The Greek Crisis and the Threat to Political Liberalism: A cautionary tale for Ireland, Portugal, the whole of Europe

If 1929 has taught us anything, it is that a major (capital ‘c’) Crisis poses a lethal threat to (a) currency unions (e.g. the Gold Standard then, the euro today) and (b) political liberalism. The latter threat has, so far, featured only as a projection (see here for a relevant argument), rather than an observed reality. In a recent post I argued that the EU’s recent demand that Greece’s assets be privatised by a junta of foreign officials was the first step toward the dismantling of the EU’s basic democratic principles. Today, in this post, I  warn about an even more radical threat, this time to basic liberal tenets about the rights of private citizens. My warning will take the form of a true story, to which I am an eyewitness. It should, I submit, send shivers down the spine of all European (small ‘l’) liberals. Precisely because this is a seriously worrying tale, I shall include no commentary: just a blow by blow account of facts.

My tale begins about nine weeks ago. From April 2010 till nine weeks ago, I was a regular invitee on public TV and radio (ERT, the Greek public broadcaster). Ever since my criticism of the government’s policies intensified, about a year ago, every time I went to the ERT’s TV studios technicians would approach me in disbelief that I was still being invited. I paid no attention, even though their incredulity was becoming louder and more intense. It was around March when the CEO of ERT called me to his office to announce that he wanted me not only to appear regularly on their TV current affairs programs but also to present my own program after the main news bulletin, offering a running commentary on the unfolding crisis. His kind offer made me think that the technicians’ musings were verging on the paranoid. Though accepting his offer would entail a huge workload, I promised to send him some ideas on the matter; which I promptly did.

During the days that followed, I continued to appear, as a commentator, on a variety of ERT’s TV programs. A few days later, and as I was waiting for the CEO’s response, I received a call from a producer of one of these programs. The message took me by surprise: “We have received an order from high up to exclude you from all TV shows. But we will be damned if we comply. Can you come tonight? I want to rub their faces in it.” Naturally, I went. Indeed, I kept appearing on ERT TV for quite a few days after that. Until a new phone call came informing me, informally of course, that they could no longer defy the powers that be. I thanked the caller and said that I very much appreciate their resistance and think no ill of their eventual capitulation.

Weeks later, about ten days ago (after my return from a lightening trip to Australia), I was surprised to receive a call from some ERT TV producer who was, apparently, inviting me to one of their programs again. Because the voice was unfamiliar, it occurred to me to say: “Are you sure you want me on this program? For I have it on good authority that I am persona non grata on public TV.” She protested that such things no longer happen on Greek state TV and that she refuses to believe that anyone is proscribed. But she did back off, saying that she would call me back  in a few minutes, after she did a little digging up. The few minutes turned into a couple of days. But she did ring, to her credit. Her voice almost trembling with consternation, she said: “Mr Varoufakis, I am calling to thank you for protecting me. I had been away on leave and did not know there was a verbal ban on your appearances. Had you not warned me, I would have been in trouble.”

The story above, as the reader will have noticed, is more than a week old. While highly disconcerting for anyone who cares about political liberalism, I would not have written the present post just on the basis of the above: State TV channels, especially in places like Greece, have been known to have their strings pulled by governments. However, an even more disconcerting development compelled me to write the present post as a warming to my friends and colleagues in Ireland and Portugal, countries where the authoritarianism of the national-eurocratic regime is likely to spread. Contagion does not only concern bonds spreads; it can easily apply to the realm of human and political rights.

So, what was the latest development that egged me on to write this post? This coming Thursday (16th June 2011) a well thought of Greek publisher will be launching a new Greek book of mine in the splendid gardens of the Byzantine Museum (in downtown Athens). It is a Lexicon in which I have compiled definitions and explanations of the terminology of the present economic and political crisis (anything from the word ‘crisis’ to ‘CDS’, ‘CDO’ and the like). Well, this morning my publisher called me with hideous news. For the first time in living memory the three major newspapers of the land (Vima, Kathimerini, Eletherotypia) have failed to publish in their Sunday editions (or even to mention) the press release regarding my book’s launch. What makes this even more astounding is that the book will be launched by senior, well established figures: Alekos Papadopoulos (the former Finance Minister of Greece, who was the only Fin Min under whose watch Greece’s debt shrank significantly); Christos Chomenidis (one of Greece’s renowned new generation novelists) and Nikos Xydakis (the editor in chief of one of these newspapers, Kathimerini, which refused to mention the book’s launch).

