An open letter to a Greek Friend Greece will enter an Allende situation. Allende had a moderate program but firm on certain issues: the need to nationalise the mining sector (the fact that he was right is proven by the Pinochet 1981 decision to renationalise the very same industry after he privatised it in 1974), food, social, and educational programs for the very poor. The rest would have remained in the private sector. He did not even have a project of development in an industrial sense. But no compromise was possible in the eyes of the wealthy classes and the military. He had to go. the crucial weakness of Allende is that he did not have a large enough mass movement behind. Essentially the bulk of it was provided by the Communist Party of Chile, the position of the extreme left MIR being more complex. Greece will face a similar situation and, surreptitiously, a similar risk and danger. Namely that the opposite side would not want (a) to compromise, and by feeling much stronger and sensing real, as opposed to electoral, victory, (b) take any prisoner. I truly cannot see how Greece can escape an Allende predicament. Nato and the European institutions have proven that they do not respect democratic rules. They create scenarios and situations of subversion which they then present as a democratic process. In normal times they can use a soft handed approach. This has happened more than once with Ireland whenever it rejected Brussels treaties. Brussels put so much pressure to bear that Irish authorities would go for new referendums until EUROPE was satisfied. Furthermore, in relation to the Ukraine, Nato and the EU showed that they have no problem in legitimising a nazi-fascist movement if it suits them. Remember that Greece is truly on the periphery of Europe in a way that Ireland is not because of Dublins role as a platform towards the rest of Europe for the multinationals operating in the electronic, pharmaceutical and other advanced branches of the world economy. Thus the harshness of the attitude towards Greece by European institutions will be far far greater than that toward Ireland. Indeed they do not care about normal life in Greece. It can burn and burn. Hence a white coup is possible achieved by weakening the elected govt to the point of a constitutional crisis. Greece will be alone. It should expect nothing from Renzis Italy. The Renzi team is all hot air. Economic policies are strictly in the hands of Padoan who is an OECD-Troika man. He believed in austerity all along. And indeed, when in Italy official circles speak against austerity they do so in reference to the discredited Monti govt who implemented big and arbitrary tax increases along with all sorts of cuts. Thus when Italian govt ministers talk against austerity they mean that they are against the Monti experience but are in favour of tax reductions accompanied by BUDGET CUTS. This is nothing but the expansionary austerity peddled for years by Alesina and Giavazzi and intellectually so bankrupt that the authors themselves pulled back from it. And yet, via Padoan who is the gate keeper of austerity, the Italian govt still sticks by it while Renzi blows hot air by claiming that he is against austerity. Greece should expect nothing, absolutely nothing, from France. Not only France is the major culprit regarding the legal and political mess of the EU since the formation of the EMS in 1979, but France has increased its austerity bias. They will not support Greece, at the very most they will use it for their ends which are quite straightforward: they will have to ask for mercy from Brussels and Berlin because they will not achieve their budgetary and growth targets. Never believe the smiles of French officials: they are excellent in faking (example: Jospin and the Dublin Stability Pact of 1996. He campaigned against it in 1997 then he approved the Amsterdam treaty, which fully incorporated the Dublin pact, no questions asked). Greece cannot rely on an active labour movement in Europe: in France and in Italy it is in its death throes, in Germany it has the same ideology as that of the conservatives regarding the culpability of debt. Thus Greece is totally alone. I would not have such a negative perception of the situation if the electoral size of Syriza were sustained by a real mass movement, meaning trade unions and organised citizenry. I would not be cheerful because even in the best case scenario the road out of the present situation will be extremely difficult, but at least it would have a couple of chances. I do not know whether Syriza has made clear to the public that even in the best case scenario the road will be extremely harsh. That a whole process of economic reconstruction would be necessary where people will have to live under emergency conditions both politically and economically.
Posted on: Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:45:31 +0000
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