ReINFORM intervenes in a talk by member of the EU Task Force for Greece, Tom de Bruijn, on “Democracy in Greece, from the cradle to the grave?
Since the first bailout to Greece, in 2010, the Troika has been blackmailing Greek people with the dilemma “Memoranda or Bankruptcy”. Ever since, Greek people have experienced both: a total social bankruptcy that the adoption of Memoranda caused. “If you don’t say yes to the Memoranda, you will have no gasoline for your cars, no food on the supermarket shelves, no medication in your drugstores, salaries and pensions will no longer be paid,” the politicians and the media supporting the European Union’s policies were threatening. By now, we know very well what all this was about: Rescuing the banks and throwing the people in a sea of despair.
Only in Athens homeless people exceed 20.000 while the Troika has ordered the confiscation of 200.000 primary residences from people who have no money to pay off their housing loan. More than one million people are unemployed with no access to health insurance and pension schemes. Life expectancy has dropped by 3 years, suicides have increased by 45%, young women give birth to dead babies as they have no access to prenatal controls. Children cannot get their vaccinations and old diseases such as tuberculosis come back. People die from diabetes or blood pressure because they cannot afford their medication and form long queues for some food at the common meals. Pensions and salaries are repeatedly cut and even more layoffs are on the way in critical social sectors such as health and education.
This social collapse is a direct or indirect result of laws voted in the Parliament in the name of democracy and collective will. While at the same time, thousands of citizens protesting outside the Parliament were suffering police brutality on an unprecedented scale.
So yes, democracy in Greece has been buried alive – under the Troika’s constant surveillance and pressure. Its grave was made by those who use democratic institutions to rescue the banks and serve the economic interests of the Greek and European elites. By those who ban collective bargaining, set the basic salary to 586 euros, demand mass layoffs. By those who do not hesitate to miscalculate when it comes to the advantages that their reforms supposedly have but avoid numbers when they refer to the humanitarian crisis that these reforms have created. By those who institutionalize corruption by selling out public companies to businessmen whose business affairs are totally obscure, while they do nothing to find the politicians and businessmen responsible for the Siemens bribery scandal. Democracy’s grave has been made by those who call “vested interests” the cleaners and teachers who fight against their layoffs and order police to beat and spray with tear gas the citizens who struggle for real democracy, health care, employment, education, social justice. By those who rule society through fear and treat citizens like objects.
Since July 2011 that the Task Force was formed, it became the locomotive for the implementation of the aforementioned policies that have brought Greek society to despair and have turned democracy into the despotism of the markets and the banks.
It is on this situation that we, Greeks living in the Netherlands, would like to hear Mr. Tom de Bruijn’s comments and views.
Do you consider the role of the Task Force successful in Greece Mr. de Bruijn?