An article translated from the Greek captures the mood of defiance after a series of degradations and then the election of a government that is prepared to offer resistance. Thanasis Karteros writes: What we lived through in Greece before the elections is not unique to Greece. It is the politics of alloyed fear.
Europe of the Enlightenment? Of Democracy? Of Equality? All that sounds fine as a nostalgic notion of the past. Or perhaps as a goal or vision for the future. In reality it is billions of Euros away from the Europe we live in. The official Europe, that is. Our Eurooooope. With its nomenclature, its monopolies, its Dijsselbloems, its ECB, its Eurogroup, its Schäubles. And its Euro.
Shall we call it a German Europe? But of course. A Europe of ferocious financial absolutism? Yes, it’s not far from the truth. Anyway, however you look at it, this is the Europe of fear. You won’t be far from wrong if you distinguish a separation between “those ones” and “ the others”. Those ones who intimidate. And the others who are intimidated. And “the others”, who are intimidated, are not some kind of obscure minorities. They are entire countries. Entire people, populations. And governments, which have been elected democratically.
What we lived through in Greece before the elections is not unique to Greece. It is the strategy of fear. You will vote the way we want, otherwise there will be consequences… And because we (the Greeks) did not vote, as they wanted, they started to enforce the consequences. You will politicize yourselves as we want. You will impoverish yourselves as we want. You will make a statement of repentance as we want. And all this alongside insolent threats. Fear, fear, fear. And with Cerberus on their side, Wolfgang and Jeroen are given directives. They have no need for logic or dialogue. They have their tools.
This is not democracy. Or egalitarianism. Nor respect for popular sovereignty. Which does not seem to concern them. However, should it not concern these righteous leaders that their own damned ancestors once charged into Europe with the belief that fear tactics would subjugate everyone? What they have not understood is that when they bring a people to choose between dignity and fear, this is when the people start to sing their own songs like – “As if I will cry, as if I will be afraid”.
Maybe they have understood and know the critical point in time when they must choose dialogue. Maybe not. In any case, certainly Greece has learnt where you end up by saying “YES”. It is time they now learnt, with a new Greek government, where a “NO” ends up.
Original article in Greek here