By Dimitris Konstantakopoulo
“Where the peril grows, grows also what will save us”
“The Greek race was always, and it is still, the race which has the dangerous and great privilege to make miracles. As all the powerful, endurable races, it can also get to the bottom and then, exactly when it arrives to that point, where the weak races are destroyed, it creates the miracle. It mobilizes all its merits and it is going upwards in one stroke, without any intermediate stages, to the top of salvation. This sudden, unpredictable by the logic, jump upwards is called miracle. All our History is nothing else than a violent, dangerous jump from loss to salvation”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Trip to Moreas
I decided, now that the European ship issinking fast, to do the opposite of the rats.Before I fall, or am thrown, into the water, where what awaits me is not the paradise of the “national currency” but… sharks, I will take advantage of the little time that remains and whatever material I can find, to build a raft before I find myself in the sea.
I chose my provocative title in order to encourage thinking, not because I believe (I never did) that we should remain, come what may, in the euro. I always thought it a very bad currency for Greece and Europe. In any case they are throwing us out, and it could very well break up by itself!
We obviously need to break with, and clash with, the predominant European policies if we are to have any hope of saving ourselves. What we don’t need is the improvisation and adventurism that we have had to swallow, because of which the Greek people are now in the dirt, without even the force to knock our heads against the wall.
I was one of the first to commence the discussion on the currency, at the outset of the crisis, in an interview with Samir Amin in the Ependyti (Investor) newspaper who took position in favor of the exit from the eurozone. Those who have declared support for such an exit in Greece contributed to breaking the euro taboo. But the rest of the discussion was just evasion.
For the one side of the debate “Europe”, for the other side getting out of Europe, was nothing more than a cover for an absolute policy vacuum over how the country could face the many complex challenges of either remaining or leaving.
It is not serious to make a theoretical comparison between the situation of an economy inside and one outside euro. In either case we are abstracting from reality: we have no more a nation-state that will bring out its own currency: we have sustained immense damage; we have dangerous neighbors; they will unleash an economic war against us; the debt is not sustainable and we have signed acceptance of a kind of “slave economy”. Rather than writing theses on the need for exit, it would be better to examine all this so that, if it is necessary or if we want, we can leave the euro without ruining ourselves. If we do this we will have greater self-confidence and we will be able to negotiate.
To say I am leaving the euro and that will be my salvation is like someone having suffered a heart attack and you tell him to stop smoking and eating sweets. If he had done it, he might have escaped the heart attack. But now he is already suffering it. At this moment the cardiac arrest is being caused by the unsustainable debt, the legal consequences of all the loan contracts, which have implanted an “economy of serfdom” in Greece and made it a protectorate, from the international political-communication attack that has been launched against us. We must become ready, for we are not yet ready, to leave the euro, so that they cannot blackmail us, but there is no reason for us to leave on our own initiative. (Except in the event that Mr. Schaeuble offers very favorable terms for us to leave, which does not seem very likely. I wonder if we have even anyone who would be able to evaluate such a proposal).
We should remember that the Greek crisis is not to be attributed only to the euro. It has also been brought about by the collapse of the Greek model of “kleptocratic capitalism”, by the global economic crisis and by a covert geopolitical agenda. They have all converged to make us the first target of a new form of war, employing economic, political, psychological and geopolitical methods. We have become the terrain for application of an experiment of global significance in abolishing nations and states, implemented with the consent of the victim of such new forms of totalitarianism.
To deal with such challenges it is not enough just to choose the right monetary policy. What is required is a comprehensive response to all the problems together and not just to one of them. Moreover, if we comprehend what is happening and explain it internationally, we will find many more allies than we think, for Greece is now producing the history of Europe and of the world, as Winston Churchill has once put it.
Reason dictates that we should leave to others the responsibility for expelling Greece from the euro, having exhausted all the many institutional and political weapons that are provided to us by virtue of our status as a member of the EU, and which we did not use to assert our rights. Nobody has made even any preparation for doing this. For example thepossibility of blocking the functioning of the EU,which continues to have numerous vetomechanisms, as General De Gaulle did, havingpreviously prepared the political ground fordoing so.
Survival dictates that a country at the point we have reached must pull out all the stops for the sake of saving its skin. It is obliged to explain to its partners and allies, that they do not have permission to continue using Greece in military and strategic terms as they wish, while at the same time destroying our country. Survival dictates that a very serious effort be made in the areas of production, with networks of producer-consumer co-operatives, also technical preparation for the introduction of methods of “war economy” and, of course, that allies be sought on all sides, along with serious legal preparation and all what is needed for the introduction, in case of necessity, of a national means of payments.
Even to begin discussing the question of a national currency, we must have taken numerous decisions and started serious preparations. In the past Papandreou, Samaras, Tsipras brought us or kept us inside the program on the supposition that in some way Europe will take care of us. They ignored the fact that Europe is being used by forces that seek our ruin (if you don’t believe this, say what you think they are seeking). I do not exclude the possibility that, if international support is mustered for the “exit from the euro” (“highly desirable” according to a report by the Heritage Foundation and probably to forces in the US which would like to begin the destruction of the Union by pushing us to an exit) we will tomorrow be seeing some new savior of the nation launching a struggle against “German Europe”, without telling us where we are going, so that we can once again organize our own ruin (the memoranda could not exist if they had not been signed by Greek prime ministers). We would believe him,because the drowning man clutches at a straw.We made a hash of it supporting the phony Left. We don’t now need phony nationalists.
Greece should neither leave nor stay in the euro. What is needed is for it to become a state, with our own native will. We need a serious plan A and a serious plan B (because without the second there cannot be the first). Otherwise we will leave finally, not on terms of survival, but on terms of Schaeuble, Goldman Sachs and USA circles who want to break up the EU (perhaps using us for this purpose also), for exactly the opposite reasons of any reasons that might appeal to us. We may leave in that case, but we will remain a Debt Colony, a concept analyzed quite in depth by Mr. Kotzias in a book, before he becomes himself Minister of the Colony! By the way he analyzed only the role of Germany, but Greece has become now a protectorate of Germany, of EU and of the IMF, in reality of an alliance of German elites and of the International Finance, with the permission of the USA.
To avoid misunderstandings, I repeat: I do not favor staying in the euro on any terms. I consider it necessary for the social and national survival of the Greeks that we cease servicing the debt, renounce the loan contracts and the memoranda, control all aspects of property transfers realized, immediately organize a European and world-wide campaign of defense of Greeks and Greece, to inform European and world public opinion of what and why is really happening in our country and what is at stake here for their own countries. But we need much preparation and seriousness, dedication, the Greek people on the alert, multiple strategies. We have to acquire all this, as difficult as it may seem, to prevent them from taking our state away from us, definitively, ruining us, and scattering us to the four corners of the earth, as Emperor Titus did with the Jews.
This article was published in the Greek magazine “Zero” (1-2-2017) and translated into English by Wayne Hall. Dimitris Konstantakopoulos is a journalist and writer. He has been Secretary of the Movement of Independent Citizens (Spitha) and also a Member of the Secretariat and the Central Committee of SYRIZA.