Whatever happens today in Greece one thing seems clear, our leader’s disdain for democracy is now blatant and clear.
The Greek finance Minister, Mr Evangelos Venizelos was in favour of his Prime Minister’s call for a referendum until he went to the G20 at which point he suddenly saw things differently and came out opposing it. Mr Venizelos is not the people’s minister for controlling finance. He is Finance’s Minister for controlling the people. And his first duty has been to make sure the people of Greece are not allowed to have any say in the austerity/bail-out plans being forced upon them by foreign powers.
Will Papandreou be forced from government? If he does not resign then his opponents will force a vote of confidence and the banks will do all in their power to make sure he loses and has to go anyway. Whether he goes by resigning or losing a confidence vote, either way the world’s financiers and banks may hope that the ‘problem’ of the referendum will then go away. It was Papandreou who offered it. If he is no longer in power then ‘his’ offer, they will argue, goes with him.
What I think will happen then is that an election will be called in place of the referendum. That way it will not be a clear vote for or against the austerity and bail outs. The people’s will have been gagged.
To replace the referendum with an election will be a major victory for those who do not want the people to have a say. ‘They’ being the Troika and the big banks. But more important, than the election, I think, is what they will push through before, between now and any election. I think we will see a coalition government, as is being already talked about, and that government’s job will be to ‘suggest’ that before the election an expert ‘Commission’ should be set up. They will talk about it in terms of being a non-partisan, national unity panel whose job, they will say, will be to remove from the destabilizing hurly burly of party politics, those vital decisions which must be made by experts unswayed by partisan political considerations’. That is the sort of language I fully expect to hear.
Of course what it will in fact be is a putsch. It will the removing of the very decisions which are of most concern to the Greek people from the democratic process. The ‘Commission‘ will in fact be a unelected, cabal who will be Greece’s de facto governors. Not ‘government’ but governors. Because if any such ‘Commission’ is created and given the powers over Finance and Debt that I expect, then Greece will have become a vasal subsidiary of the financial system. It will be run by and for the banks. The Greek govenment will be there to wear authentic costumes and pose for the tourists except when it is required to inflict a little pain on those who might need reminding of their place in the new post democratic Greece Plc.
They will I expect make reference to America’s Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, now known as the Super Committee. But unlike that Committee, which I regard as dismal and already on the path leading away from Democracy, the Greek ‘Commission’ will be answerable to no one in Greece itself. Who it is actually answerable to will, I expect, be left vague and confused. It will be ‘advised’ by and submit reports to the ECB, to the IMF and no doubt to some part of what is left of the Greek system of self government. But the reporting to perhaps the Finance Ministry will be more symbolic than real.
Of course none of this has happened yet. And I hope I am proved laughably wrong. But I fear we are seeing the Beta testing of the new Post Democratic structures that we will be told are to be ‘managed’ by those expert enough to be trusted to do so rather than, as they used to be, ‘governed’ by those now considered ‘unqualified‘ to do so – you and me.
The reason I say beta tested is because I think this arrangement I have hypothesized about is what they will definitely ‘need’ and want to have in place for Italy post Berlusconi. And I think they would very much like to be able to say, when they need to impose it in Italy, that it is … ‘extending’ would be a good word for them I think – extending to Italy a ‘mechanism’ which has already been seen to have ‘brought’ stability to Greece.