Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A warning to austerian eurocrats

SYRIZA, the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left, has notified through an open letter signed by its president Alexis Tsipras and addressed to heads of Eurogroup member-states, the head of the European Commission Jose Barroso, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, and Martin Schulz head of the European Parliament, that it does not consider the signature of the politically illegitimate government of Greece binding for future Greek governments. Although SYRIZA is at 10-12% at the polls currently, there is a dynamic testified not only internally but by a recent character-assassination piece in Bild and a less rabid but if anything more vitriolic and selective in its narrative piece in Der Spiegel. SYRIZA is now the first Greek party to publicly commit itself to repudiating the terms of the latest loan agreement, as stated in the letter, translated below. Should SYRIZA continue rising in the polls expect the regime to postpone elections:
Hon. Sirs / Mms
I am sending this letter to alert you to a matter of democratic order of urgent importance for Greece. This has to do with the commitments undertaken over the past two days by the Papademos government, headed by Mr. Loukas Papademos. Allow me to remind you that this is an unelected government, which does not enjoy popular support and has consistently and consciously acted against the will of the people of Greece. This government does not have the democratic legitimacy to bind this country and its people for the coming years, the coming generations. This legitimization deficit is in conflict with the rich democratic tradition of your own country. If this continues therefore, it will become a bad precedent for Greece and Europe as a whole, which above all, have a common inheritance of political and democratic traditions, which must be respected. However great the seriousness of the current circumstances might be - over which there is room for a divergence of opinion - they should not in any way cancel democracy.
The lack of democratic legitimacy of the Papademos government arises from the following facts:
  1. The two political parties, which support the government and participate in it do not have a popular mandate to bind Greece to treaties and agreements of this nature. Their representatives were elected in the last national elections on October 2009, based on political programmes at complete odds with the policies that were followed by the previous Papandreou government as well as those being negotiated today with the EU, the troika and the IIF, by the current government. The two parties which constitute the current government have a recorded history of plundering public resources and are responsible for the current economic situation
  2. The people of Greece have been systematically misinformed and deceived about the intensity and the duration of the austerity measures, ever since their first implementation in 2010. Consequently they have withdrawn their confidence in the Greek political establishment. Furthermore, the widely admitted - inside our country and abroad - obvious failure of these measures to successfully face the fiscal problems they were supposed to solve these past two years and the five-year period of  continuously deepening recession, has further legitimated the demand for a change in policy, so as to restore a socially just growth and therefore the prospect of a fiscal rationalization.
  3. More specifically: the unelected Papademos government provides but a minimum of information, sometimes even deceitful, regarding the agreements it is secretly negotiating. It has not initiated nor has it allowed to initiate any public, informational discussion about the extremely serious long term commitments that follow. Greek Democracy has thus been deprived of the constitutionally protected right of a detailed evaluation of the consequences of the signed agreement. The so-called "second rescue" was voted through an emergency ultra fast-track procedure, in the time-frame of one parliamentary session on a Sunday. The main object of this session was the demand by the government of a carte-blanche authorization on almost blank documents, which are supposed to bind the country for years to come
  4. To the degree that there has been no information on these agreements, their content seems to be such as to commit the Greek people for generations to come. For such commitments any government should at least demand a clear and renewed mandate.
  5. To the degree that there has been no information on the government's movements, the will of the Greek people as expressed in a multitude and a variety of ways, is almost unanimous in opposition to them. Specifically, during the last two years the people of Greece, throughout the country are expressing their opposition to government policies through, among other means, repeated general strikes and demonstrations, occupations, letter writing, electronic messages and other forms of personal communication with members of Parliament. The Greek government, not only chose to ignore the voice of its people, but tried indeed to stifle it, at times even violently, so as to continue in a antidemocratic way, the policies that have been proven disastrous for the Greek economy and society.
For all of the above reasons, I  am notifying you that the Greek people, as soon as they restore their right to democratically express their will and regain control of their democratic institutions, will in all likelihood reserve recognition or compliance with these agreements that the current government is planning to assent to. Specifically the Greek people will not accept any loss of sovereignty, foreign involvement in internal matters of Greece or large-scale sale of public companies, land and other assets that the current government is preparing to accept...

Alexis Tsipras
President of the SYRIZA parliamentary team

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is happening to Greeks is very sad. Thanks so much for keeping us in the U.S. informed. Keep up the good work, Talos!