than what we used to know. Something dark, fearful and terrible.
Yet, we adjusted no matter how painful it was. We accepted salary cuts, redundancies, increased taxes, delayed or suspended payments, everyday abuses and humiliations from Europe and the entire planet. We paid extravagant taxes without complaint – most of us at least – while the cost of living rose dizzyingly high, the VAT skyrocketed and our own life turned into a russian roulette due to the increased criminality. All around us, the orgies of the politicians and their associates went on triumphantly, the debt kept increasing and the reforms were postponed for later.And then came the Memorandum of Understanding No. 2, GAP’s dancing “escape” and the threat of the impending default. That is how we came up with an appointed government, a haircut that harmed our banks and social security funds mainly and the danger of gangs of illegal immigrants breaking into your house and killing your family after robbing and raping them present even in “secure” neighbourhoods.
And then the Lucas Papademos administration washed their hands and the demand for elections as a means of salvation became universal. And then came the May elections, which expressed anger and indignation, leading to a new adventure in limbo.That is how we came up with last week’s elections. The anger and indignation turned into a mad hope mingled with agony. And then it turned into fear. And then the new government was formed and the national feeling turned into joy. Exhilaration. Athens was celebrating on Wednesday. “Left wingers”, “right wingers”, people who are not interested in politics, fanatics, all out on the streets that smelled of night flower and joy, the air of Attica blowing over suntanned shoulders and the asphalt still emitting a warm sweetness. “We are saved”, “they are collaborating at last”, “the national team of Greece”. “Let’s see… Europe is changing, this is our chance!” were the most commonly-heard phrases. Of course, there were “buts” and “ifs”, doubts and fears. But Athens was celebrating. And Athens is the city that gives the pulse to the rest of the country.
And then came the next day. The government turned out to be “purely right” and not “the national team of Greece”, the problems and the unpaid bills came back to mind and............




Saturday 16 June 2012

«PROTO THEMA»

The sun is shining in Greece all of a sudden, burning depression and vaporizing anger. The horrible agony of the last weeks turned into joy, an apparently irrational joy because nothing has changed and dangers are still lurking, imminent and critical.
Half of us are pleased because they are expecting ND to win the elections. The other half are pleased because they are expecting SYRIZA to win the elections. On the other hand, the markets, the EU and the Athens stock exchange seem to have calmed down because they have forecast the result of the elections: ND. The Germans, who didn’t even want to meet Antonis Samaras in the past, have put a price on PASOK’s head and are feeling such joy upon hearing that Antonis Samaras has taken the lead in the polls that they have started talking about a third rescue package all by themselves!
Regardless of which of the two major parties (ND and SYRIZA; forget PASOK – Evangelos Venizelos seems to have accepted the fact and is organizing ultra mini gatherings in Korydallos!) wins the elections, people are largely relieved because the elections indicate not only relief of pressure but also return to our democratic tradition. If we don’t allow the institutional (through elections) people’s will to be expressed because “we are lost”, it is both a trap and loss of our national independence.
If the...beloved will of the people leads to a positive outcome concerning our finances, we will all be much happier! It is better to watch the Battle of Thermopylae in a movie than experience it – especially during the greek summer, instead of being on an island!
If ND wins the elections and forms a government, I don’t want to believe what SYRIZA opponents accuse the leftist party of and Alexis Tsipras himself seems to have implied: the organization of “militant” demonstrations and “popular” reactions. They would sink the country in no time at all and they would also be against the people’s will as expressed twice within the last 40 days.......




Sunday 10 June 2012

«PROTO THEMA»