When I asked my publishers how they interpreted this ‘silence’, the answer came back crystal clear: It is nothing short of an old fashioned purge.

The tale’s moral: Greece has had its problems over the past thirty years. But the one success we can be proud of, as a nation, was that, after decades of political authoritarianism and intolerance of difference, we had managed to create a vibrant democracy in which no views were suppressed and where the very notion of purging, suppressing and airbrushing out of reality certain people and/or their views had been confined to the annals of our awful past. In fact, this was one of the great achievement of our current Prime Minister’s father. It is for this reason that my personal experience fills me with horror. At a personal level, it makes no difference. But it concerns me deeply at the political level for two important reasons: First, because it shows how this crisis can surreptitiously reverse crucial democratic and liberal gains which we had convinced ourselves were, by now, irreversible. Secondly, because I very much fear that the illiberal, authoritarian malaise that seems to have began in Athens very recently will spread to the rest of the European periphery, before it infects the whole of Europe. Lest we forget, the Cold War itself began in the streets of Athens in December 1944.  It is, in this sense, perfectly possible that all sorts of nastiness can begin here, in Greece, now (as a result of the crisis which also started breathing here) before it infects Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, even Berlin itself. Friends of all political persuasions, beware!

34 thoughts on “The Greek Crisis and the Threat to Political Liberalism: A cautionary tale for Ireland, Portugal, the whole of Europe

  1. Yanni,
    your presence may not be allowed in the Greek state TV, but it was certainly felt in the media of the Netherlands. It was to my great pleasure to see my ex fellow student explaining in a very well documented way the pan European crisis during a couple of news night transmissions.
    All the best Yanni!!!

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  4. There is no doubt that the Seriousness in this issue cannot be under stated. However, the circumstances you are exposed to are exactly why people are saying dont bother Irelands been there done that and been ‘given’ the T Shirt. Over possibly 30 years and reality more likely 90. Hence no ‘big’ protest. In fact so much so that what exists is an impression of all the things you fear to loose, political democracy, intellectual, not freedom, but assertiveness, studies show at least if they were carried out that the greatest causality is not freedom but the human ability to use ‘natural’ intelligence in a cohesive and effective assertive manner. Hence Irelands politics. Its theorocracy, its polocracy (subverted democracy). The violins would be playing here at this point but broke their strings in the sixties. How does that affect the evolution of species should be your first concern at the start of such. Well the current Irish Health service is ample evidence of disastrous effect it intends to have from a anthropological perspective. Which again is why it is not in humane nature (aim to survive well) but something it has become.

    Like all ‘ambitions’ or demented ‘obsessions’ angst effluent whether political, ideology or whatever all has one thing in common. It ALL has bases in the the miserable childhood of a small number of individuals. Which then contaminates the weak character and insignificant characters of a wider group who then are ‘the runners’. (The technicians etc and many more, many) In effect there are never will and can never be any real ‘big’ people at the back of any ‘theory’ ‘push’ ‘ideology’. It just is not in human make up.

    So To finish. Yes you can go into freefall at the utter weakness of ‘humane kind’ people you identified with people you looked upto people who you would presume intelligent. Feefall wont achieve anything. Take it from the elder lemons in this. All the paddyology (media, representations in all forms public political religious etc etc) were the front runners for the effulent but has nothing to do with reality. Intelligence does not disappear it become illusive & irrelevant but still exists along with all other things. Loosing the relevance of ‘higher’ things is what defines the path. We lost. All. Everything. Found nation and lost the collective reason for having it in the first place. You are are at the start. It will not happen to you. For reasons too long to go into. We are emerging no economics will define that.

    What to do. Save yourself 90 years. Massive amounts of words to the weak and the ear less, Greece us Greece It Is ‘A’ Corner Stone of Democracy. It is ‘banjaxed’ and jaded ‘democracy’ has brought you to the abyss. Of course people are trying to look out for themselves in spite of their own national or personal intelligence. They are pawns. But, presented with an active positive they will listen. Democracy is your badge. Re Evolve it and Re Event Reform it. Be the Adult not the disenchanted student which becomes the pawn If the issue is Democracy then there in lies the ‘solution’

    We on the other hand. Well we have lovely people in power now. But to be in politics over the last 30 years requires one thing. That one thing is this ‘to not have a clue’ about politics the world and how it all has or does work. But we will be fine there is a force of 90 years behind it. We will be fine now. Denial is a cornerstone of this ‘polcracy’ which is why no one wants to talk to you. Chin up you a chess player and not a pawn. Say your prayers you’ll need the help of the God or gods, But hey we have the maps the paths the lot more than happy to share. Democracy Democracy Democracy. What is the next chapter. We wait for the Great Greek nation to give us a template. And they will,

