Saturday, July 25, 2015

Erdogan's anti-IS attacks fake, pretext for big offensive against Kurds

Yesterday I was quite surprised reading in the news that the Turkish Islamist President had suddenly decided to take action against the so-called Islamic State (IS). After all Turkey has been its most adamant, even if covert, supporter after its invasion of Iraq and proclamation of the Caliphate appeared to have officially alienated other supporters like Saudi Arabia (big question mark) and their common Kafiri allies, the USA, Israel and your usual suspects in Europe (again all with huge flashing question marks). All these, as well as Turkey, still openly supported Al Qaeda and its array of satellites so-called "Free Syrian Army", magically turned into "moderates", of course.

But why would Turkey turn against the IS? It was obviously not because it had massacred 32 "Turkish" Kurds in a social center in Suruç. If there was any doubt the brutal repression of the subsequent protests in Istanbul and other cities underlined that the only interest Erdogan has on Kurds is to keep them under his boot. Not at all.

The 32 Kurdish comrades massacred by the Islamist-Fascists (source: BGD!)

But (oh, wait!) Erdogan did get an ethnic-Turkish pretext as well: an officer was killed yesterday in a shooting at a crossing point in the artificial border, so artificial that runs along the Istanbul-Baghdad railroad. Well, it was probably engineered somehow but it seems that just killing "Turkish citizens" is not enough for Erdogan if these are Kurds, even as a pretext. 

So what has he done so far?

Well, actually mostly attack Kurds inside three states: Turkey, Syria and Iraq. 

Inside Turkey they have made massive raids against suspects of sympathizing with the outlawed (but in a long-lasting unilateral truce) Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and allegedly the IS as well. However not a single arrested (out of 590) is identified (as of yet) as IS member or sympathizer, most however are clearly labeled as sympathizers of the PKK, i.e. Kurdish Revolutionaries of any type, surely mostly civilians like you or me. 

Only one person, who was killed in alleged shooting, was identified as member of an illegal Turkish communist group, the DHKP-C.

Outside the Turkish official borders, nine positions of the PKK were bombed in lands under Iraqi formal sovereignty, while unspecified "Kurdish and Islamist" targets were also attacked in Syrian territory.

After these attacks, the PKK said that the truce with Turkey had "no meaning anymore". 

No-fly zone to protect the IS?

An intriguing development of this new stage is the agreement by the USA and Turkey to establish a no-fly zone in a very specific zone of the Aleppo province of Northern Syria. Of course this is a violation of Syrian sovereignty but the bullies of the World don't seem to care. 

The no-fly zone goes between the towns of Mare' and Jarabulus and 90 km south of the Turkish border. In other words: almost exactly the territory controlled by the Islamic State in the province of Aleppo.

Detail of control zones in Northern Syria. Credit: (CC: محک)
[yellow: Kurds, red: Syria, black: IS, green: Al Qaeda et al.]

The no-fly zone as described by Press TV (approx.) - based on the previous map

Naturally a question arises: does the IS or even the Kurdish militias have airplanes? Not at all. The only airplanes in the Syrian war, other than the occasional US incursion, are those of the Syrian state. So what's the point of establishing a no-fly zone over the lands controlled by the IS? Necessarily to protect them against the Syrian operations, and maybe those of their allies such as Iran. 

We must notice that in the last year the Kurdish control zone of the border region has been growing and I guess that the Turkish state is concerned that they might also manage to gain control of the remaining border strip, disconnecting the IS from its main provider: Turkey. 

Reigniting the Kurdish war to 'save Turkey'?

The Turkish Islamist regime must also be worried that the Kurdish backed all-Turkey party HDP made important gains in the last elections, not just in Kurdistan but also in many other provinces, denying the Islamists their much coveted absolute majority in the Turkish Parliament and weakening Erdogan's decade-long tight control of the state apparatus. 

It seems apparent to me that the actual goal of all this performance is no other than to declare the HDP illegal at risk of expanding the Kurdish armed struggle back to Turkey after several years of difficult but continued peace. 

