Monday, July 06, 2015

Greece : Homage to a brave people, and one who has become a symbol : Yanis Varoufakis

So, there we are: Oxi.

Let me repeat this, louder.


Yesterday, the Greek people rose against fear. Against lies. Against thinly veiled and also bare threats from shameless bullies—from powers-that-be who have long since stopped representing the ordinary citizens of Europe, who have long since shed their guise of people's representatives to wear the dark mantle of the lackeys of special interests, which would dictate the way we live our lives from the comfortable shelter of their velvet shadows.

Yesteray, the Greek people sent their lying media and their crass fearmongering packing—all these TV, radio stations, all these newspapers owed by the oligarchs, the very same people who have stashed their money abroad, have avoided paying taxes, and contributing to the Greek society.

Those very same oligarchs—yes, those whom the European powers-that-be claimed Greece had to bring to heel through a deep financial system reform—well, do you know what they campaigned for ?

You'd have thought they'd campaign for « no », since any agreement with the creditors would have brought about reforms which would have hurt them—according to the propaganda of the creditors and all the falsely naive media of Northern Europe. So, can you guess what the oligarchs-owed Greek media campaigned for?

Well, the oligarchs threw all their condiserable power and money toward the « nai », the « yes » vote, which would have sent the Greek government back to Brussels in shame, and would most likely have brought it down. Then, a government of technocrats, unelected, illegitimate, would have taken the reins of the country, to enact to the letter and the dotted « i » the demands of the creditors.

As if Greece were some colony of the 19th century, and Northern Europe its overlord.

To reach this goal, the Greek media spared no lie, no crass tactics. They announced chaos. They announced that people's deposits would be plundered by the government. They announced that hunger riots were just around the corners. They willed for the most abject fear to take hold of the Greek people.

And yet, the Greek people said, NO. OXI.

This proud, resounding OXI sent tremors through Europe. It gave Greece its dignity back. Its pride, stolen and trampled underfoot during five years while New Democratia and PASOK were in power, their heads bowed, at the back and call of the powers-that-be, no matter how wrong, how ugley the plundering of their own people they were ordered to carry out.

This fantastic OXI, it's the beginning of what will most likely be a long, protracted and hard battle. It's also a bright light of hope, and not only for Greece.

This OXI awakens hope from the ashes of austerity, for all the peoples of Europe. It saves democracy, which was standing on the edge of the abyss, about to fall under the relentless blows of an establishment which hides behind the facade of undemocratic European Institutions.

They shamelessly told the Greeks what they should vote. They threatened Greece with a brutal ousting from the eurozone and Europe itself if its people didn't bow down and vote to accept an endless austerity which would have bled the country dry, and turned it into a failed state. So sure of their victory and their power, so arrogant they were, that they went so far as to tell the truth : they wanted regime change in Greece, they wanted Syriza to fall and forever be banned from power, humiliated. They wanted an unlelected government to rise, led by technocrats—pliable, obedient. Yes, they went so far as to say it out loud : Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Schultz, Sigmar Gabriel, Jeroen Dijssenbloem, and all that clique.

And they were denied.

In the cradle of democracy, people rose above fear, looked them right in the eye, and said no.

Ftani !

The Greek government spared no effort to reach towaard its citizens, to denounce the lies and set the truth back in the center of the equation. One man in particular made his voice heard. One man stood, and repeated the truth he's been telling the European elite time and again since January 25th.

Yanis Varoufakis.

The brazen, firebrand ex-Finance Minister of Greece is loathed by his so-called colleagues. He's hated by the European powers-that-be. Because he knows what he's talking about. Because he can pierce through the lies, and expose them for what they are. Because the truth he tells is crystal clear, unburied under multiple layers of diplomatic or technical jargon. Because his voice rings true and echoes far, because there is no pretense, no attempt at dissembling, because he has never denied himself, and because he has made no compromises appear before the powers-that-be under a guise that would please them—it would have been the first act of submission—the Greek people trust and love him. Because of all that, the European establishment detests the mere sight of him.

Because, in five months, he has been everywhere at once, relentlessly defending his country and appearing in the media, talking to his people, explaining, giving them the keys to understand what was going on—because he gave so much of himself, Yanis Varoufakis empowered the Greek people to make their own, enlightened choice when the time came.

So, I was extatic while watching the last evening unfold, when « no » piled upon « no », in all the regions of Greece, and a proud people reclaimed its destiny.

And tears filled my eyes when I read Yanis Varoufakis' tweet this morning, announcing "Minister no more".

His resignation is a brave, noble thing to do, and it does take away one of the most obvious excuses the creditors would have used to justify the impossibility of finding an agreement. I can read moves, I know the intricacies of a harsh negotiation quite well. So I understand. Truly, I do.

They are not many, the people in power who could make such a move, who could reliquish power at the height of their power, just as they reaped what is an immense victory.

I salute you, Yanis Varoufakis. Your bright fire has lit the path of dignity for your people—the way of self-respect and free choice, of democracy, and indeed freedom itself.

Here I type this blog post from a small hill overlooking the pure, deep blue waters of the Kalamata gulf, and the Taygetos mountain range beyond, half hidden in the Summer mists.

Yanis Varoufakis, may you remain close to your people, close to Greece, and keep on advising the Greek government against all the hardships, all the traps and all the low blows which will now come.

May you keep on lighting the way for all of us.

The Greek people need you. They will keep on needing you.

We need you, all of us in Europe.

Thank you, Yani.

Thank you.

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