“Memorandum” or another word for expressing extortion

panagopoulosby Christos Panagopoulos

For the last few days, Greek citizens have been observing their governmental coalition, formed by the New Democracy and PASOK, attempting to reach an agreement with the troika’s representatives, to complete the financial evaluation concerning the bailout program the country is currently trying to implement.

Officials, like Finance Minister, Gkikas Hardouvelis, talk about “tough negotiations”, but the very nature of these two words seems resonating something completely different and, moreover, obscure. It seems as if Greece was Europe’s “naughty student”, who awaits spanking due to his persistence to defy authority. But even the word defiance seems no accurate at all; taking into consideration the fact the government struggles to make its citizens believe that she’s trying hard to put an end to the Troika’s lust for more austerity measures, the whole image produces something absurd, and even more grotesque.

Greece’s creditors demand major cut-offs in pensions and salaries, more taxes to burden the heavily affected by the financial crisis and unemployment citizens and, at the same time, want the country to make a turn towards development. What kind of development? A trip to Central Macedonia, in Northern Greece, would be enough to convince everybody that industrial production has already sustained major damage, due to cut-offs and taxation. Youth unemployment in Epirus, Thrace and, yes, even in Crete has been skyrocketing for the last years.

Greeks know it very well: there are no negotiations, only extortion in its most brutal form. One cannot start talking about negotiations when not all the parties involved in them are talking equally. And this is most frustrating and produces even more anger.

Problem is that, nowadays, elections seem inevitable and every excuse or scaremongering if there will be a Left government doesn’t seem to touch the voters’ sentiments. After all, in a democratic political system, a party must always be put to test, when it’s time for it to take over power. And where others seem to fail, elections should not be treated as a curse. Vote was not, is not and should not be considered in the future as a “carte blanche” given by people to a governing party every four years. This was the very reason that governments have been showing signs of corruption for the last 30 years.

In my opinion, Greeks are no more eager to succumb in this scaremongering of the “world’s end”. Dilemmas put by Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, during the country’s elections that citizens had to choose between “order and chaos” are no longer believable.

In fact, it’s time SYRIZA prove that everything its leader, the 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, said during the International Fair of Thessaloniki in September is viable and will consist the “other way”. Reuters claimed a few days ago that he’s currently a “pending Prime Minister”.

Personally, I don’t know how he will fare even as an “active Prime Minister”, but he will definitely have to show how his wannabe government will finance the program he so widely announced. But, before that, we shall if elections will take place. And that, is another story…

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