These years, particularly the latest ones, saw the Kurdish population take a much more active presence in the all-Turkey politics hand-on-hand with ethnic Turks, not just via the HDP, but more importantly maybe in the many protests that shattered the bicontinental state in 2011. Surely Erdogan believes that by reopening the Kurdish front in terms military he can make political gains inside Turkey. I just hope he is wrong and that he will pay dearly for this criminal miscalculation.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shameless Syriza MPs represent nobody

Only 32 of Syriza's MPs voted "no" to the horrible Troika impositions (here in detail annotated by Varoufakis himself, who was among the dissidents), 6 other abstained and one was absent. All the others (110) voted "yes", doing what can only be described as "PASOKism". 

The threshold of dignity was well below the speculations of recent days that talked of more than 50 dissidents. This puts the situation very bad for the Left Platform to reclaim Syriza, as they have claimed to intend, even if the majority of Central Committee has signed against the deal

The People of Greece voted already a resounding "no" to measures less severe than these but they have been betrayed by politicians who have absolutely no shame nor bravery.

In essence this situation leaves the country without any legitimate government or representation. The Tsipras regime has become a mere protectorate of Germany and the People of Greece owes loyalty to the state no more. 

It is a very sad night for those who believe in democracy. The coup has been formalized by people who have no right to claim any representativity, much less call themselves "radical left" and are only a bunch of cowards and traitors. 

Shame on you.

Appendix: list of honorable Syriza MPs who stuck with the Greek People and voted "no" or abstained:

A.Kyritsi, Z.Konstantopoulou, G.Varoufakis, N.Valavani, D.Stratoulis, D.Kodelas, E.Sotiriou, V.Chatzilamprou, I.Stathas, I.Skoumas, Th.Kotsias, K.Lapavitsas, M. Kritsotakis, D.Charalampidou, I.Gaitani, L.Amanatidou-Paschalidou, I.Ioannidis, E.Diamantopoulos, St.Samoilis, R.Makri, E.Ouzounidou, I.Zerdelis, K.Delimitros, Th.Petrakos, St. Leoutsakos, P.Lafazanis, Z.Zannas, V.Kyriakakis, M.Psarea, K.Dermitzakis, K.Isychos, K.Zacharias

V.Katrivanou, D.Mpaxevanakis, N.Michalakis, The. Diotis, V.Leva, Ch.Karagiannidis


Source: a commenter HERE.


In synthesis: voting "no" were:
  • The 2 MPs from the Trotskyist International Workers' Left (DEA)
  • The 4 MPs from the Maoist KOE (formerly a distinct party)
  • 15 MPs from the Left Platform, including minister Lafazanis, vice-minister Stratoulis and Spokesman Petrakos
  • 10 non-aligned, including former minister Varoufakis, President of Parliament Konstantinopoulou and vice-ministers Valavani and Isychos
  • there seems to be one missing because the total count of Syriza's "no" vote is actually 32
Abstentions ("present") 6 non-aligned MPs. An MP from the Left Platform, Tsanaka, was absent.

Honor gallery:


Podemos' leader, P. Iglesias backs Tsipras in his worst day: "it is the only thing he could possibly do".

Iglesias is demonstrating in these last months that he really really really wants to lose the upcoming elections by not forming popular union alliance with other parties and by being a control-freak on his own party and that way renouncing to its identity of participative democracy. These declarations really shows him as totally clueless (or worse).

Update: sign to kick Germany from the EU and save Europe from Merkel and Schäuble.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Majority of Syriza's Central Committee rejects Tsipras' surrender

109 of the 201 members of the Central Committee have signed a document rejecting Tsipras' terms of surrender, which has been labeled as "unbearable", "humiliating", "catastrophic" and even as a "coup". 

This will probably not have decisive weight on today's vote but it effectively underlines how much Tsipras, and Dragasakis' right wing that supports him, is isolated within the party and how the challenge that yesterday placed Kouvelakis (Left Platform) about reclaiming the party by the Left may well succeed. 

Among the dissidents is Tasos Koronakis, Secretary General of the Political Committee. The list of prominent dissidents has been growing also with Finance Secretary Nadia Valavani, who resigned as member of the government. Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who is not member of the party, has also been fiercely critical of the agreement and said that it will not materialize because of IMF opposition (it is true that the IMF has in extremis attacked the deal, demanding a haircut - Washington seems very worried about European stability). It is also apparent that current Finance Minister Euklid Tsakalotos opposes the deal as well.

