We have all heard the story of when, during a visit to the United States, a journalist asked Mahatma Gandhi what he thought of Western civilisation, and Gandhi is said to have replied that he thought it “would be a very good idea.” Former Greek finance minister and outspoken opponent of the savage austerity programs forced on Greece, Yanis Varoufakis recalled Gandhi’s words in the talk he gave at the University of Sydney on November 26. Varoufakis’ message was clear: Like Western civilisation, European democracy would indeed be a very good idea.
An event of profound importance took place in Brussels on July 12. The significance of the European summit negotiations extends well beyond the immediate — and devastating — consequences for the people of Greece. The fallout will not just affect the stability of the Greek government and the political future of SYRIZA and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Europe, as we know it, may well be over. The promise of a peaceful integration of equals with a capitalist framework lies tattered on the floor of a negotiation room in Brussels. There, the SYRIZA-led Greek government finally succumbed to the blackmail, economic carpet-bombing and “mental water-boarding” of the European powers.
Public sector workers strike against the deal, July 15. In the early hours of July 16, Greek parliament voted to accept the punitive July 12 funding deal put forward by eurozone lenders. The deal included many harsh austerity measures, including large-scale privatisation, that the SYRIZA-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had come to office pledging to oppose.
Thousands protest in Athens against austerity and in support of the SYRIZA government, June 17. Thousands of Greek people took to the streets of Athens on June 17 to reject austerity measures and support the SYRIZA-led government, TeleSUR English said that day.
For the first time since the eurozone crisis began in 2009, the Greek economy has reported a yearly growth of 0.6%. Unemployment is also down ― to a still-staggering 25.8%. However, you wouldn’t see any economic change on the streets; rather, the only changes visible in Greece are political. The Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), has been consistently polling anywhere between five and 10 points higher than the coalition government led by conservative party New Democracy.