So now here we are: the new Tsipras government has just resolved two of its major problems: that of the public debt and the one represented by the ex-president of the Greek Parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou. How has it managed to bring off this feat? Simple! By erasing from the official site of the Greek Parliament - for all time - everything that could recall Zoe Konstantopoulou and her initiatives during her brief presidency, including the Commission for the Truth of the Public Debt.
Faced with this impressive back-turn by the Greek government which takes us back to the glories of Stalinism’s triumphant years in the ’30s |1| but also of Macarthyism at its most intrusive in the early ’50s, we are entitled to ask: Does all this mean that Greece’s public debt has disappeared? And has Zoe K. accepted her defeat then, and decided to stop telling the truth and to silence her criticism of the vitriol thrown at her?
The answer is No. Greece’s astronomical public debt pursues its relentless course as ever. Zoe K. refuses to concede defeat. So there is a question to answer. In view of the fact that the attempt to clear the Parliamentary website of unwanted presences clearly lacks efficiency, why has the successor to Zoe K. and his friends proceeded in this manner? What were they really after?
The only possible answer is that, in acting like this, all those fine people wanted to send a message or rather a signal to someone. To who? Well, obviously, to the famous “European partners” with which the new Greek authorities have just reached a deal: an agreement which is at the same time... the sole program of the Tsipras government. But also, to those from below of the Greek society - to make sure they no longer have the slightest doubt as to the inevitability that any resistance to the Memoranda and its instigators will be crushed.
In sum, it was a highly symbolic act which aimed to do no more and no less than once and for all clear the collective memory of the Greek people not only of any trace of an alternative to the Memoranda policy, but also even of the name of the person who was the very embodiment of this alternative!
In reality, the ruthlessness of these neophytes of neo-liberalism in fighting what could be called their bad conscience is not limited to taking away everything that reminded one of Zoe K’s brief presidency. By going one further, and erasing also the appeal given out by the international campaign to “support to the Commission for the Truth of the Public Debt and the Right of Peoples to Audit the Public Debts” |2| the sorcerer’s apprentices of the Stalinist school of falsification wanted to remove any trace of these 24,423 men and women from all four corners of the earth, who have - up to this time because the collection of signatures continues - shown their active support for this campaign! In doing this, they have only demonstrated that one thing: their total disregard for these thousands of progressive people, including at least 2000 university professors and economists, who want to do no more than support Greece against its executioners!
The predilection of the leaders of this genetically modified Syriza for the very worst of administrative methods should not be a surprise. In fact, well before their spectacular capitulation, they were already making violent and vulgar attacks on the Commission for the Truth of the Public Debt through their specialized dirty jobs media without so much as daring to criticize it publicly or to give reasons. In fact, up to the present moment you would look in vain for the slightest argument out of their mouths against the Citizens’ Audit of Public Debt...
On the contrary, these cowards have always preferred low blows to public confrontation. Cynical and armed with the arrogance of power, they allow themselves to boot out tens of thousands of people who have signed the appeal to support the audit Commission, people who are of no use to them seeing as these illustrious mediocrities feel comfortable only in the company of the ’great ones’ of this world. What Jorge Semprun said of Santiago Carrillo is just what applies perfectly well to them : all his life he did only one thing, enter in the big salons.
Living as they do in a state of permanent insecurity and discovering enemies even where there are only activists who ask questions, it is not so surprising that these followers of a second hand Machiavelli recall the worst Stalinist traditions to annihilate everything that bothers them. Deprived - luckily - of the means at Uncle Joe’s disposal in his time, they content themselves with simply erasing all witnesses to their betrayals and other sins - on the model of Stalinist inquisitors who in their millions caused lives, names and even the faces of their Soviet compatriots to vanish without trace. A telling detail: as once in Moscow, now also in Athens, these inquisitors are giving first priority to annihilating those who dare to deny the genetic modification of their party and persist in standing up for themselves:... communists, anti-capitalists and radical criticsof the established order!...
Our conclusion is optimistic: It will take much more than the “cleansing” of the Greek Parliament site, and even much more than the relentless smear campaign and the dirtiest of blows to destroy resistance to those who have sold their soul to the neoliberal devil by agreeing to apply his inhumane policies. Even in very difficult conditions, the struggle continues as it is now a question of defending all that is most precious: our dignity and our very survival...
Translated by Julian Silverman
|1| Cf the extraordinary classic: David King: “The Commissar Vanishes”, ed. Canongate Books.1999
|2| See the site of the appeal (in 16 languages) and the international support campaign http://greekdebttruthcommission.org/index.php
It goes without saying that - against Hell and High Water - this campaign is still continuing, and signatures of support are more welcome than ever.
Journalist, Giorgos Mitralias is one of the founders and leaders of the Greek Committee Against the Debt, a member of the international CADTM network.
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