Greek Diaries

22 June

Markets and stockbrokers are celebrating as Greece capitulates to the dictatorship of Capital. Will Varoufakis resign? How will the Greek parliament react? There’s no way this can be claimed as a ‘compromise’ though no doubt Tsipras will try. The Greek conservatives will be laughing and Samaras is capable of saying that he would have rejected these proposals. The EU has to be opposed strongly by the Left and I for one will be voting to quit when there is a referendum in the UK. The notion that the EU is progressive is risible. The European Left can fight for an alternative Europe (and I agree) but its not going to emerge from the bankers brothel in Brussels.

23 June

Athens: The pro and anti Troika street demonstrations have been relatively small so far. Largest was 10,000. Pensioners march today today had 3,000 people or thereabouts. The overall mood seems to be one of resignation. But the action will move soon to the Greek Parliament.

A 3-day Emergency session of Parliament will precede the final vote on Monday. That the SYRIZA left is angry and bitter is beyond question. But will they vote against en bloc? That would mean resignations from the government. More likely is that 15-20 will either vote against or abstain. More than enough for the Troika impositions to require votes from other parties: The polluted Potami

members have already said they would vote for ANY deal approved by the EU elite. So has PASOK. We still don’t know which way ANEL (the junior coalition partner) will go and as for New Democracy, they will require a push from Brussels and a French kiss for Samaras from the banker’s pimp Juncker to get them on side. Strong reports that Varoufakis might resign. He is certainly encouraging (in private) the Syriza Left to vote against the new Memoranda.

24th June

ATHENS: Tsipras summoned to Brussels because SYRIZA’s total abandonment of its programme isn’t enough! The IMF wants more
tariqaliextremecuts and doesn’t think that the tax concessions will work. The TROIKA keep pushing the Greek government which is already on its knees. ND leader Samaras has said that what is being offered is ‘a very bad solution.’ He too is on his way to EU HQ in Brussels. Its obvious that some (Berlin in particular) don’t mind at all if Greece defaults and quits the Eurozone. I have it from reliable sources that Schauble offered Tsipras an amicable Grexit and 15 billion to see Greece through the first phase. IF this is true it should have been accepted.

25th June.

ATHENS: Reading yesterday’s Le Monde in an Athens cafe I saw two long articles. Habermas denouncing Syriza for being nationalist and defending the EU and praising MarioDraghi, etc. A long interview with Melenchon arguing against Syriza defaulting because it would hurt FRENCH banks. I had heard that Melenchon was in a state of degeneration but hadn’t realised that the political cancer had affected his brain. The sooner this imbecile is replaced by his group, the better…

The new proposals added by the IMF yesterday haven been rejected by Greece. Having forced SYRIZA to abandon its programme they want to destroy the party altogether. There is no other meaning to what’s going on in Brussels. As it is the proposals offered by the Greek government have already divided the party. If they accept what is now being proposed it will be a dual suicide: for Greece and SYRIZA. Today is crucial.

Being defeated by the enemy is one thing. Being defeated by one’s own illusions in the EU and the accompanying strategic blindness is worse because then your own supporters retreat to passivity. If Samaras regards what is being stuffed down Greece’s throat as ‘ a bad solution’ one assumes his party will abstain. If this is the case then the SYRIZA left is in a very strong position.

There is also talk of a snap election. Why not a referendum with one question: SHOULD GREECE REMAIN IN THE EUROZONE AT ANY COST?

26th June

ATHENS: More and more people I meet and talk to are a bit disgusted by the EU politicians. Quite a lot favour a Grexit to stop the torture. Some fear that Tsipras and Varoufakis will now accept anything to stay in. I think the German elite share this fear and Schauble and Merkel say in public that the flagrant injustice of the Troika is too soft. The only reason for this nonsense is that they want Greece out of the Eurozone asap and are now preparing their own Plan B to offer the Greek leaders. Where is Syriza’s Plan B? Non-existent. The punishment being meted out to the Greeks gets worse because their leaders are moving about like bewildered puppets. Or at least they give a very good impression of doing so.

As for the small-state actors in this tragedy (Tusk, Juncker, et all) they are truly disgusting, trying to outdo each other in expressing their loyalty to the Germans and the French. The folds of their flesh mirror a gross corruption and one wonders if there is any real mental activity deep in the cavities of their brain. Or are they just robots?

When Schauble or Merkel speak, the sycophants smile and nod. When they speak they do so in a nauseous symbiosis that fuses them all into a single sensibility. The suffering Greek people where the existing pensions are below the official poverty line, matter not a damn to these rogues assembled in Brussels. I hope that the Greek Parliament will reject the EU imposition. I say EU because apart from Greece all other countries support the Catastroika’s proposals. So much for all these ghastly photographs on display: Juncker stroking his victim’s face; Renzi playing the clown with Tsipras as Merkel watches. Too much. Stop smiling Tsipras. You’re not at a wedding but a funeral and there is a difference.

Meanwhile a suggestion with full acknowledgement to Aristophanes. Lysistratas (and their male equivalents) of modern Greece—and here the partners of Tsipras and Varoufakis should take the lead— call a sex strike till they decide to take on the EU scumbags. Don’t sleep with them, don’t eat with them. March to the Acropolis, women and men of Greece with your tambourines and only word on your lips: NO, OKHI….

Tariq Ali’s latest book is The Extreme Centre: a Warning.


More articles by:

Tariq Ali is the author of The Obama Syndrome (Verso).

March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography