Greece has become a focal point in Europe. It is both where the economic crisis has acquired its most acute form and where the revolutionary backlash by the masses has been the most advanced. We are pleased to present Greece on the Brink, a documentary that follows the course of the Greek crisis from a Marxist perspective.
The documentary gives an in-depth insight into the profound crisis that Greece is facing today. Greece took over the EU Presidency at the beginning of this year. At different festivities celebrating this occasion, European and Greek politicians have tried to ensure the public by claiming that the worst parts of the crisis is over. However, reality is entirely different.
The country, which is facing the seventh year of recession, is in a state of disintegration at all levels: financially, socially and politically. The Greek population has had to radically change their lives. Unemployment, homelessness and suicide rates have hit record highs. Soup kitchens are springing up everywhere and the country’s public assets are all up for sale.
Through the so-called “rescue packages” the country has in reality been enslaved to the Troika, consisting of the European Union Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The mechanism of the debt repayment scheme resembles the Structural Adjustment Programmes carried out by the IMF and the World Bank in developing countries. These bail-out packages — far from helping the Greek people — have only benefited the financial sector.
The fight back against these measures in the last few years has been impressive. Countless numbers of demonstrations, general strikes and occupations of squares has been organised by the masses. However, the repression by the state forces has also been massive. This has ensured the punctual payment of interest to the big banks and companies, while ordinary people have been squeezed to the fullest.
A small team of the IMT — equipped only with a hand-held camera — has travelled to Greece, interviewed political activists about the social and political situation and got some hair-raising stories about the misery that exists. The team visited the newspaper cooperative Efimerida ton Syntakton and the occupied former public broadcaster ERT, which is run under workers’ control. The documentary also covers the serious changes in the political landscape as the left wing party of SYRIZA has become the main opposition party since the last elections.
In order to place the Greek crisis in an international context, the team also visited the Marxist theoretician Alan Woods in London and tried to discover the roots to the Greek crisis in the international crisis of the capitalist system. In order to explore other countries with similar conditions, the team also went to Italy to talk with Claudio Bellotti — the author of “Crisi, Debito, Default — Rompere con l’utopia” — about his radical approach of cancelling the debt altogether and what this would mean about the future of the country.
The dilemma clearly stands out at the end of the documentary. From the point of view of the masses, the only real alternative, to the present state of misery and falling living standards, is the overthrow of the very system that produces all of the problems that humanity faces today and its replacement with a socially owned, democratically controlled and rationally planned economy.
The documentary is distributed online under the creative commons licence, which means it is freely available to all. However, you can help finance our work by making a donation.
A film by Manuel Reichetseder