We are leaving. The euro? Europe? Greece? All eventualities are possible, but for the time being we are leaving the life we knew up until now, we are leaving what we considered ours. Depressed, scared and angered, we are locking ourselves inside our houses. Where can you go when everything around you collapses? Where can you go when your salary is overdue/is paid in approximation/is not paid at all?
Nevertheless, up until a few days ago we were able to hide our fear, uncertainty and agony behind the sunlit curtain of an irrational optimism. Following last week’s events, however, and their climax on black Tuesday, everything has changed. Photoshop cracked along with our courage. At six thirty in the morning the streets are empty. At eleven thirty at night the streets are deserted. A lot of people do not have any money at all. The people who still have some play it safe. A lot of people have no job. The fact that the ownership of real estate is part of our culture is both a blessing and a curse. Otherwise, considering the current circumstances, we would be seeing people dying on the streets.
Nevertheless, things are not normal, no matter how much we are trying to convince ourselves. How could they be in politics? ND and SYRIZA are jousting against each other, the one being just a breath away from the other. Every day, depending on the circumstances, the one or the other takes the lead.
Tasos, a good friend of mine and a far-sighted voter of centre-left views, announced that “Unfortunately, I will be forced to vote for ND. There is no room for punishment of the two – former – “major” parties… Our survival is at stake. Our personal survival and the survival of the nation, determined by our leaving the euro or not. It is a widely-known fact. Nevertheless, there are people who are “confused” by despair or indignation, unable to think clearly. There are young people, mere children who either vote against the “establishment” for fun or do not understand what a default might involve.”
A few thousand votes will determine the outcome of the next elections. The truth, however, is painful and stripped naked: Do we want to see pensions and salaries in the public sector be paid or not? Do we want to see the private sector, dysfunctional as it may be, survive? Do we want hospitals? Police? Public Transport? Gas? Food? Or do we want to see our neighbour turn into a desperate criminal who will break into our house because we foresaw and bought loads of tin cans whereas his/her family has nothing?
And then there was the detonation of the Golden Dawn bomb. Being a time bomb, there is a still a week left to deactivate it. Their participation in the upcoming elections must be banned. I have heard all the arguments in favour of freedom of expression and freedom of choice when it comes to political views and the political parties that represent them in a democracy. Nevertheless, there are things that must be banned, no matter how much certain people crave for them. Child pornography is banned in every country in the world. The Holocaust denial is forbidden in most western countries.
Despite so many years of “progressive governance” (from Costas Simitis to “leftist” right-winger Kostas Karamanlis and George A. Papandreou with his passion for NGOs and human rights), no one ever thought of passing a law forbidding the Holocaust denial and the use of Nazi symbols and salutations. Now is the time to institute such a law – by presidential decree or government decision. The constitutionalists must find the way instead of wasting their scientific knowledge on justifying the unjustifiable acts of politicians or planning electoral systems that favour the one or the other party..................




Saturday 2 June 2012

We are leaving. The euro? Europe? Greece? All these eventualities are still open, but for the time being we are leaving for a three-day holiday. Depressed, scared, bewildered and angered, we are packing our stuff, taking advantage of the cheap bargains hotels and rooms to let are offering, and we are leaving. Of course the price of the runaway ticket remains handsome, no matter what means of transport you choose – aeroplane, boat, railway, car. However even those of us who are remaining in Athens will still spend a lot of money only by staying at home – every night at the witching hour of 12, I open my refrigerator and look at the pots of yoghurt, the tomatoes and the soda cans it is filled with, wondering whether they have turned into caviar and champagne to match their exorbitantly high price, but they persist on keeping their initial form...
Nevertheless, behind the sunlit curtain of an irrational happiness and optimism, all of us living in Greece nowadays are daunted and scared. At six thirty in the morning the streets are empty. At eleven thirty at night they are deserted, despite it being summer, the season for being outdoors--especially in Greece. 
A lot of people don’t have any money at all. The people who still have some, are playing it safe. A lot of people have no job. The fact that the ownership of real-estate is integral to our culture is part of what caused the financial bubble here. Yet, considering our current circumstances, if most people didn't own homes here in Athens we would already be seeing people dying on the streets, on a massive scale.
We are doing everything halfheartedly, taking part in a frenzied campaign to keep ourselves heartened, to convince ourselves not to give up. Yet even music radio stations, supposedly carefree and youth-oriented, are broadcasting the most depressing statements--albeit in a personal tone (“I’ve been paying taxes and bills all morning and I haven’t been paid yet”) or profound political analyses (“we need a strong government at last”). The "positive thinking" messages are so desperately thrown at us that a few days ago I even heard the following uttered on a political chat show: “We can’t all commit suicide. We have to realize that we must fight the tragedy we are experiencing here in Greece from overwhelming us through sharing quality moments and falling in love”. Such nonsense! Can’t they see what is going on all around? Everyone is looking lustfully at ATM machines. (Apart from the wife of a well-known football player who was caught living “intense..........