Stathis Kouvelakis explains Syriza's drift and unavoidable break-up

S. Kouvelakis (source)
In an absolutely must-read interview at Jacobin magazine, Stathis Kouvelakis (Left Platform of Syriza) explains from an insider viewpoint the how Syriza became trampled in its own naivety, the key role played by Yannis Dragasakis (vice-prime minister), the turning point of the referendum and the intention by the Left Platform to reclaim the party in a situation that is one of absolute breakup. 

The interview is way too long to be pasted here in full but I will quote some key passages re-sorted according to my best criterion:

The referendum

... the Left Platform’s leader and minister of energy and productive reconstruction, Panagiotis Lafazanis said that the referendum was the right decision, albeit one that came too late, but he also warned that this amounted to a declaration of war, that the other side would cut off the liquidity and we should expect within days to have the banks closed. Most of those present just laughed at this suggestion.

... what is absolutely clear is that [the referendum] unleashed forces that went far beyond those intentions. Tsipras and the government were clearly overtaken by the momentum that was created by the referendum.

... it is a complete illusion to pretend that the referendum didn’t happen. It did happen, and it’s clear to both international public opinion and Greek society that Tsipras is betraying a popular mandate.

Revelations from the referendum: class, youth and nation

Even relatively mainstream commentators recognized that this was the most class-divided election in Greek history. In working-class districts you had 70 percent and above for “no,” in upper-class districts you had 70 percent and above for “yes.”

This is the first moment since the crisis that the youth in its mass actually made a unified statement. Eighty-five percent of those from eighteen to twenty-four voted “no,” which shows that this generation, which has been completely sacrificed by the memorandum, is very aware of the future ahead of it and has a clear attitude with regards to Europe.

... the third dimension is certainly that of national pride. This explains why outside the big urban centers, where the class lines are more blurred, in the Greece of the countryside and small cities, even there the “no” vote won a majority.

The post-referendum suicide

At that meeting [with all the bourgeois pro-Troika opposition parties, freshly defeated in every single province] you saw an extraordinary thing happen: the head of the victorious camp accepted the conditions of the defeated camp. This, it has to be said, is something that’s unique in political history. I don’t we’ve ever seen this before.

... the government immediately took those initiatives to deactivate the dynamic that was emerging with the referendum. And this is why hours after the announcement of the final resort, this meeting of all the political leaders was called, which fixed somehow an agenda entirely different from that expressed by the “no” vote.

The content of this new agenda was that whatever happens — that was of course already there in moves inspired by Dragasakis made the week before — Greece had to stay in the eurozone. And the most emphatic point of the joint statement signed by all the political leaders — with the exception of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), who refused to sign, and the Nazis, who were not invited to the meeting — was that this referendum was not a mandate for a break but a mandate for a better negotiation. So from that moment onwards the mess had been set.

Varoufakis plan B and Dragasakis' veto

... Varoufakis says that a small team of people around him worked during the week leading to the referendum on an alternative plan including state control of the banks, issuing of IOUs and disconnection of the Greek central bank from the Frankfurt ECB, so on a sort of gradual exit. But that clearly came too late and was rejected by nearly all the rest of the economic team of the cabinet, by which he essentially means Dragasakis. And Tsipras, of course, validated that decision.

Tsipras' poser strategy

[Tsipras] thought that by appearing as a loyal “European,” deprived of any “hidden agenda,” he would get some kind of reward. On the other side, he showed for some months a capacity to resist to the escalating pressure and made some unpredictable moves such as the referendum or travelling to Moscow.

He thought this was the right mix to approach the issue, and what happens is that when you consistently follow this line you are led to a position in which you are left only with bad choices.

Behind Tsipras: Dragasakis

... we have to distinguish two elements within the government. The first is the rightist wing of the government led by two of the main economists, essentially Dragasakis but also Giorgos Stathakis. And then the core leadership, Tsipras and the people around him.

The first group had a consistent line from the outset — there was absolutely no naïveté on their part. They knew very well that the Europeans would never accept a break with the memorandum.

This is why Dragasakis from the outset did everything he could not to change the logic of the overall approach. He clearly sabotaged all the attempts for Syriza to have a proper economic program, even one within the framework that had been approved by the majority of the party. He thought that the only thing you could get was an improved version of the memorandum framework. He wanted his hands completely free to negotiate the deal with the Europeans, without himself appearing too much at the stage, he succeeded in controlling the negotiation team, especially once Varoufakis had been sidelined.


