Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe!

On the 25th of January, dignity was restored to the people of Greece.

In the five months that intervened since then, we became the first government that dared raise its voice, speaking on behalf of the people, saying NO to the damaging irrationality of our extend-and-pretend ‘Bailout Program’.

We

  • spread the word that the Greek ‘bailouts’ were exercises whose purpose was intentionally to transfer private losses onto the shoulders of the weakest Greeks, before being transferred to other European taxpayers
  • articulated, for the first time in the Eurogroup, an economic argument to which there was no credible response
  • put forward moderate, technically feasible proposals that would remove the need for further ‘bailouts’
  • confined the troika to its Brussels’ lair
  • internationalised Greece’s humanitarian crisis and its roots in intentionally recessionary policies
  • spread hope beyond Greece’s borders that democracy can breathe within a monetary union hitherto dominated by fear.

Ending interminable, self-defeating, austerity and restructuring Greece’s public debt were our two targets. But these two were also our creditors’ targets. From the moment our election seemed likely, last December, the powers-that-be started a bank run and planned, eventually, to shut Greece’s banks down. Their purpose?

  • To humiliate our government by forcing us to succumb to stringent austerity, and
  • To drag us into an agreement that offers no firm commitment to a sensible, well-defined debt restructure.

The ultimatum of 25th June was the means by which these aims would be achieved. The people of Greece today returned this ultimatum to its senders; despite the fear mongering that the domestic oligarchic media transmitted night and day into their homes.

Today’s referendum delivered a resounding call for a mutually beneficial agreement between Greece and our European partners. We shall respond to the Greek voters’ call with a positive approach to:

  • The IMF, which only recently released a helpful report confirming that Greek public debt was unsustainable
  • The ECB, the Governing Council of which, over the past week, refused to countenance some of the more aggressive voices within
  • The European Commission, whose leadership kept throwing bridges over the chasm separating Greece from some of our partners.

Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic Europe.

It is a NO to the dystopic vision of a Eurozone that functions like an iron cage for its peoples.

It is a loud YES to the vision of a Eurozone offering the prospect of social justice with shared prosperity for all Europeans.

17 thoughts on “Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe!

  1. Dear Yanis,

    I am deeply troubled by what Greece is currently facing. Europe, does not seem to be the Europe dreamed about, but rather a Europe of nightmarish conditions. Having said this, I feel that some introspection is absolutely necessary, otherwise we as a nation must be collectively suffering some psychotic self-delusion. While I trust in your assessment of the causes of this crisis, and your modest proposal seems to be also the most reasonable, I wish that you would also remind our people that Greece does not only need economic reforms, but legislative and even constitutional ones as well. I am not a law expert, and not even remotely related to the legal system in any way. However, common sense dictates that certain laws should be ingrained in laws and even in the Greek constitution. Off the top of my head, these should include,

    1) To make illegal and punishable as a capital crime to ever accept a foreign bailout without committing to the structural reforms necessary that will ensure that such bailout is serviceable. Even if the writing was on the wall, the previous conservative government, the New Democracy party, continually lied to the people of Greece insisting that the debt was serviceable, when every expert knew differently. Such capital crimes should be punishable either by choice of life imprisonment, or by exile which includes denial of citizenship for life.

    2) That no elected government or minister can overrun the annual state budget or produced an unbalanced one, unless there was a major cause or national disaster. Any government or minister of government attempting to do so, must get approval from parliament, and must demonstrate just cause.

    3) No sitting government or party can exceed spending as a means to secure re-election. Any government or party to do so, will be removed from power and branded as an illegal organization.

    4) At the beginning and at the end of every government’s tenure, every elected minister must undergo an independent investigation of personal assets, in order to assess the rate of accumulation of assets during the period of tenure. If any inconsistency is found, a detailed audit and even public inquiry should be held.

    The decades old rotting culture of political kleptocracy is the exactly what led Greece to this mess. Wherever we turn, whatever infrastructure project (ex. the Olympic Complexes) executed in the past 45 years (and probably more), if stones could speak, and they do speak if we took a closer look, we would find corruption practices at the expense of Greek and European tax payers. The Greek people, the Hellenes, need to decide what kind of country they want, and if they have had enough.

    As all sciences and fields of study today have become multi-disciplined, as an economics professor, I am certain that you appreciate that besides a deficit in our economics in the past 6 years is directly related to a deficit in our legal and constitutional framework. Although you are no longer in the hot seat, that is, as minister of finance, and you still have a voice of authority, and perhaps it is time to include this aspect in your dialectic exercise.

    These thoughts are off the cuff, but that does not make them any less valid or unnecessary.

    Thank you.

    • Dear Dean,
      You are correct. In writing the above, I never one thought that this is a forum which has any influence on-going negotiations between Greece and its creditors. I think that although Yanis vision for Europe, his Reasonable Modest Proposal, whether we want to see it reach fruition or not, has taken a serious detour to say the least. This does not render him powerless to push forward ideas that could strengthen Greece’s credibility.

    • Everything will be fine. Yanis’ tremendous victory is now in the hands of others to capitalize on. The last referendum has created 2 gigantic benefits for Greece:

      1. It exposed all the domestic fraudsters ( a la Samaras, Venizelos, Theororakis) and in effect ended their harmful domestic careers.

      2. It scored such a humiliating defeat on the German position in a manner that prevents any possible recovery for the vanquished.

      Greece is the clear winner and the gains achieved will not be squandered. BTW, Yanis is going nowhere in case you haven’t figured it yet.

  2. I wouldn´t be so quick to shout Victory. The vote was indeed a win for democracy in the sense that the propaganda campaign of the neo-liberal media with all its money and might was not able to sway the vote. Quite the opposite! To be honest, I can´t see that happening in the USA. But there is the lingering suspicion that the vote itself was a “feint” to give the Greek people the impression that they have some say, thereby heading off civil unrest when Syriza goes back to Brussels and makes a deal that is a little better but nonetheless a continuation of austerity. The fact that Yanis quit could be seen as him no longer wanting to be a part of the charade. We´ll see.

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