Sunday 27 May 2012

«PROTO THEMA»

The dogs are exhausted. “No more walking” their eyes plead us. But we insist: mercilessly, relentlessly and desperately, trying to release this explosive combination of fear and anger through constantly moving out on the streets. And since the price of gas has hiked whereas our wallet has shrunk, we choose walking. That’s what we have all been doing lately: power walking, jogging, just walking – even teenagers, who always seemed bored, have set aside their usual belligerent attitude and their existential problems, and have turned to bicycles, dogs, grandmothers, girlfriends...anything that can justify endless hours of walking and talking about the elections. Those who can’t walk, wash. The men wash cars; the women wash plants. People on the streets walk or run, usually alone, with two white or black headphones (the iPod or the handsfree of their mobile phone).
We all have a stamp on our forehead that says “Former PASOK voter. Current supporter of NEVER AGAIN”. We recognize each other; we are all dressed casually in a way that seems trendy during the day and Exarcheia-like during the night. And we walk like mad in order to release this weird, fearful albeit hopeful expectation we have for June 17.
What else can you do when the entire world – from China and Russia to the USA – warns that if we Greeks leave the euro, the end of the universe will come? The circumstance reminds me of the lyrics of a song by Dimitra Galani: “You were afraid of the power of the defeated, absorbed in his mistake and his excessive love”.
We are also afraid, but we passionately (an overwhelming 70%) want to stay in the euro. However, the Europeans insist that if we want to stay in the euro, we have to abide by the provisions of the two memorandums – which have undoubtedly failed. Therefore, a possible Alexis Tsipras triumph would certainly mean our exit from the euro. Is that right?
That’s what they say at least. That’s what the admittedly intimidating (when it comes to economy, common sense and law) statements of Alexis Tsipras & Bros. foreshadow. Yet, if Theodoros Pangalos attacks Alexis Tsipras one more time, I can see SYRIZA winning the elections soviet-style and myself waving the orange-pink flag of the 979 SYRIZA constituents in Koumoundourou Square, outside cool Alexis’ office.
As for the age polarization, those who seek it should bear in mind that the population of Greece might have got older, but it’s not right to separate the Greeks just before the most critical elections of the last years in “inexperienced, irresponsible and impertinent youth” and “old, mature and experienced”. Experienced at what? Destruction? Between Alexis Tsipras and the ragtag and bobtail of PASOK, along with Dora Bakoyannis, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Prokopis Pavlopoulos of ND, who to choose seems like a pseudo-dilemma.
I must confess: especially recently, 50-year-olds and the 60-year-olds are not my favourite kind of people! Of course, nor were, ten years ago, when I was in my early twenties, the then 40-year-olds and the 50-year-olds. However, the generation conflict is natural and – up to a point – unavoidable. There have also been cases in global history, as well as the history of separate countries, when certain generations played a more significant role than others. The 40's generation restored the words “heroism”, “homeland” and “freedom” in the global vocabulary. Contrarily, the “generation of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising” (nearly the same as the American baby boomers) is the one largely responsible for our current plight. How many times will we have to pay for it? How many? Shouldn’t there be an end to it?
Just a breath away from June and the elections, our thoughts are neither composed or constructive. Someone could call them divisive. Walls are built between us: young-old, rich-poor. Walls of hatred, similar to the walls that were built in every great national calamity – from the Peloponnesian War to the Civil War.
Yet, the walls are fake. How rich does somebody have to be in order to become our class enemy? The civil servant with a 900-euro salary seems rich in the eyes of the unemployed private sector employee who has no prospect of ever finding a job, at least not here in Greece. And the 300-euro pensioner seems rich in the eyes of the homeless. When hatred starts to unravel, it has no end. Nor any sense or justice.
Whatever happens in the June elections, we must not allow this unravelling to occur. Because up until now, the only thing keeping us standing, saving us like a deus ex machina, is our madness/audacity--and the fact that we love each other even when we think we don’t. It stems from the fact that we live in a small country and are but a handful of people, who are born, love each other, hate each other, start all over again, find our own balance and eventually, leave this world. But always absorbed in our love excessive.
No one really knows what will happen in the end and when it is going to happen. 
I'm telling you though, the time is near, Of course it may come in a different way than the..........




Wednesday 23 May 2012

«Huffington Post»

This article was published in the Huffington Post and can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amalia-negreponti/greece-elections_b_1536830.html

Despite the threatening, the wailing, the entreating and the haranguing coming from Brussels and Berlin, targeted at ‘forcing’ the creation of a national salvation broad coalition unity government, it is now official: Greece is on the way to a new round of elections on June 17.