    • i am an irishman 54 years old i have witnessed a corrupt government we have had and we still have we the real irish never wanted this european union dictatership we voted no to the nice treaty and then our parliment used the media television stations radio stations to scare the living daylights out of the irish the iish capitulated we then voted against the lisbon treaty ie european constition again the whole political machine of all the main parties in my country used fear again to stifle our people this can only lead to one thing rebellion across the whole of this monster called european union again we irish people never wanted euro roll on the next referendom on fiscal consolidation
      signed a deeply concerned irishman

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  6. Forgot something, as for Ireland’s Pravda/Broadcasting:

    The peaceful demonstrations in Madrid, the brute force applied by state power to dismantle it, the demonstrations in Greece, all this finds next to zero broadcasting time. Seriously! To be able to follow what is happening on the streets, I had to consult with friends in Greece, or watch Aljazeera, the Irish media landscape deliberately blends this out.

    I say deliberately in a non provoking manner, it is just a fact. But this is not the only thing. The way the public opinion is worked on goes much deeper in deed. Example:

    One evening we had a report on the austerity cuts. I was a good report, showing what the cuts mean in real life to those most vulnerable, and without further epic description, you sure can imagine the devastating results for the elderly, sick, children, mentally ill, poverty stricken and so on. Again, it was a good report, only to be followed by a popular show with one of those overpaid TV celebrities, this guy dominates to a degree the opinion making media landscape, as he is on Radio every day with his show as well. The show is called THE FRONTLINE, discussing actual events with a panel and members of the public, whereby the moderator has a steering function, the whole thing is clearly stage managed.

    So after this report on cuts, next you see is The Frontline with this question. Should we not stop paying all those millions international aid, to Africa an other countries and use it at home instead? Have a guess how the opinion was steered, of course, against paying aid packages.

    In the audience was a very beautiful and colorfully dressed Lady from Ethiopia. – From the viewpoint of a producer, the eye candy in the audience. – She was asked just one question, at a carefully chosen time to the end of the show, just one question. So what do you think should we continue to send millions to Africa.

    No, we should use it at home, she answered.

    I share with you this example for one reason. The level of public opinion manipulation increased tremendously in Ireland in the past few years. My explanation is simple, and I stand to be corrected of course. The goal is to steer public anger away from the political class and towards the most vulnerable instead, unemployed, international aid packages, and so on. This can be observed here ever day and increased, while at the same time politicos are found to be lying through their teeth, uncovered by WikiLeaks, uncovered by their own contradicting speeches and actions.

    I have no doubts that this scenario is similar in Greece and other countries. The established and ruling political class in Ireland is in cahoots with the global banking cartel, and this is not conspiracy Bullcrap, there is clear evidence. Goldman Sachs’s Peter Sutherland plays a pivotal role in the irish tragedy.

    x x x x

    With a heavy heart I remember Greek demonstrations with banners stating, ‘We are not Irish’, pointing to the political apathy on this beautiful island here. I propose since many years now, that we need to establish links to coordinate our people, to show solidarity.

    The way I put it, only if we emphasize we can build strong enough momentum. It matters what ECB/EU/IMF is doing to our friends in Greece, and other countries, it matters a lot! When I hear Merkel talking about ‘The lazy Mediterranean’ I am sickened to the bone. So this is our new reality in Europe, such statements are acceptable, again, fueling the fire of anger with hatred and xenophobic messages to distract from the real culprits? No, this is not the Europe I wanted, and not the Europe the founders had on their mind, for damn sure not!

    Perhaps, one of these days our people will join forces, perhaps one of these days they see the need to travel to Brussels from Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, italy, and many more, to leave a message with the incumbents that is loud and clear. To hand over a catalog of demands, accompanied with millions of signatures, peacefully but persistently demonstrating agains this neo liberal dictate. Their ring-fencing of countries like Greece and Ireland is a typical divide and conquer tactic.

    There is strength in numbers, and only if we start to stand up together, our demands will be taken more serious, only if we show this solidarity amongst us, we stand a chance to be heard.

    Best
    Georg R. Baumann

  7. Dear Yanis,

    I am not astonished at all, here in Ireland, we refer to the state owned RTE television channel as Pravda TV already.

