Barely six months ago, on 25 January 2015, the left-wing party Syriza in Greece swept to power on a wave of anti-austerity popular support. The Greeks had had enough of the austerity measures imposed upon them by the Troïka (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund). These ludicrous “structural adjustment plans” plunged them further into recession and widespread poverty while their country was increasingly losing its sovereignty and fast becoming the private property of a small group of Euro-creditors and “banksters”.
If you genuinely care about people and their basic human rights, then you’ll easily see the madness of a strict and harsh austerity package and the dire consequences of its implementation upon people’s livelihoods. But if you are one of those utterly selfish people for whom private greed always has to take precedence over public need, then subjecting vulnerable people to inhumane and degrading treatment through austerity would be quite normal for you.
For a number of reasons, Greece has to carry out certain reforms but not necessarily what the Eurogroup has been advocating using all kinds of dirty tricks against, and unacceptable pressures on, the Greek government. Working hard to put one’s finances on a better and eventually sound footing can, and must, go hand in hand with the adoption and implementation of measures to boost economic growth. After all, a country’s debt cannot be seen in the same way as you would your average household’s debt.
Unfortunately, the creditors think otherwise and the people of Greece have suffered as a result. They continue to suffer precisely because of the measures concocted in Brussels not to boost their economy but to curb their standard of living, deprive them of their wealth and inflate the obscene profit levels of banks. These institutions borrow on the money markets at very low interest rates to lend to Greece at very high interest rates. In the aftermath of the global financial meltdown of 2008, how much did banks across the globe pay off to sovereign nation-states which bailed them out with public money?
There are many observers and analysts who believe that inflicting so much pain on innocent people is horribly cruel and cannot be condoned. They include Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Dr Rowan Williams (ex-archbishop of Canterbury), Pope Francis, Noam Chomsky, Thomas Piketty, Dominique de Villepin and many others. Hence their support for the Greeks, directly or indirectly.
In the referendum held on Sunday 5 July, the suffering people of Greece understandably said NO to crippling austerity. The Eurogroup typically made it clear that for negotiations to restart with Alexis Tsipras as head of the Greek government, his finance minister had to go. Yanis Varoufakis immediately walked away, or rather drove away on his motorbike, saying that he wore the creditors’ loathing with pride.  
After the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis, the intransigence of the country’s creditors remained intact and even got worse with threats, intimidations and ultimatums…
Will we now see everybody and everything fall apart? There is dissent among Greek MPs, divisions within Syriza, the Greeks are worried and angry, and Alexis Tsipras is losing much of his popularity…
I think it’s shit all-round. Syriza may now implode, if it hasn’t already, and the days of Tsipras himself may be numbered. He tried his best while the creditors’ knife was being pushed deeper and deeper under his throat by Merkel et al with no qualms whatsoever. He may have avoided a Grexit – and so Greece will stay in the euro-zone (for how long?) and be « bailed out » and the banks will cash in once public enterprises are privatised.
Given its notorious undemocratic nature, there were rarely any real public debates before about Europe and where it is heading and has come from. Greece’s critical situation and its referendum (resulting in a resounding NO to continuing austerity measures, viewed as a death sentence by 61% of Greek voters) have now put all these concerns firmly on the public agenda. EU citizens will remember what kind of History is being written for a long, long time to come.
And the worst is yet to come. I can only see a lot of turbulences, not looming on the distant horizon, but lurking just round the corner. Perhaps we’ll see a centrist government emerging in Greece with a considerably battered Syriza…
The whole country is now up for grabs. Its assets are for sale, grossly overvalued by Germany (according to one analyst). Austerity will plunge the Greek people into the very abyss they tried to avoid. Maybe we’ll see mass revolts, despair and suicides. ?Though Greece is a small country, what it is going through now and the issues its situation has thrown up strike at the heart of the European dream, or European project. And these will continue rocking the so-called European family.
Extreme nationalist forces will probably increase their influence and perhaps argue for the whole Euro project to be ripped apart and for a return to national sovereignty. It took a long time to build an uncertain European Union. I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see its gradual disintegration, destruction and death albeit partially to leave but a small club led by the German sphinx.