This has necessitated some juggling as many EU deadlines for Greece were coming up in the next few weeks. Yet the Europeans have obviously decided to grit their teeth and wait out this new twist in the Greek drama.

This de facto softening, both of the EU position (which is, invariably nowadays, the view from Berlin), as well as of the rhetoric used by EU and German officials stems from the staggering 16,78% of the vote that Syriza gathered in the elections of May 6. It is also born of the adamant refusal of one man—the head of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras—to participate in or even ‘tolerate’, a broad coalition government.

Tsipras’ steadfast refusal to comprise has currently divided Greeks. Is he just one more, really smart and opportunistic politician hoping, through populist tactics, to fuel all the indignation and pain the middle class is going through in Greece, into a June triumph for his party so he can then reign supreme? If so, he is gambling with the fortunes of the country regardless of what the consequences may be.

Yet there seems to be a growing majority in Greece—recent polls show Tsipras now  commanding more than 25% of the June vote—who seem to believe Tsipras and his message promising “a peaceful revolution” is for real. These people believe that the young politician with the shining good looks is our only way out of the hellish situation we are currently in—yet remaining in the euro.

If this percentage translates into reality in the June polls, that will mean we are placing our final bets on the 37year old civil engineer—who never actually worked as he had been involved in politics since he was 12. This will be the last card in a desperate gamble of the Greek people to alert Europe and the entire world to the fact that the unyielding terms of the aid deals are only deepening our recession and plight and killing us off, without allowing for any economic recovery, ever.  

It will also be a leap of faith for middle-class and petit bourgeois Greeks who would in other circumstances never have dreamed of voting for a party on the radical Left. Yet, so great is the collective desperation and disgust for the mainstream political parties that got us in this mess, that many Greeks are apparently choosing to disregard the blunders Syriza lieutenants have made since the elections (one of them, Stratoulis, said ‘when’ Syriza becomes government, it will open up all savings accounts remaining in Greek banks, to ‘help the needy’).

The June elections will also be the ultimate litmus test for Tsipras, the youngest, most cherished child of a comfortably well-off family of civil engineers. His idyllic childhood and family life go a long way in explaining his upbeat steady confidence, as well as the fact that the girl he fell in love with when he was 16, became his life’s partner. He and Peristera (‘Betty’ as he calls her), now parents of a young son and shortly expecting another, met in the Youth organization of the Communist Party and have been together ever since, living modestly and shunning publicity.

Like many politicians throughout History, Tsipras committed “patricide” in order to rise to the top. In 2007, his political mentor, Alekos Alavanos, made a sudden decision to abandon the leadership of Syriza, appointing Tsipras as his successor. Under Tsipras’ leadership, Syriza became a younger, more energized and compact party that was later repeatedly accused of sponsoring anarchists who caused riots, and of condoning terrorism. This swerve toward the radical, ‘revolutionary’ hard-core left that Tsipras managed, eventually led to forcing Alavanos, who disagreed, out of the party. It is proving to be a choice that is now paying off, big time. 

The June elections will also be a watershed for the EU, proving whether and how far Berlin.............




Saturday 19 May 2012

«PROTO THEMA»

There was chaos in the banks on Tuesday. The same on Wednesday. On Thursday, the outflow of deposits reached panic level and verged on mass hysteria for a moment. Foreigners rubbed their eyes in surprise. Since we had just decided to form a caretaker government and the EU had given us time to implement after the June 17 elections the reforms provisioned in the memorandum agreement, why was there such panic? How can you explain to them that every time a SYRIZA member talks about the economy, common people feel shock and awe?
There’s only been 48 hours since the appointment of the new government and we’re feeling more relaxed all of a sudden. Life returned to normal – or sort of. We’re still a little “reserved” and afraid, but it’s probably the rain and the sudden fall that followed an explosive spring.
Within a couple of days, everything changed. Once again. Our previous situation, already altered by the May 6 elections, changed anew. New Democracy seems to be rising, PASOK seems like a miserable Open Centre for the Protection of the Elderly and Panos Kammenos seems to be falling, which hopefully proves that the percentage of Greek people who have totally “lost” it, is rather small. On the other hand, Golden Dawn has lost the deceptive “satanic and forbidden” glitter of an organization consisting of joking heavy metallers, real fascists and some incredible guys who seem to have come out of a ‘50s Finos Film movies.
And SYRIZA? The latest opinion polls show that their percentage has swelled, but put them in the second place. Alexis Tsipras is currently touring Europe, threatening the Europeans – that is to say Germans – that if they let us default and leave the euro, he, as prime minister, will… pass a law to abolish the memorandum agreement. Tit for tat.
Okay, but who’s going to implement this bold and somewhat risky policy: Dimitris Stratoulis, Dimitris Papadimoulis or Manolis Glezos? The views and policies of SYRIZA on the economy have turned out to be… tremendously irrelevant – to reality or in comparison to each other. Aleka Papariga is much more realistic and responsible – she had already made it clear before the elections that in the unlikely circumstance of KKE winning the elections, she wouldn’t form a government because KKE isn’t a governing party! I believe that, apart from English class, Alexis Tsipras skipped History class as well and never learned that the Battle of Thermopylae was a heroic one, but all the Greek warriors were finally killed.
Should we trust the “old” and “sensible” politicians who caused this mess? What can I say? It’s difficult to think soberly and hope that the political parties will find a way to govern the country after the elections when you read that the “Greek Taxpayers” association has........




