Monday, 29 December 2014

Guardian letter on Greece and democracy

 Owen Jones`s excellent article on the political situation in Greece was, sadly, too optimistic.(Greece`s radical left could kill off austerity in the EU,22/12/14) The prospect of the first "radical left-wing government assuming power in the EU" is, I fear, only a remote possibility, not because Syriza`s policies do not attract sufficient support in Greece, but because austerity in Europe is now clearly judged to be much more important than democracy; the chances of an imminent general election taking place in Greece are remote. Only if Greek MPs fail to elect the government candidate as president will an election be called, and as the Greek prime minister equates this failure with "political turmoil", everything possible is being done to ensure the candidate becomes the new head of state.(Greek election uncertainty fuels concern over eurozone stability,18/12/14)
      Bribes of up to 2-3million euros are being offered to ensure votes are cast "correctly", seven leaders of the  neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party are being allowed to participate in the election, even though they have been imprisoned for using their fascist group "as a front to run a criminal organisation", and as Jones reported, veiled threats are being made, both to Greek politicians and people, by the president of the European commission,Jean-Claude Juncker. The fact that the likely victor of the election is a party committed to ending austerity and to ruling Greece on behalf of its people, not its banks and financial interests, explains why, in Jones`s words, "a democratic challenge to economic madness" is being "strangled to death".

   Ironic, isn`t it, that when politicians attempt to justify their needless wars, the "threat to democracy" is viewed as having paramount importance, but when democracy in Europe is threatened because it could result in a national government favouring anti-austerity policies, no mainstream politician bats an eyelid?

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