... [blocking any 'Grexit' style option] was the obsession more particularly of Giannis Dragasakis — he made it impossible to make any moves towards public control of the banks. He is the man of trust actually of the bankers and sectors of big business in Greece and has made sure that the core of the system would remain unchanged since Syriza took power.


And then you have the other approach, that of Tsipras, which was indeed rooted in the ideology of left-Europeanism. I think the best illustration of that is Euclid Tsakalotos, a person who considers himself a staunch Marxist, someone who comes from the Eurocommunist tradition, we were in the same organization for years.


What we also clearly saw in that period is that the government, the leadership, became totally autonomous of the party. That process had already started (...) but now it has reached a kind of climactic level.

And the academics:

Tsakalotos said he was very disappointed by the low level of the discussion [in the European institutions]. In the interview to the New Statesman, Varoufakis says very similar things about his own experience, although his style is clearly more confrontational than Tsakalotos’s.

From this it is quite clear that these people were expecting the confrontation with the EU to happen along the lines of an academic conference when you go with a nice paper and you expect a kind of nice counter-paper to be presented.

I think this is telling about what the Left is about today. The Left is filled with lots of people who are well-meaning, but who are totally impotent on the field of real politics. But it’s also telling about the kind of mental devastation wrought by the almost religious belief in Europeanism. This meant that, until the very end, those people believed that they could get something from the troika, they thought that between “partners” they would find some sort of compromise, that they shared some core values like respect for the democratic mandate, or the possibility of a rational discussion based on economic arguments.

The whole approach of Varoufakis’s more confrontational stance amounted actually to the same thing, but wrapped in the language of game theory. What he was saying was that we have to play the game until the very, very, very end and then they would retreat, because supposedly the damage that they would endure had they not retreated was too great for them to accept.

But what actually happened was akin to a fight between two people, where one person risks the pain and damage of losing a toe and the other their two legs. 

Death trap

... this whole negotiation process by itself triggered passivity and anxiety among the people and the most combative sectors of society, leading them to exhaustion. Before the referendum the mood was clearly, “We can’t stand this kind of waterboarding process anymore, at some point it has to end.”

This is something personally I hadn’t foreseen. I thought the pace would be quicker. I hadn’t foreseen that this process of being increasingly trapped in this absolute deadlock lasting for so long, limiting enormously our own room for initiative.

Today's vote

... all the MPs of the Left Platform will reject the new memorandum in the next vote, this has already been announced.

The most symbolic and crucial vote will happen now. Last week’s vote was a vote on the proposals for the negotiation. The next vote, which will determine the future of Syriza and the country, will be the vote on the agreement signed on Sunday. And I think the information I have so far is that the vote will be absolutely clear, and in the popular memory will be the real parallel with the famous May 2010 and February 2012 votes, when everybody was looking at each individual, each individual MP, to see how they would vote in this occasion.

Syriza is breaking up

At this stage, what I can say is that the decision of the Left Platform is to reclaim the party and demand a party congress. I think it’s quite clear that this U-turn of Syriza has only minority support within the party.

Of course, we all know that bureaucratic manipulations of party procedures are endless and display infinite capacity to innovate. However, it is very hard for me to see how the majority of Syriza members could approve of what has been done. Essentially the leadership will ferociously resist the call for a congress. We’ll see what happens, because the statutes allow us to call for a central committee meeting and so on.

But objectively, the process leading to the disintegration of Syriza has already started. Syriza as we knew it is over and splits are absolutely inevitable. The only issue now is how they will happen and what form they will take.


There are all kinds of initiatives from beyond the ranks of Left Platform to react to what is happening. Already we know that the tendency of the so-called Fifty-Three (the left wing of the majority) has disintegrated, and there will be major realignments on that side. The key thing is for us to act as the legitimate representation of the No camp, the anti-austerity camp, which is the majority in Greek society and which has been objectively betrayed by what is happening.

Some lessons learned

A comrade sent me a message saying it is true the Syriza government has succeeded in making the EU much more hated by the Greek people than anything Antarsya or KKE has been able to accomplish in twenty years of anti-EU rhetoric in that field!


Obviously the strategy of the “good euro” and “left-Europeanism” collapsed, and many people realize that now. The process of the referendum made that very clear, and the test went up to its extreme limits. This was a tough lesson, but a necessary one.


Clearly, the Left Platform could have done more in that period in terms of putting forward alternative proposals. The mistake is even clear because the alternative document itself was there, there was just internal hesitation about the appropriate moment to release it.

