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Strike if you will, but hear first
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-06-17 11:07:13
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A month ago and while the Greek people were literally heading to vote I wrote an editorial in Greek reminding my compatriots what has happened the last thirty years and what should be in front of them. This time and while for one more time with just one month difference from the last, my compatriots are heading to vote, I’m writing an editorial this time in English. The reason I decided not to write in Greek this time is the global interest for those elections and the tens of editorials I’ve been reading the last few days about these elections nearly all of them trying to manipulate and patronize the Greek people mainly using threats. To my surprise objective agencies like BBC and CNN have join this unbelievable maypole intentionally ignoring the simple fact that voting is a holy right of every citizen with its secrecy and result absolutely respected.

Ironically the very same news agencies in other pages also with huge editorials urge the people of Syria, the people of Iran, the people of China to demand more democracy emphasizing the right for free will. So there is a contradiction here from one side you want the people of Syria, Iran and China to join the charismatic world of free will and speech but you want the Greeks to follow instructions on what they want and say. Or is not a contradiction but a hypocrisy and I’m really sorry for BBC, CNN and all the others but they have joined this carousel of hypocrisy where we want you to have democracy but the democracy that works with our interests. And I know that this will sound extreme and provocative but even Saddam was talking about democracy at least the democracy that served his interests. So what’s the difference?

The main argument in the whole thing is that Greece this minute survives thanks to the money the others give and incapable politicians the Greek people have elected in the past slathered. I agree, Greek politicians in the past, Greek politicians elected from the Greek people wasted literally or even stole – if you want me to be so cynic and raw – but please tell me which nation is perfect. Has England, France or America never made any mistakes with the people elected to represent them and manage their interests? And please don’t tell me about the master patroniser Germany; libraries have been written about these mistakes. It was Christ who said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone and please Mrs. Merkel look around you and show me the he who is without sin.

And do you think these people who will go to vote for the next few hours are not aware of the consequences of their decision? If you think that the people are not able to decide, that their decisions are wrong and catastrophic and they need patronizing then does that expand to the citizens of every other country or they are limited to Greeks? So the Germans who elected Angela Merkel who has destroyed the German social structure with continuant cuts and the ones who voted David Cameron who cannot handle basic economics are clever? What about the ones who elected Berlusconi and Sarkozy? If Angela Merkel is so good why her popularity in Germany has reached the total nadir then? And I didn’t see the antichrist raising the minute Hollande was elected in France despite all the rumours heard before the French presidential elections. The Greek people know the consequences of their decisions and they have thought about them before casting their vote; and the rest of us have just to respect their decision.

But after Christ you will allow me to remember an ancient Greek commander, Themistocles the victorious commander of the Greek navy in the battle of Salamis. Long before the battle a heated conversation happened among the generals trying to decide where they were going to make the stand against the second Persian invasion. In this conversation things really heated up and in one point Themistocles felt physically threaten from Eurybiades so he said: Strike if you will, but hear first. Themistocles said that nearly 2,500 years ago and nowadays I have the feeling that everybody strikes and never listens. You just need to stop for a minute and try to listen. 85% of the Greeks want to remain in the euro-zone while nearly 60% opposes the austerity measures the very same measures that according the threats if not obeyed they will lead out of the euro-zone. An obvious contradiction that says that there is nothing wrong with the Euro and the Greeks are ready to fulfil their obligations to the common economic policy but there is something seriously wrong with the way the measures are applied. So instead of trying to find a cure and help the “experts” find as only solution the method, the head is aching cut the head! Not very …scientific, is it?

Actually the Greeks, including the far left communist party never said that they don’t want to return the money the country has borrowed. What they say is that they refuse to pay the predatory and the usurious interests. What they say is that there must be a recounting and a thorough exam of this debt. What they say is that even the EU partners have over speculated with the Greek debt. What they say is that even during this crisis and blackmailing that Greece would not get help countries like Germany tried and succeeded to sell for example armours to Greece in maddening prices that have overwhelmed the debt. What they say is that Greece became an experiment in practising and enforcing wrong economic policies. Greeks want to pay their debts, they don’t want to pay the unreasonable speculates.

The threats go one step further the doomsday scenarios; they are warning that a Greek bankruptcy and exit from the euro will lead to European economic fall and a global catastrophe holding the Greek people responsible. This is the famous domino effect we so often talk about lately and just days before I wrote an article. The economic catastrophe will not come from the Greek people’s vote and if they vote SIRIZA. The economic catastrophe will come because the nations and especially nations like Germany, Great Britain and USA left their national sovereignty in the hands of rating banking agencies and took it away from their parliaments and the people. This moment agencies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch have literally the power to wipe nations out of the economic maps. Germany is terrified because of the Euro situation might cost her the triple A rating from Standard & Poor’s because that means less flexibility in the money markets. Money markets controlled from agencies like Standard & Poor’s or the banks that fund Standard & Poor’s. The essence of schizophrenia!

The reasons that the Euro is failing are many the following one, the Euro never had the necessary political support from the ones who wanted it, call them Germany! You cannot have a common currency; common economic policy that expands far beyond the European boarders that serve the geopolitical aims of one nation, then it is doomed to fail. And it is not the Greek voter who will bring this economic doomsday in Europe but the incompetence of the European decision makers to take the responsibility and the right political decisions. And in fact even the American president Barrack Obama asked Angela Merkel to take the right decisions willing even to help for the European economic stability.

But lacking better arguments we ended up into a constantly escalating populism. The Greeks don’t pay their tax! The latest populism. And yes there are ten or more Greeks in the lists of the richest men in this world and yes Onassis was Greek at least regarding their names and their family roots. But I’m afraid their money are not in Greece and they pay their tax very legally in Germany, in Switzerland and Lichtenstein but not in Greece. The same applies to all those ship owners or the billionaires airline owners like Easy-Jet who live and pay their tax in Great Britain, Germany or Argentina but not in Greece. In Greece the majority of the people who live are hard working employees who have seen their income vanishing into pennies the last few months and is not populism but their money vanishing into saving …private banks. A Greece that this moment sees 1, 5 million unemployed, a country that a woman was arrested yesterday stealing milk from the supermarket to feed her kids and an eight year-old student faded in his classroom from lack of basic food. And theses are the people who are going to vote and not Onassis granddaughter.

The Greek people are voting not thinking if the measures will succeed one day when their kids might see light in the end of the dark tunnel; they are voting thinking that tomorrow their kid might fade at school or that they might not have the necessary to feed themselves and have to steal out of survival necessity. And these people know that their vote is gift and obligation and they will act responsibly to their right BBC, CNN, Merkel and Barroso like it or not. And the morning after the Greeks will have to deal with the reality their decision brought and the rest of the Merkel's world   will also have to deal with it beyond populist screams if they don’t want to see the domino effect – the very same domino effect they collaborated in its creation - knocking their doors.

Dear compatriots,

Vote with your conscious, vote the parties and the people who represent your hopes and your wishes and not out of fear for a tomorrow nobody knows for sure and perhaps serves certain interests. Vote for your dignity and not for Standard and Poor’s rates. And if your future is in the drachma, fine; at least it is your drachma and not Merkel’s Euro.

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