As a new unelected government of 'National Unity' takes office Matthaios Tsimitakis writes on the deepening political crisis in Greece.
While European elites are sinking within their inability to overcome ideological biases and national fears mainly coming from the wealthiest members of the EU, the movement of #occupyws is spreading all over the US like fire taking the global democratic movement a step further.
After the first general strike in decades in Oakland, the protesters in New York are defying court injunctions to evacuate public spaces and instead organize massive public assemblies. In Greece the sequence of social movements, these pluralist political platforms like the #indignants last summer that shaped and channeled the popular anger against the cancelation of democracy and the imposed deprivation, in coordination to the universalist wave of democratic movements, is temporarily paused due to the formation of a National Unity government, or the government of technocrats. However, unlike any democratically elected government, this artificially constructed scheme will not only fail to produce consensus among the Greeks in front of the declared danger but will not even get the chance to perform within a grace period, before it faces public anger.
The gap between the people and the elites is more visible now in Greece than it has been ever before. The public movement in Greece will probably readjust and recreate the resistance discourse that is being formulated in other parts of the world –most importantly in the #occupy movement- a lot faster, than power can stabilize social and political life at the moment.
Starting from tomorrow when a memorial rally for the anniversary of the fall of the dictatorship will take it all the way from the symbol of the anti-dictatorial resistance, the Polytechnic school of Athens to the American embassy, the time-frame within which the interim government is set to rule untill the coming elections is full of ritualistic events, that will work as catalysts for the further emancipation of large social groups within the coordinates of the new political map in the country.
The presence of the far right-wing LAOS party in the coalition government with four members, one of which has been a open supporter of dictator Papadopoulos (1967-1973), will widen the schism between the protestors and the governors and symbolically between society and the main political forces. But it will also reveal the weak ties within the coalition government and between its members. Following, the 17th of November a general strike declared by GSEE (Greek TUC) will take over by the end of November and on the 6th of December a new demo will be organized in the memory of young Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot dead by a policeman back in 2008 – when the crisis started.
These events will be an effort to keep the people as the protagonists of the political developments in the country through the exposure of the real political nature of this government of technocrat Papademos. No matter how much may the mainstream forces try to naturalize the neoliberal reforms taking place in the country and the rapid deprivation of the population through tough austerity measures, it is essential for society to realize that this is a government with a clear political agenda backed by the political parties that are pushing for its implementation, either way. This government is acting on a new political and social division in order to comply to the external pressure being exercised by the Europeans, the ECB and the IMF –something that will possibly have long-term effects in the country.
So how are the movements in the US and the political developments in Europe connected? What is interesting in Greece is that the people are forced to speed-up this political process that rocks the globe as it’s trying to constitute a democratic subject that will challenge capitalist and authoritarian power in vast areas of the planet. The Spanish made a first step by stating their indignation, the Americans are trying to find new ways now to lift the political ban for the majority of the population in the country and reclaim politics. In Greece something significant is about to happen.
The people on the streets are rediscovering the Left, before the Left has enough time to discover how to address them. In recent polls, all of its fractions combined seem to represent for the first time almost 35% of the electorate. The resistance on the streets is unavoidably meeting the resistance in the parliament and indignation is meeting political realization. The very same way, the Greek problem is paradigmatic in the way power addresses it, the same is happening with resistance. If the broken link between political representation and social movements is restored in the country, the consequences will be beneficial for the people all over the world. The crisis is entering one of its most interesting phases and Greece still produces images of the future.