We had been neutralized and overtaken by the endless sequence of negotiations and dramatic moments and so on, and it was only when it was already too late, in that plenary meeting of the parliamentary group, that a reduced version of that proposal was finally made public and started circulating. This is clearly something we should have done before.


We could say, in hindsight, that some sections of the Greek left that were less tied to party politics could have taken a Podemos type of initiative, or perhaps more realistically, a Catalan CUP-type of initiative with sectors perhaps of the far left but of the more movementist tenor.

But, once again, there were no such sectors ready to do that. Everyone was much too linked to the limitations of the existing structures, and the only attempt to redistribute the cards failed to materialize, in this case because the weight of traditional ultra-leftism proved too strong.

But what else?

What was the other option? Having passed the test of that decisive period, both KKE and Antarsya have proved, in very different ways of course, how irrelevant they are. For us, the only alternative choice would have been to break with the Syriza leadership sooner. However, given the dynamic of the situation after this crucial bifurcation of the late 2011 to early 2012 moment, that would have immediately marginalized us.

The only concrete result I can see would be to add a couple more groups to the already ten or twelve groups constituting Antarsya, and Antarsya instead of having 0.7% being at 1%. That would mean Syriza would have been offered entirely on a platter to Tsipras and the majority, or at least to those forces outside the Left Platform.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Alexis Tsipras: the walking dead

Zoì Konstantinopoulou may delay the vote
The situation is still evolving, so I only have a fragmentary grasp but it is already very apparent that Tsipras' humiliating surrender to Schüble's terms will break Syriza in two and is also causing major social upheaval in the Greek streets. 

The voting, initially scheduled for tomorrow, may not be held at all in due time (what in itself violates the terms of the agreement) because the President of the Parliament, Zoì Konstantinopoulou, who has declared that she cannot and will not back the deal, may delay the vote. She is the one with such power and neither Tsipras nor Schäuble ever considered consulting her. 

The list of dissidents inside Syriza's bench is growing by the moment. Twitter's rumorology talks about at least 47 MPs from this party that have already declared that they will vote against. The list may include both of Tsipras finance ministers: Yanis Varoufakis (former) and Euklid Tsakalotos (current), as well as several other ministers. So it is legitimate to wonder about how much support, if any at all, Tsipras still has in Syriza and even if the deal will be approved at all. 

The pro-German opposition has 106 seats, so, if the deal is put to vote at all, Tsipras needs to rally at least 45 of the 149 Syriza MPs for a yes vote to succeed (assuming no abstentions or absences - the coalition partner ANEL has already said they will vote "no"). This is possible, I guess, but still Tsipras and his supporters have become political walking dead and the unity of the party is forfeit. 

This is what I could gather about the Members of Parliament. The split between Tsipras and whoever still follows him and the grassrots of the party seems much much greater. The communiqué of the youth branch is very significant, calling the people to rally in the streets against the "putsch". Several regional branches of the party have already announced they will ask their MPs to vote "no".

The labor unions are not behind, the public sector unions have called a national strike tomorrow. Additionally, protests at Syntagma Square and other places are thriving and the iconic burning of a Syriza banner is symptomatic of the widespread discontent. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Total surrender, betrayal: Tsipras signs worse conditions than what Greeks voted against

He didn't even got a restructuring of the debt, go figure! No wonder he had that deeply sad face.

The only "achievement" is more money to indebt the Greek People even further while they keep paying the ever-growing debt to the International Bankster Mafia.

He gets a "promise" of considering a restructuring of the debt in Autumn but who believes that when the Troika has been all the time pulling back from its own proposals.  


Tsipras yielded in something fundamental: a 50 billion euro privatization of Greek assets (energy, communications, transport, etc.), that is: further looting of Greece by the Euro-leeches. Until now privatization had "only" implicated 4 billion euros, so this is a massive escalation of the looting. Unbelievable!

Other surrender conditions signed by Tsipras are:
  • Pension freezing and retirement age at 67
  • Revision of worker rights (collective agreements, right of strike, etc.)
  • Measures to guarantee the payment of loans
  • Yet another administrative reform (there was already one under Samaras)

New elections

Considering what happened on Friday's vote, I think that it is unavoidable that Syriza breaks up in two in no time and that the Right Wing (led by Tsipras) becomes a new PASOK or DIMAR, that will be punished by the Greek People as soon as they have the right to vote. 