    Personally, I find this map here speaks volumes:

    The map shows the party affiliations in the EU Council. Kindly note, Portugal now is also light blue, which clearly is the dominating color and represents the right wing EPP, European Peoples Party.

    Red=Party of European Socialists
    Yellow= European liberal Democrat and Reform Party
    Dark Blue= Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
    Dark Red=Party of the European Left

    But there is more, to it, all the following people are EPP members.

    Herman Van Rompuy, President EU-Council since 2009.

    Portugal’s ex Prime Minister Barroso, since – bloody Hell! – 2004 he is President of the EU-Commission.

    The EU-Parliament is held by Polen’s ex Prime Minister Jerzy Karol Buzek who took over the Presidency in 2009 from Hans-Gert Poettering who was the EPP’s chairman from 1999-2007 and held the Presidency for the two years prior to Buzek.

    The at it’s core europhile EPP is the major and overwhelmingly represented right wing organisation in Europe, and the good and true democrats they are, they lead all it’s major Institutions from top down, from the Consilium, over EU Commission to the EU Parliament. The EPP stands for, you know this of course, deregulation and a much deeper federal Europe.

    In my opinion, these debts, imposed on the citizens of Greece, and of course Ireland, Portugal, Spain and so the list goes on, are designed to stay! They constitute the means of political control during this phasing in of a new social reality in Europe, we are part of the neo liberal social engineering process.

    The overwhelming and unhealthy power of the EPP in Europe has opened wide the door for the major lobbies to write legislation in their very own interest. It has become known as the ‘cash-for-laws’ affairs concerning MEP’s linked to the EPP.

    Back in 2006, Juergen Habermas nailed it in my opinion:

    If we are not able to hold a Europe-wide referendum before the next European elections in 2009 on the shape Europe should take, the future of the Union will be decided in favour of neo-liberal orthodoxy.

    The return to ruthless hegemonic power politics, the clash of the West and the Islamic world, the decay of state structures in other parts of the world, the long-term social consequences of colonialism and the immediate political consequences of failed de-colonisation – all of this points to a high-risk international situation. Only a European Union capable of acting on the world stage – and taking its place beside the USA, China, India and Japan – can press for an alternative to the ruling Washington consensus in the world’s economic institutions. Only such a Europe can advance the long overdue reforms within the UN which are both blocked by and dependent on the USA.

    Juergen was right, we now witness the dismantling of already dysfunctional representative democracies, dysfunctional because transnational Lobby power has taken over politicos, and move straight towards a totalitarian bureaucracy.

    Only the people of our countries can change that, the Muasher doctrine applies.

    All my best wishes
    From County Donegal – The only county in Ireland that voted NO to the 2nd lisbon treaty. ;)

    Georg

    • Thanks for this Georg. The ‘bail-outs’ (for Greece, Ireland and Portugal) are, effectively, new Versailles Treaties that will prove calamitous for the whole of the eurozone while making the Lisbon Treaty seem (relatively) benign. Just like 1929 did all these decades ago, 2008 has unleashed dark forces which will jeopardise not only growth but also democracy for a long, long while.

  8. The media blockade against you might turn out little more than a scratch on a Royce. I don’t read any of those newspapers anyway and many people of my generation share that habit (or rather the lack thereof). We read your blog, forward copies of your article over email and follow you on twitter.

    • Thanks for this. I am also totally unfazed by the media purge. But I felt it important to issue a warning to our friends in Portugal and Ireland. For even if we can get by without these outlets (courtesy of the internet), political democracy must be defended at the very least in the realm of understanding what the powers that be are up to.

  9. For people who are saying that this happens all the time, it doesn’t. Not this blatantly. Yes, certain views are filtered out in the media, but it’s only very occasionally that something with broad popular appeal is fully shut out.

    This usually only happens in the case of individuals — say government officials — being caught up in a scandal. But when it comes to a general and popular criticism of government policy… well, I’d say you have every right to be worried.

    • I think you are right. It is one thing for a state TV producer not to want to invite someone on a program (due to bias or preference). It is quite another for a producer to want to invite someone but fear that if she/he does the Minister of Propaganda will come down like a ton of bricks on him/her. The latter is not common in our democracies and it constitutes a major threat to basic liberalism.

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  12. I read your article at protagon.gr today and I see you have resolved to debating yourself .I would like to challenge some of the modest proposal’s points.I know the following text is irrelevant to this article but I’m submitting it here because it’s probably my best chance of getting an answer.