Sunday 13 May 2012

«PROTO THEMA»

One and a half million homeless people. A 20% increase in suicides since 2009, the year the plague started. Day after day, dozens of burglaries and murders of poor and elderly Greeks by gangs of illegal immigrants. Large parts of the city are surrendered to crime, cholera, AIDS, typhus, bubonic plague, tuberculosis. In 2010, we were presented with a debt that was skillfully inflated from normal in the ‘90s to dangerous in 2010 and then, all of a sudden, to a nuclear holocaust. During the last two and a half years, we have all been destroyed financially speaking – apart from the people who got their “rake-off’ after 1981. During the last two and a half years, the private sector employees – who bear the greatest tax burden because the public sector employees enjoy a number of tax deductions – have been decimated. Along with entrepreneurs and small-medium businessmen (all the “big” players have fled the country or are foreigners), they face true poverty, which means they can’t buy anything from a supermarket where the price of a soda can includes the same rate of VAT as a bottle of champagne and greek tomatoes are sold as if they were made of gold.
During the last two and a half years, I have witnessed shop robberies in broad daylight and I have been threatened with a knife in the Athens Metro. The other day, a guy tried to hit me and then got off the bus in front of the headquarters of Panos Kammenos’ party. And to think that I live in a safe neighbourhood and don’t get out very often.
Let’s end the discussion about who voted for SYRIZA in the elections and whether the Greeks who massively voted for SYRIZA are indeed “a rebellious and insubordinate people” or just hurt and injured – as seen by the people who like us and have the ability to feel what happens when a people who is betrayed by the entire political system, is urged to… vote for it once again, following insistent exhortations from Brussels and Berlin which turned a blind eye when our politicians plundered the state and implemented creative accounting tricks because their countries also got their “rake-off” (does anyone remember the Siemens scandal?).
That’s the reason why SYRIZA came second – almost first! – on May 6 elections. What will happen in the next elections? – the eventuality of new elections seems the most possible scenario right now, on Friday afternoon. SYRIZA will go down and we will return to traditional values (which means ND, since Evangelos Venizelos, I repeat, is NOT to be voted!) and the security they guarantee. It’s terrible: we turn to the people who tortured and fatally injured us to save us from the injuries they inflicted. Tragic. But there’s no other way. Unless we want to become Albania in the ‘80s…
Alexis Tsipras might be living… in a world of his own, but at least he is incorruptible. He broke the rule that wanted the party he leads to consist of people who crave power and try to invade mainstream politics through the left window.
He let the… alternatives of the establishment join Fotis Kouvelis and embraced the wider anti-authoritarian sphere, automatically making SYRIZA more inconsistent when it comes to its views, since the tendencies it represents are numerous and sometimes contradictory. Let alone the new voters that voted for SYRIZA for the first time. This fact could explain the lightness of SYRIZA during the last few days, like a panicked groupuscule facing the fact that it has to govern.
The hopes and aspirations of a petit bourgeois are different than the hopes and aspirations of a child who, due to poverty or ideology, abandoned his usual way of life and joined the “commune” of Exarcheia, aiming at overthrowing any state entity…
That’s the reason why Dimitris Stratoulis uttered the phrase “There is enough money in bank accounts! If we gain power, we will take the necessary money from bank accounts in order to save the country” on Wednesday. Thus, the beautiful tale of imagination to power ended (the tale of the Left we used to tell when we were all more innocent, more foolish or more hypocritical).
It doesn’t matter that SYRIZA ordered Dimitris Stratoulis to withdraw and replaced him with Giannis Dragasakis and Dimitris Papadimoulis on television cameras. Dimitris Stratoulis’ notorious statement will cost SYRIZA 5% in the next elections. Add some more due to the terrorizing campaign that has already started coming from Europe (and some greek media, the classic mediums of propaganda of our notorious establishment) and it is obvious that the dream ends right here.
However, it is worth mentioning that Alexis Tsipras, facing the fear of responsibility, said goodbye to power instead of acting superficially or submissively. His letter to our European partners was rather indicative: he forgot his revolutionary rhetoric and said that pacta sunt servanda and that the salvation of the country can be achieved only inside the eurozone.
And a few words about Golden Dawn. Does the fact that Golden Dawn entered the Parliament with 6,9% mean that a large part of the greek people became fascists? No. I believe that the extreme rightist organization won’t get more than 3% in the next.....