Minister of Work, Panos Skourletis, declared that the conditions of the agreement are not viable and predicted early elections later this year. However he also demanded the resignation of the MPs who "vetoed" (sic) the Friday proposal. It is unclear to me how a bunch of dissident MPs could "veto" anything versus the pro-Troika coalition rallied by Tsipras. It seems just playing the blame game. 

In any case it seems that Tsipras won't be able to retain a technical majority government, with bourgeois parties like To Potami rejecting any possibility of joining the Tsipras coalition. He therefore becomes hostage of the bourgeois pro-Bankster opposition. 

However this bourgeois opposition has nearly no hope of winning elections. The latest opinion polls (from June 15th) gave Syriza 48% of the voter support (not including undecided), while New Democracy collapsed to less than 20% and the other parties remained stuck.

(source: Electograph)

So the matter is: (1) how exactly will Syzira split (it will) after this horrible surrender and (2) which of the two factions will be supported by Greek voters, particularly that 36% who backed Syriza in January and made up the core of those who voted "oxi" in last week's referendum.

Sources: Público[es] (link 1, link 2).

Further related reading:

Greek Left Review: Exclusive: Yanis Varoufakis opens up about his five month battle to save Greece.

This country must stop extending and pretending, we must stop taking on new loans pretending that we’ve solved the problem, when we haven’t; when we have made our debt even less sustainable on condition of further austerity that even further shrinks the economy; and shifts the burden further onto the have-nots, creating a humanitarian crisis.

It’s not that it didn’t go down well – there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on, to make sure it’s logically coherent, and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you’d have got the same reply.

Twitter: #ThisIsACoup

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Varoufakis states the obvious: it's not a negotiation but outright bullying

He puts it in somewhat more polite terms but the final conclusion is the same:

Based on months of negotiation, my conviction is that the German finance minister wants Greece to be pushed out of the single currency to put the fear of God into the French and have them accept his model of a disciplinarian eurozone.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Is Tsipras causing the breakup of Syriza, Nepal style?

You may recall the breakup of the Maoist Party of Nepal two years ago when Prachandra decided to compromise way too much with the bourgeois parties and provoked that the vast majority of the grassroots organizations of the Party separated to create a new organization. 

This could well be what is happening at fast pace in Greece today. At least that is the impression I have after re-translating for another blog what Stathis Kouvelakis (Syriza's Left Platform) wrote.

I copy here the last part of the article:

As was predictable, and probably even planned, this proposed agreement has triggered an uproar inside Syriza. For the moment, most of the strong reactions are come from the Left Platform and other currents of Syriza’s left wing such as KOE, the Maoist organization that has four MPs. In today’s dramatic meeting of Syriza’s parliamentary group, Lafazanis, minister of energy and leader of the Left Platform, said the agreement is “incompatible with Syriza’s program” and “doesn’t offer a positive perspective to the country.” The Left Platform ministers are expected to resign today.

Thanassis Petrakos, one of the three speakers of Syriza’s parliamentary group and a prominent member of the Left Platform, declared:
The “no” of the referendum was a radical and a class “no.” Some high-ranked comrades insist on the “there is no other way” logic. We should prepare exiting the eurozone and say that clearly to the people. The Left has a future when it opens its wings to the unknown, not to nothingness. Those who insist on the choice of staying in the euro whatever the cost might be know that it is a disaster. We need a prepared exit to open up a new path. The first steps are the public control of the banks and of the Greek central bank and a crackdown on oligarchy.
Varoufakis is also said to have opposed the agreement, as well as some MPs from the group of the “fifty-three” (the left wing of the majority), although in an internal meeting held yesterday a significant gap appeared between the rank-and-file and middle-range cadres, strongly opposed to the agreement, and the MPs, much more inclined to support it. The vote that will take place late in the evening will certainly be of crucial importance for the future developments, but also for the future of Syriza.

Whatever happens in the next few hours and days, one thing should be clear: any attempt to cancel the popular will for the overturn of austerity and the memoranda amounts to hubris in the ancient Greek sense of the term. Whoever dares to lead the country, and the Left, to surrender and to dishonor should be ready to face the corresponding Nemesis.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Greece: what will happen now?

