The Greeks have spoken and defied the sceptics and scaremongers from the EU and reactionaries within their own ranks plus the IMF. The people of Greece rejected the European Bailout Terms.
The No Campaign scored a resounding victory. With 61% voting NO, the Yes campaign had the wind knocked out of its stomach.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French leader Francis Hollander have their work cut out and they can’t ignore the results of the referendum.
The resounding message from the mandate laid out by the Greeks has strengthened the hand of the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras when he meets with the leaders of the EU and the IMF.
The EU is divided and the number of voices supporting Greece within the EU is also growing.
Thousands gathered outside Parliament on Monday, waving Greek flags and celebrating, holding up signs written OXI which means No!
History was written then. The Greeks pushed the ball back into the court of Greece’s international creditors.
It is now up to them to decide what to do but one thing is clear: their scaremongering and threats have not deterred the people of Greece from daring to dream and change the world.
One thing is certain: Greece decided to take its future into its own hands in a shocking result that astounded sceptics, pundits, reactionaries and international creditors.
It is a surprising result because the traditional major parties and the media; especially, private media and major businesses were in favour of austerity.
Their pro-austerity stance is shocking because austerity has never been proven to work.
Quite to the contrary, there is overwhelming evidence that austerity does not work. It only works for the rich people and the corporations but not the average person or the middle class.
There are numerous examples that austerity doesn’t work. For example, during the Great Depression, President Roosevelt initiated policies to put people back to work and pump money back into the economy; that worked.
Iceland is a recent example of a country that refused to pay its debts: it invested money in programs to put people back to work. They also put on trial some of the bankers that caused the problems.
This not only boosted the morale and confidence of the people but it also turned around their economic fortunes.
There are numerous examples in South America that prove austerity is a rich man’s bluff and doesn’t work. Austerity is nothing but a class war masquerading as a measure of good and sound governance. In reality, it is like a bomb made of paper, that silently devastates whole communities and nations. It’s impact and after-effects will be felt decades after it first hit just like the bombs dropped in Hiroshima are still affecting people today.
Business tends to be very reactive in situations like this. It ignores the fact that austerity serves nobody’s interest in the long term because the middle class is the market.
If the middle class declines business will pay the ultimate price. They won’t have any business in the long run to buy their products.
The message by the people of Greece to stand up strengthened their prime minister’s position because he was appearing to be very vulnerable.
This has rejuvenated his negotiating power because he is backed by the mandate handed to him by the nation.
Tsipras and the people of Greece are in a difficult situation. They are been held hostage and issued with threats to honour debts they had nothing to do with. They are been blamed for a situation they never created.
All the blame rests on the financial community and traditional political parties that encouraged Greece to go down the austerity route.
This route has not paid any dividends and it has hurt the Greek economy, the middle class and those who are worse off at the bottom end of the economic and social ladder.
Those people who were been blamed for the mistakes made by their leaders who were in cahoots with big banks and international monetary corporations illustrated that the power in any nation lies with the poor people and the middle class. They are the true revolutionary force in any society.
If the people stand united, international creditors, IMF and business cannot force them to act against their own interests regardless of the scaremongering and threats.
They cannot be terrorised to tow the line and burden themselves with unnecessary debt which will reduce them to slaves.
There is little doubt that Greece like many other countries was targeted by the economic hitmen and presented with fancy financial set-ups to take on debts that would hurt their economy.
These debts were never received by the people of Greece but now they are being asked to foot a tab they never ran up which is absurd.
This is how these financial creditors work. They lend countries money but the middle class and the average person never physically see that money.
The financial creditors use the money which goes back to their corporations to enrich themselves, but leave the middle class and the poor with debts that will take generations to pay off if that is even possible.
This video below briefly explains how the game is played and it is worth taking two minutes to watch this short animated clip.
The insistence by the financial creditors for Greece to adopt policies dictated by them to enable them to pay the debt makes a mockery of democracy.
This obligation removes the people’s duty to make their own decisions because they are forced to do as the creditor’s demand because that puts the corporations in charge.
True democracy was illustrated in the decision made by the people; i.e. refusing the terms of the bailout tabled by the EU.
It is a different scenario from the African “democratic” model which is an illusion because the people in Africa have no say in how their counties are run because the countries are actually run by the IMF.
The IMF determines where their money is going to spend, how much is going to spent on social welfare, how much will be spent on maintaining or building infrastructure, etc. No one group in Africa has more say on spending than the IMF does.
In fact, debt is used as a tool to control Africa and keep it underdeveloped.
If Greece are kicked out of the EU, it might hurt in the short term. However, the benefits long term are beneficial. It puts them back in charge of their destiny.
They can focus on building up the middle class, sorting out employment issues to generate a disposable income for the average person which is the lifeline of a viable economy.
What does this result mean for countries in the same boat?
They can learn that it is not impossible to stand up to the financial creditors and say no to austerity because it does not develop an economy. Africa in particular can take a leaf out of the Greek’s strategy.
Countries can take their destiny back into their own hands and decide which route works best for them. It might not be easy but it is possible because there is hope in despair.
Other countries and movements in similar circumstances will be watching to see what lessons can be learnt from the Greek decision.
A nation united in the face of enormous challenges can overcome all the scaremongering, threats and propaganda thrown at them to act against their own interests.
You can dare to dream and change the world.
Africa can learn that new and younger leadership is well equipped to face the challenges brought on by an ever changing world.
The new guard is the antidote to the old order. They are prepared to take risks and challenge the old order.
Youthful leaders are the real revolutionaries and they have the right spirit and mentality to face the challenges their generation is faced with.
The old guard tends to be more conservative to protect their entrenched positions and the status quo hence their pay lip service to socialism while lapping up the trappings of capitalism.
I think the result from Greece illustrates that the middle class and the average person are the real revolutionary forces in any society, and united they can charter a truly revolutionary path. One cannot do without the other.
They are the real power brokers in society but they are unaware of the power they yield. They let a small unholy trinity or cabal of politicians and corporations control them like a circus elephant is controlled by a string.
If the people said enough is enough, they would end the circus, pull the whole charade down, trample the circus underfoot and run that political cabal out of town before sundown.
In conclusion, if the vanguard party acts with clarity and trusts the people and communicates clearly to the people, the people will support it in all its endeavours.
There is still a lot more to learn from Greece because they still have a lot of challenges to overcome.
One thing is certain: they have made history and they will be remembered by generations to come.
Their decision will become a case study that will be referenced by scholars, intellectuals and many others for years to come.
A friend I was chatting to earlier said, “The big issue domestically is actually not the EU but what Alexis is going to do about capital controls”. That is the biggest challenge for the Greeks right now. But there is no doubt that they are an inspiration to all the small movements out there fighting the big boys for their dignity and make this world a more humane place for everyone. They can see that you can take the big boys on and win.