Wednesday 9 May 2012

«Huffington Post»

This article was published on the 9th of May 2012 in the Huffington Post and can also be found at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amalia-negreponti/greece-elections_b_1501499.html

Explosively 'Interesting Times' in Greece

"May you live in interesting times" says an ancient Chinese proverb -- a curse. In Greece, for the past three years since our existential financial crisis erupted, we have been bearing the full brunt of the proverb's curse-value. The shockingly unpredictable, life-threatening twists of our still ongoing Greek tragedy have also affected European markets (and governments), as well as the U.S.
Yet, the more time passes and the more EU banks dump more and more of Greek bonds back on to Greece or the European Central Bank, the general feeling in Europe becomes less panicked and more stoically accepting of the prospect of an all-out Greek default. This became especially evident after the recent -- in mid February -- endorsement of the bondswap and the second aid deal. For those who claim it would be in Greece's interest to declare bankruptcy even now, and return to the drachma, a reminder: the second aid deal we signed with the EU mortgaged the entire country (under British tort law) and its sovereign rights and resources, and will have to be paid back at an alarming interest rate by the Greeks, whether or not the country remains in the Eurozone or declares bankruptcy.
Greece's current ungoverned state that began three nights ago when the electoral result plunged the country into uncertainty and political discord is bringing the bankruptcy scenario even closer to us.
At the moment this is being written (Tuesday night), every possibility is still, theoretically at least, open: from new elections, to the creation of an extreme left (Syriza) government that will be supported by another left-wing party, and 'tolerated' by the socialist party that had been in power until now (Pasok).
The first scenario is the most probable one. This is because Syriza does not seem to wish to form a government of its own, faced with the, obviously horrifying, implications of actually having to take upon them the responsibility of Greece at this crucial time, and therefore be forced to bear the consequences of possibly bankrupting the country if their new "radical" policies fail. Yet Syriza does not want to own up to its terror of having to implement its nebulous in substance, strong on rhetoric, agenda "for a peaceful revolution," so for now we are still playing charades.
The outcome will probably be a new round of elections with the 17th of June as the most possible date. These elections will determine two things: whether we want to remain within the EU, and whether we really want a fascist party to enter our parliament for the first time in Greek history. I am referring to Golden Dawn, the party that gathered a horrifying 6.9% of the vote on Sunday.
Most of their voters have turned out to be old people struggling to survive against all odds -- their severely reduced pensions, the unavailability of health care resources, and the fact that they are the easiest target of the gangs of illegal immigrants roaming the poorer streets of Athens. The rest were very young voters, who voted for Golden Dawn for no deeper reason than that the establishment and the "grown-ups" are fanatically against them and against the possibility of them entering the parliament. Therefore, what do enraged teenagers usually do? Whatever shocks and provokes the "adult" population -- that has, truth be told, the greatest responsibility for the sad and bankrupt situation Greece is in today.
Yet the mainstream media share part of the responsibility for the election of these, not just extreme rightist but truly fascist, thugs of Golden Dawn: they thought by condemning them through totally ignoring them, they would be condemning them to inexistence. Unfortunately we are currently living through an era where everything "establishment" -- from politics to media -- here in Greece is considered to have betrayed the people and...............



 

My beloved terrorist
Published by: LIVANIS
First printing: 2001
Pages: 403
Hellenists: Greece does not wound them
Published by: LIVANIS
First printing: 1999
Pages: 314
 
 

 

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