by Werner Rügemer
After 1945 US-American and British forces destroyed the strong anti-fascist resistance: It was not allowed to form a government. The UK and the USA supported Greek Nazi-collaborators and together with them installed the monarchy in 1949. The USA developed western-Europe into an anti-communist economic and political block of states. The most important instruments for this were the Marshall-Plan and NATO. Greece became a NATO-member in 1952. It was to become a southern forward post against the new socialist states and Tito’s Yugoslavia. Marshall-Plan money (1947-1952) was only handed over to the Greek government under the provision that the party system, trade unions and the civil service was cleansed of communists, socialists and such like.
But democratic resistance could not be suppressed forever. Continue reading
An interview with Marina Karastergiou, activist in the coordination group of associations Ierissos, Chalkidiki
by Alexis J. Passadakis, Attac
Greece is supposed to become the largest producer of gold in Europe. At least that is the plan of the Hellas Gold company which is to 95% controlled by the Canadian company Eldorado Gold. On the northern Greek peninsula Chalkidi to the southeast of Thessaloniki a new 200m deep open cast mine is being planned. Work has started already. The mine is based in a mountainous region, dominated to 90% by forests, some of them primeval forests. The region is also a water reservoir for surrounding areas. Massive protests are building up against the mine. Local initiatives campaign against the widespread destruction of the landscape and especially against the dangers for people resulting from water poisoning through cyanide. This chemical is used to separate the gold from the scree. Apart from anti-austerity protests, no other issue brings so many people onto the streets of Greece as this foreseeable catastrophe for humans and nature.
On June 15th one could read the following in a contribution for the Financial Times written by Wolfgang Münchau: “By accepting the [final] offer [of the creditors] Tsipras would have to agree to a fiscal adjustment of 1.7 per cent of gross domestic product within six months. My colleague Martin Sanbu calculated how an adjustment of such a scale would affect the Greek growth rate. I have now extended that calculation to incorporate the entire four-year fiscal adjustment programme, as demanded by the creditors. […] I come to a figure of a cumulative hit on the level of GDP of 12.6 per cent over four years. The Greek debt-to-GDP ratio would start approaching 200 per cent. My conclusion is that the acceptance of the troika´s programme constitute a dual suicide – for the Greek economy and for the Greek prime minister.”
This saying is true for those exited people who accused the Greek finance minister Janis Varoufakis of secretly recording a Euro-group meeting in Riga with his smartphone. “Outrageous! An impertinence!” screamed the German daily newspaper Die Welt on May 22nd. The Handelsblatt led with the story in a not much more polite way: “The impossible minister”. A German government representative let himself to be quoted with: “An absolute absurdity.” Did Varoufakis report on the meeting? Did he quote colleagues? Did he breach “confidentiality” which, according to Euro-group boss Dijsselbloem is “the basis for all these meetings”? None of the above. The opposite is the case. In reality several participants from other Euro countries were freely gossiping about internal details from the meeting – among them finance ministers from Slovenia, Slovakia and Austria. And most of them were directed against Varoufakis. He apparently was called an “amateur”, “gambler” or “time waster” at the meeting. Events as such may be unimportant. But a complete recording of the meeting would be in the democratic, public interest. But the way the mainstream media react with new Greek bashing is typical of the way the EU deals with Greece.