People Before Profit has condemned the EU’s blackmail of Greece
In the last two weeks, the EU engaged in a silent coup to break the radical left government of Greece. They imposed humiliating terms of surrender on it in order to spread a message of fear across Europe. That message is ‘lie down and accept reality as we define it’
The EU’s dealing with Greece has revealed its true nature. It has become an undemocratic machine for imposing economic terror on any government that moves beyond the neo-liberal consensus. It has succeeded in frightening the leaders of Syriza – but at the cost of awakening the hatred of millions across Europe.
The Irish government played the role of a cheerleader to the EU bullies – but it did so at the cost of throwing away an opportunity to a write down of Irish debt. That debt will now hang around the necks of Irish people until 2053 – thanks to Kenny’s involvement in punishing the Greeks.
Some of the media framed the issue as ‘the Greeks looking for more money’. The reality, however, is that none of the original €7.5 billion that the Greeks requested was to be used to fund public services. It was only used to repay back previous loans. Greece had been put on a treadmill of austerity from which it cannot escape.
The Troika originally intervened in Greece to safeguard wealthy private creditors in 2012. In return for a haircut on their loans, these investors got EU institutions and the IMF to fund a Greek loan that guaranteed them re-payments. These ‘loans’ triggered further austerity and created the latest crisis.
So the issue was never about Greek people begging for more from other people in Europe. It was always about a devious mechanism to make the Greek people pay for debts to wealthy bondholders. Which is precisely what happened the people of Ireland.
People Before Profit hopes that many Syriza MPs will vote against the deal – even if it means a split in their party.
We hope there is a huge response to a call for a 24 hour general strike against this deal.
But whatever happens we are confident that this deal is not the final word. The Greek people who voted NO a week ago are not as cowardly as their leaders and resistance will inevitably re-emerge
For us in Ireland the lessons are obvious.
The government says that there can be no further discussion about breaking from austerity if a country wishes to remain in Europe.
We say the exact opposite: there can be no future for an EU that operates as a concentration camp for opponents of austerity.
It is time to re-assert the value of democracy against the silent tyranny of an EU that is now based on a vicious combination of bureaucratic control and neo-liberal economics.