This very honest interview by The Real News Network to Kostas Lapavitsas (Syriza's independent MP and columnist at The Guardian) is a must watch (two videos as "playlist"):

Lapavitsas is very clear: the banks must and will no doubt be nationalized, IOUs denominated in euros will be issued to put up with the lack of liquidity caused by the ECB and the Greek banking oligarchy. 

There is no hope in negotiations: Germany won't budge and neither can Greece, much less after the massive rejection of the Troika's take-it-or-leave-it proposal by the Greek People on Sunday. 

Changes will happen in a matter of days, very possibly after the last attempt at negotiating a deal this week, which is desperate and won't produce any results.

Less clear is what will happen to the European Union and the Eurozone, but that is not, I guess, Greece's problem anymore.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Finally a normal, peaceful San Fermin for all!

Pamplona-Iruñea was the first town that saw the Basque flag, the ikurriña, to be raised officially in 1977 after 40 years of suppression by the fascist regime. Almost other 40 years had to pass until that happened again... this morning. 

In the last years I have been reporting on how the neo-fascist UPN regime was trying to totally suppress the Basque flag from being present in the "txupin" (inaugural rocket launching) of the San Fermin fiestas, using police and more police and even more police, never mind photo-editing, to persecute those who dared to bring the Basque flag to this festive act at the historical Basque capital.

In the mid-run they have failed. The citizens of Pamplona have elected a Basque Nationalist and Leftist City Hall and for once Pamplonese and visitors alike could begin the fiesta in peace and good mood. 

Greece was also present... albeit more informally

The ikurriña was also present in varied forms among the multitude present at the square, this time without any incident. You can see those images at Naiz Info's photo-gallery.

Gora Iruñea! Gora Sanferminak! Happy fiestas!

The day after the OXI

By now I'm sure all you know the results of yesterday's referendum in Greece: 61% no, 39% yes. You can say it louder but not more clear. 

Even in spite of financial terrorism by the Bankster Mafia that rules our pitiful Europe, the Greek people stood proud and sent a resounding message to all Europe: we must resist the exploiters and oppressors of the European People(s), we must not bow, not falter, not surrender because we are on the right path. 

Congratulations, Greece, for standing proud and defiant. Thank you, Greece, for taking up the first major battle of the European People(s) against the decadent financier capitalism, which looks stronger than it really is. 

Varoufakis resigns

Yanis Varoufakis had announced his resignation if he was forced by the will of the people to sign a bad deal that does not substantially reduce the debt. However what nobody really expected is that he would resign also in the event of a "no" vote.

The logic behind is that other Eurogroup ministers didn't like him, particularly the attitude of the Dutch Finance Minister and President of the informal committee, J. Djisselbloem seems to have been decisive. Mind you that I am of the opinion that it is Djisselbloem the one who should resign for violating the Treaty of Lisbon last saturday, by holding an "Eurogroup meeting" and issuing a communication as such "Eurogroup" after banishing the Greek representative. 

I also demand the cessation of Mario Draghi on grounds of financial terrorism against Europeans. 

Instead I strongly disagree with Varoufakis' resignation because I believe that Europe needs more and not less transparency and that we need of statesmen of the size of the Greek economist and not just a bunch of gray bureaucrats wearing a uniform of suits and ties as sign of their submission to the oligarchs. 

More resignation ripples

Curiously enough, the former leader of the current "Socialist Left" in the Spanish twin party PSOE, and member of its Federal Committee, B. Talegón, has also resigned today as member of the party, in this case over disagreement on how her party has managed the Greek crisis, standing against the Greek People. 

She said that this stand should be cause for the resignation of the leadership of the Spanish social-liberal party because they have shown to be "neither socialists, nor democrats, nor Europeists". She also claimed that the true socialists left the party when there was no more "international solidarity, nor republic, nor democracy, nor dignity" left in it.

Beatriz Talegón became quite popular a couple of years ago when she fiercely criticized in a meeting of the so-called Socialist International, the luxury of the meeting and the distance of most leaders from their respective peoples.

Back to the negotiation?

That's what Tsipras has promised to do and is his mandate. However I do wonder which is the point when the Eurocrats are clearly not showing any repentance but rather getting entrenched. 

In spite of the democratic rejection of the proposed deal, I cannot foresee anything even half-decent coming out from the negotiation table. Surely the only way to go is to unilaterally declare bankruptcy and brave the storm with socialist policies.