As far as anyone knows, Vangelis Marinakis has not bought The Economist. It has not even crossed his mind. Nor can one believe that The Economist “gets its political line” after having first read the news analyses of the media of the dread Marinakis Publishing Group, although in order to help them out we do translate daily a number of articles into English.
No, The Economist, which likes the Left as much as the devil likes incense and moths like mothballs, articulates certain truths, which, if you state them in Greece, you are attacked by prime ministerial advisors – such as the head of the PM’s press office Karteros or Nikos Karanikas, along with a bevy of trolls – who will charge that you are battling the huge experiment in “left-wing governance” which is in progress in our country.
What is The Economist saying? It says that an experiment in austerity was carried out in Greece, and that it actually led to an even greater economic crisis, a huge recession, and in the final analysis more decades of austerity.
It says that in Greece, the European Union exhibited its inability to think outside the limits of a rationale of fiscal discipline.
It says that in no way can we speak of a success story in the case of Greece.
It says that at some point the EU must stop putting things off and think about solutions such as a debt haircut.
What The Econmist says has been stated by dozens of other analysts, economists, and journalists, who have underlined that the experience of the bailout memorandums leaves behind an exceptionally negative legacy of perpetual austerity, which is pushing society to its limits.
For this reason, it is deeply hypocritical for the government to say that growth is on its way, and that thanks to its efforts we are exiting fiscal surveillance.
Growth is not coming and Greece will remain under surveillance.
Similarly, we would not have escaped surveillance if the notorious 2014 email of then finance minister Gikas Hardouvelis, which proposed to creditors fiscal measures worth nearly one billion euros, were religiously implemented.
That is because the bailout memorandums were never simply a package of painful measures which if implemented would spur growth.
The memorandums from the start involved the imposition of a regime, of an entire social and economic model.
The creditors are here to stay, and that is precisely why the 21 August bailout exit is no cause for celebration.
Is SYRIZA solely responsible for all this? Far from it. One could say in fact that the memorandums, and the fact that we face a pre-ordained course of austerity for many years, is due to the “collective responsibility” of all political parties that have governed the country.
However, that does not reduce the particular responsibility of SYRIZA. That is not simply because this party also ended up implementing memorandums, and in fact “more successfully” than the Samaras-Venizelos government.
It is mainly because for three years SYRIZA refuses to admit that it compromised, capitulated, retreated, and preferred power over a clash with creditors.
The problem is not that SYRIZA is implementing memorandums and binding future governments.
The problem is that it stubbornly insists on depicting this reality as being something different.
In the beginning, the government depicted all this as a tactical compromise, which would have allegedly been counterbalanced by a “parallel programme” of social benefits. Then, it tried to convince the public that it implemented “progressive reforms”. Today, it says that it is “bringing growth”, which will be followed by social justice.
Compromises and even defeats are a part of politics. Hypocrisy and skewing reality, and the cynical manufacturing of “narratives”, are a part of “bad politics”.
The same applies to the witch hunt against anyone who speaks the truth (even if they simply cry that the emperor is naked), the constant prevarication, the reasoning that someone says something because they are paid off by someone, the slander, and the character assassination.
The only result of all this is that politics becomes identified with lies and hypocrisy.
That leads people at first to indifference, and later into the embrace of the fascists.
P.S. I expect a damning reaction in the social media – from Karteros, Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis, and Karanikas – to the cursed Economist, which as everyone knows belongs to Marinakis.