The Greek People Have Punctured the Smugness of the “Moneymen”

Congratulations to the Greek people for democratically puncturing the smugness of the “moneymen”. For far too long politicians have been paralysed by the dogma imposed by  the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission, that the only way out of the economic mess we are in is austerity that hurts those most vulnerable, while the elite continue to accumulate wealth at an accelerating rate. The lack of imagination to think outside the straightjacket imposed on politicians by the “moneymen” is staggering.

The humiliation of Greece by foreign politicians and unelected bodies, dictating what Greece must do regardless of what harm it causes its people, must be too much to bear in a country that gave the world the concept of democracy.

Greece has said enough is enough. With the election of Syriza, austerity belongs to the past and hope is replacing despair. Austerity caused the Greek economy to shrink by 25%, unemployment to rise to 26% and to over 50% for the young.  It is blindly obvious all this was immoral, stupid and counterproductive.  Going down that route, Greece would never have been able to pay off the debt plus interest imposed on it.  It would have meant the enslavement of the Greek people into the foreseeable future.

Successive governments in Greece and elsewhere in Europe have abdicated their responsibility to serve the ordinary people. Instead they have faithfully served the moneyed super-rich. Contrast that with the actions of Syriza with barely 48 hours in power. Helena Smith in an article in the Guardian summarizes thus:

First the barricades came down outside the Greek parliament. Then it was announced that privatisation schemes would be halted and pensions reinstated. And then came the news of the reintroduction of the €751 monthly minimum wage. And all before Greece’s new prime minister, the radical leftwinger Alexis Tsipras, had got his first cabinet meeting under way. After that, ministers announced more measures: the scrapping of fees for prescriptions and hospital visits, the restoration of collective work agreements, the rehiring of workers laid off in the public sector, the granting of citizenship to migrant children born and raised in Greece.

This is true democracy in action, promises made and delivered in the first two days of being in power.  Syriza has been elected and now Europe and particularly Germany have a duty to listen respectfully. Thus far Greece has been treated shabbily with hardly a thought for the extreme hardship and suffering inflicted on its people.

It is instructive to remember that half of Germany’s post WWII debt was written off in the London conference of 1953. This led to a sharp increase in Germany’s economic growth. Why not do the same for Greece, asks Syriza?

The Greek people have seen through the fog generated by the elite and the “moneymen”.  They have seen austerity for what it is – a con-trick to transfer more wealth from the 99% to the already bloated 1%.

Adnan Al-Daini (PhD, Birmingham University, UK) is a retired University Engineering lecturer. He is a British citizen born in Iraq. He writes regularly on issues of social justice and the Middle East. Read other articles by Adnan.