By Loucas Charalambous
IN THE END the political clowns of Athens did it. As was inevitable with their irrational behaviour, they drove Greece to bankruptcy and made it a laughing stock all over the world. For days now, the country has suffered the humiliation of being on all the world’s TV screens which highlight its bankruptcy with pictures of the long queues outside banks.
In this freakish setting is also the picture of the lamentable protagonist of the bankruptcy, the reckless prime minister, Alexis Tsipras. This is the man who was elected prime minister in January with the main slogan of “ripping up the memorandum” and, after taking all of Europe and Greece’s lenders for a five-month ride, on Tuesday he decided to ask for a memorandum himself. And 24 hours later, on Wednesday afternoon, as if to emphasise his paranoid irrationality, he addressed the Greek people and called them to join the “fight against the memoranda”.
Predictably, our own political clowns came out to back Tsipras with their own show. Once again, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades was their target. Only this time their outburst backfired even more spectacularly than the last time.
The Lillikas party, described Georgiades’ stance “agreeable and useful” to the IMF and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and accused him of “participating in the plans for Greece’s beheading”. Evroko accused him of “keeping a distance from the developments” while Perdikis made the charge that “he is believed not to have supported Greece – as other countries had done – at the Eurogroup discussion.”
Having urged Georgiades “to prove that he had not shown ingratitude to Greece”, EDEK announced it would table a resolution of “support and solidarity to the struggle (of Greece) for national independence against the ultra-conservative decision centres that suppress the peoples of Europe”. Presumably, Sizopoulos’ party considers the €260 billion the suppressors had given Greeks so they would not die of starvation a form of suppression.
This time however, it was the AKEL leadership that stole the show. Last Sunday, party leader Andros Kyprianou expressed sadness because “the Cyprus government does not seem to have supported Greece as it should have done” and wondered “what was the stance of the finance minister at the notorious Eurogroup meeting from which (Greek finance minister) Mr Varoufakis was asked to withdraw.”
On Monday, AKEL deputy Stavros Evagorou took over from his leader, accusing Georgiades of “full alignment with the Germans and the rest of Europe’s neo-colonialists” and censuring the unanimous decision of the Eurogroup to “kick out Varoufakis from the meeting”.
All this nonsense was given extensive coverage by the media, but a day later it became clear that Varoufakis had not been kicked out of the meeting but walked out of his own accord, a fact subsequently confirmed by him in an announcement.
Georgiades had been very clear when he was asked on his return to the island about what had happened, and why he had not reacted to the non-participation of the Greek minister in the remainder of the meeting. Not even Varoufakis had reacted – after a 15-minute recess he left and did not return for the second part of the Eurogroup meeting. In other words, he was neither kicked out nor was there a second meeting from which he had been excluded.
The ridiculous reaction of our demagogues is a repeat of what had happened in February after another Euro group meeting, when Georgiades was pilloried for supposedly not supporting the proposals of Greece, despite the fact that Greece had submitted no specific proposal. Its proposals, after five months of prevarication were finally submitted in June.
This despicable behaviour of our demagogues indicates that they do not differ, in any way, from Tsipras. The fact that none of them – not even Kyprianou who likes to pretend he is a serious politician – found the courage, after realising their gaffe, to apologise for their comments or at least make a clarification, shows their true character. And it is not the type of character you want people that decide your future to display.