    1)According to the MP the ECB is going to collect all Maastricht compliant debt which I approximate it to EUR2tn. Not only that but the central bank is already loaded with toxic assets.If its sheet keeps growing the bank will have to pay an enormous amount servicing its debt and soon enough investors will be asking for higher interest rates.There is a good chance after all this that the PIIGS contaminate the entire structure making it insolvent.

    2)The ECB’s credibility will drop to the ground after all this.None of this is written in its charter and investors will think twice before lending to a bank that could potentially go through a FED style “quantative easing”. Make no mistake if your plan goes through devaluing the currency would be the next step.

    3)Expanding the monetary base even by a little will cause inflationary pressure.And perhaps this pressure will not be felt in Greece or other countries going through a recession but Germany is certainly going to feel them.And if those memories of the paper mark and the Weimar Republic are revived the euro is history.

    4)And finally the most gravest danger of them all.Moral hazard.If Greece gets rid of approximately 120 billion euros of its debt there is not a chance in hell that any sort of fiscal discipline will ever be achieved.I say this specifically for Greece because of the history of all the packages from the ERDF’s which were spent faster than you can say “rousfeti”.

    I would very much like an answer.

    • Dear Aristide,

      Yes, guilty as charged. I often debate myself (with ‘whom’ I am frequently in sharp disagreement!). Let me respond to you points: (1) First, the ECB is not at all loaded with toxic assets. These, unfortunately, remain in the hands of private banks (and constitute the main reason why the eurozone’s private banks resemble the zombie banks that kept Japan in the mire in the 1990s). And it is also untrue that the ECB will have to pay increasing interest rates to service its liabilities. Presently, the ECB holds about 75 billion of peripheral debt, which is small fry by the standards of the Central Bank of the world’s largest economy. In addition it holds many more such bonds in the form of collaretal against loans it provided to private banks. But, and this is where you are wrong, these are ECB’s assets – not liabilities that it needs to service or pay interest on. (2) The ECB’s credibility will, in fact, be improved, if it is to change from its present level. Why? Because what we are proposing is, from the ECB’s perspective, revenue neutral. The tranche transfer we recommend will cost the ECB nothing, intertemporally. But it will help stabilise the eurozone. (3) Here you err twice in a short sentence: First, our proposal will not expand the monetary base (as it simply involves the conversion of an existing debt). Secondly, even if a monetary expansion were to be effected (for reasons independent of our proposal), there would be no inflationary effects (just as there were none in 2009-10 during which period the monetary base increased by 55% without any discernible effects on inflation). (4) Our proposal simply makes the debt manageable. It does not remove the Greek state’s obligation to weed out profligacy and corruption. In effect, under the current scheme of things, we are heading toward collapse. Under our proposal Greece (and Europe) get a chance to put their house in order. (And a piece of advice: When using terms like moral hazard, try to apply them appropriately. Allowing a stricken swimmer a second chance, as opposed to watching him sink without a trace, causes no moral hazard problems.)

  13. Sorry to hear such things have happened and your interpretation of motives and attribution.

    If this is of any comfort, it appears to be a particulalry confusing time in the Greek political discourse. Politicos seem to advocate benefit when in fact they mean harm. Even the smallest statements are blown out of proportion because the sad truth is very few political classes both at home and abroad are capable of grasping the issues at hand.

    Very few have your understanding of economics, as the typical politician is normally from the legal profession with certain skills in oratory and debate. But when it comes to the interlocking, overlapping and interrelated concepts of finance you can easily lose 90% of the Parliamentarians on any meaningful discussion.

    Part of it is the subject but most of it is the punctuated and disproportionate emotional response of all involved: the media, the politicians and (I don’t blame them) a clearly disoriented public.

  14. The fact that we are taking about the Greek State TV(which is paid for by all greek citizens without being able to refuse to be provided that service) compels me to ask for some names. I think you have a moral obligation to expose the people involved in these censorship mechanisms.Hopefully it will trigger a discussion on what kind of public media do we want, if any.

  15. Mr Varoufakis, with all due respect, you are exaggerating. I am not implying that what you are saying is not lamentable, but to say that “no views were suppressed and […] the very notion of purging, suppressing and airbrushing out of reality certain people and/or their views had been confined to the annals of our awful past” is simply not accurate.

    I could cite a large number of such examples of which I am PERSONALLY aware, and obviously the total occurences where infinetely more common. But let me mention one particular instance, which impressed me more than any other.

