The Greek parliamentary election of January 25 was won by the "Coalition of the Radical Left," better known by the acronym SYRIZA (Synaspismós Rizospastikís Aristerás). It was not an altogether unexpected development, as both the mainstream Greek parties had lost the faith of the electorate by slavishly following the dictates of Brussels and Berlin to (mis)handle the Greek economic crisis. Yet speculation that Greece might leave the Eurozone, or even the EU, is at best premature. There might be more to the Greek situation than meets the eye.
That October Spirit
On the face of it, Syriza promises a clean break from the Berlin-dictated policy of "austerity" – in effect, laying waste to Greece to feed the European and American bankers. Its original 40-point manifesto is an eclectic mixture of leftist causes, from the nationalization of banks and utilities (#18 and #19, respectively), subsidized mortgages (#15) and nationalized health care (#14, 25, 26), to raising taxes (#3, 5, 6) and prohibiting "speculative financial derivatives" (#7). Syriza also wants to demilitarize the police (#29), open the borders (#30, 31) and withdraw from NATO (#37, 40). But it’s the very first item in the manifesto that gives the banksters of the West nightmares:
"Audit of the public debt and renegotiation of interest due, and suspension of payments until the economy has revived and growth and employment return."
While much of the media attention has been on Syriza’s leader and the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the party’s focus on Greece’s finances will mean the man to watch would be the minister of finance in the new cabinet, Yanis Varoufakis. And in his words:
"The real deficit in Greece, it is a dignity deficit. It is because of this lack of dignity that we have accepted stupid measures and this has fueled a vicious cycle of indignity which itself maintains discontent, fear and resentment. All this is not good."
Varoufakis sees the solution in invoking the "spirit of October 28"; this is the date on which, in 1940, Greece laconically rejected the ultimatum by Mussolini’s Italy. The resulting Italian invasion turned into a fiasco, leading to Hitler’s invasion of Greece in April 1941.
The invocation of World War Two is not accidental: the fact that the Eurozone’s oppressive fiscal policy – more on that in a bit – is basically dictated by German bankers has caused comparisons with Nazi occupation for years, ever since the 2010 economic meltdown.
But will Syriza tell Berlin and Brussels "No," or is this just populist posturing?
Confusion in Athens
Twelve days before the vote, Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras wrote an open letter to the German public, published by the business journal Handelsblatt. In it, he explained that the fraudulent "bailouts" of the Greek state – in effect, of its Western creditors – were costing the German taxpayers money, and the Greeks their dignity. "What is even worse," Tsipras wrote, "in this manner, before long the Germans turn against the Greeks, the Greeks against the Germans, and unsurprisingly, the European Ideal suffers catastrophic losses." He concluded by saying that Germans had "nothing to fear from a SYRIZA victory."
Given Syriza’s proclaimed foreign policy goals – and the disastrous effects of EU’s "sanctions" (and Russian countermeasures) on the already moribund Greek economy, the new government was expected to oppose new anti-Russian measures in the EU. According to Reuters, however, Greece backed (!) extending the existing measures at a meeting on January 29. The aforementioned finance minister Varoufakis protested the news coverage, citing Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias that the Greeks were not even consulted, let alone consenting.
Reuters reported differently:
"We are not against every sanction," Kotzias said later. "We are in the mainstream, we are not the bad boys."
And while the German FM Steinmeier had "expressed frustration with the ambiguity of the Greek position" earlier, after meeting with Kotzias in private he "said he was less concerned".
Somebody’s lying here – but whether it’s Reuters, Kotzias, Varoufakis or the Germans, is almost impossible to ascertain.
There are other tidbits of information out there, pertaining to the new government in Athens. The departing cabinet left the offices without power, Internet service and even toilet soap, suggesting genuine animosity. However, Tsipras snubbed the Greek Orthodox Church in refusing to swear the oath of office before the clergy, as is custom.
Then there is the matter of Tsipras visiting Washington two years ago, discussing such issues as "the ultra-right Golden Dawn party and anti-Semitism… Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue and Greece-FYROM differences." Let’s recall that Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) was the party giving EU and US officials major heartburn at the time, after winning 21 seats (Syriza had won 52) in the 2012 parliamentary election.
At the time, the Western media raised a storm over Golden Dawn’s "Nazi" nature. By September 2013, the party’s leadership was jailed on charges of criminal conspiracy, and the party was considered moribund. It is perhaps worth noting, then, that Golden Dawn won 17 seats in last weekend’s election – but nobody is worried about them any more. Why?
Last week, news came that the well-known "philanthropist" George Soros – currency speculator notorious for funding "civil society" and "democracy" groups acting as Trojan horses of the Atlantic Empire – was opening a "solidarity center" in Greece. To what end? Nobody knows for sure.
A Problem Called Euro
While there is no denying that past Greek governments have been terribly corrupt, their far greater sin was partnering up with Goldman Sachs to hide its bad debt – and letting the banksters profit from the arrangement, while the Greek taxpayers were saddled with the impossible bill.
You won’t hear any of it in the mainstream media, of course. They are peddling the bankster-promoted myth of the "lazy southerners" – not just the Greeks, but the Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese, in similar economic straits. By contrast, the "northerners" – Germans, Frenchmen, Brits, Balts and Scandinavians – are supposed to be the epitome of hard work and discipline.
However, one analysis, comparing the economic performance of Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and Germany for a decade before and after the implementation of the Euro, suggests that the currency standards are to blame, and the myth of "southern laziness" is pure bigotry. Others have argued likewise.
All of this raises the question whether the self-proclaimed "radical left" in Greece will follow its own manifesto and execute a "Grexit" from the Eurozone, or will it be unmasked as yet another Trojan horse of the Empire, seeking to fit into the increasingly impossible "mainstream". One suspects we won’t have to wait too long to find out.