    Several years ago, around 2000, the well known greek film director Dimhtris Kollatos was launching a new movie about Thrace, and the growing turkish influence there. The movie was “Alexandros and Aishe”. Now, Mr Kollatos might be an unconventional film director, but hardly suspect of anyhting more than that. And the cast was certainly impressive: Andreas Mparkoulis, Spyros Fokas, Tasso Kavadia, Kostas Hatzichristos, Lykourgos Kallergis, Girgos Moutsios, Kostas Tsakonas, Giannis Zouganelis among others. (For any foreign reader of this: this might not be an internationally acclaimed cast, but it is certainly impressive at home). The launching event was to be held at the Zina cinema, in Alexandras Avenue, Athens.

    Well, speaking of “purging, suppressing and airbrushing out of reality”: I happen to read the major newspapers, and their Sunday issues. No single word about the movie, in any of them. But, let me give you REAL extent of this: The well-known weekly “Athinorama” magazine is, as you probably know, the premier entertainment magazine in Athens, and is actually built around its cinema pages. Well, imagine that, on that particular week, the Zina cinema (and the film it was staging) was purged even from the Name index of cinemas, showing what was on, where. (I checked the next issue, Zina was there, all right, with another film…)

    I only got to learn about the film because I happened to walk outside the theater on that morning. I called a friend, and we were there that evening. The show was attended by four (4) persons – me and friend included, as probably no-one had ever heard about it.

    So, when you refer to “the great achievement of our current Prime Minister’s father”, maybe you should be a little more conservative. And, just maybe, you should consider the possibility that for the first time in a long time, you were on the wrong side of the fence.

  16. Writing from Britain, this sort of thing happens all the time over here, and I think most people regard it as a normal state of affairs. But it is done more subtly.

    The BBC and the main national newspapers quietly ignore anything which they consider to be too far outside ‘the mainstream’. Such things then only circulate among a minority of people and spread no further. If they cannot be contained in this way, they will be reported in such a way as to discredit the ideas. That can apply to political parties as well as books and people, for example the treatment of the Labour Party in the 1980s.

    A more recent example is a book, ‘The Spirit Level: Why equality is better for everyone’ by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. It was very well received among people concerned with social issues but virtually ignored in the mass media. The authors have done well-attended public meetings and run a website about it. But to the best of my knowledge the BBC has mentioned it only twice, on both occasions setting it up as unprofessional and not to be taken seriously.

    I emphasise that this is not a rare event: it happens all the time. My impression is that things are even worse in the United States. At least the public ownership of the BBC provides some sort of safeguard, although an insufficient one.

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  20. Mr Varoufakis you should translate this article and post it on protagon.gr and then it’s up to us to spread
    the word through facebook!!

    please do so :)

    • Mr Varoufakis could you please delete my previous post since i accidentally posted my e mail account as my “Name” and i have received lots of annoying spam emails the last 2 days.

      thank you in advance

  21. Fortunately there are other media, other channels and other listeners.

    The obligation on commentators to speak the truth and on the citizen to care about the truth haven’t gone away, but the ability of govt to block the truth certainly has.

  22. Mr Varoufakis 2 days ago i had a similar experience , in a matter of speaking, that clearly demonstrates that Greek media have gone over a new age of censorship. A very popular site had cited a video from the Greek embassy at Hague where the leader of a Dutch nationalistic party was protesting holding a magnified copy of the old one-thousand-drachma paper currency. I was sad to see that several compatriots were approving the perception of returning to our previous currency, arguing that is the only way to trigger growth and all these absurd , in my opinion , arguments about competitive restoration. Been inexcusably naive , maybe due to my young age, i tried to oppose to these aspects by citing 3 main arguments on why return to drachma is a suicide for the nation ( even if the single currency was still exist after Greece’s exit- i doubt). Finally the moderator did not approve my comment even though i was very careful to use proper language. As a result the commentary list beyond the video is full of comments supporting the exit from the single currency. I have spotted on myself 6 other individuals who tried to comment similar things on the same video and they were cut-off too. And i’ m asking, is this democracy? Does this outcome satisfy the same people that fought against dictatorship 40 years ago and today take such decisions? Mr Varoufakis keep thinking, keep writing we need minds like yours

  23. We know things like this happen in Greek National TV channels and sometimes in private too.
    Still some names – both on the good and evil side – would be very helpful.

  24. This is outrageous. You are trying to propose solutions for your country in a constructive dialogue and you are being shut out?

    Unfortunately, we see this trend not only in Greece, but in the United States as well, and I would assume in the rest of the European countries.

    This is why freedom of the internet is so important. As long as we have the ability to freely access material online, the truth will always get out.

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