According to a politician Greeks have no right to complain about the Tsipras government

by omouggos

Greek farmers take out their fury on police. (image from rt.com)

We are frequently told by Greek and EU officials that the situation in Greece will shortly improve, only for such optimistic prognostications to be false. Following the most recent bailout agreement between Greece and the EU, once again it appeared that all was well (mainly to those living in fantasy land), but the relative calm has been broken and Greece is once again in a state of social turmoil.

This time, Greek farmers have begun protesting the troika’s[*] recent attempts to implement the austerity bailout agreement, particularly with regards to pension reform. These farmers have been staging protests and blocking roads throughout Greece.

Some have descended upon Athens, with their trackers and shepherd’s crooks, targeting Syntagma square and the Ministry of Agriculture, where they have unleashed their fury by clubbing riot police with their crooks and pelting them with tomatoes and rocks.[1] It seems you don’t want to anger Greek farmers, especially those from Crete.

Now some may argue that Greece’s pension system is economically unsustainable and needs to be reformed (i.e. austerity needs to be implemented). This is true–it is also true for almost every other Western nation–but the reforms being demanded by the troika involve a tripling of social security contributions and a doubling of income tax according to zerohedge.[1] Furthermore the IMF wants to cut Greek pensions by 17%.[2] With such conditions it is understandable why the Greek farmers are pissed off at the Tsipras government.

But according to the Minister of Interior Panagiotis Kouroumblis, Greeks shouldn’t complain about the situation because they voted for the Memorandum (i.e. the current measures being implemented) when they re-elected the SYRIZA government in September.[3] Kouroumblis said “We went to the elections with this Memorandum, we told people the truth. The Memorandum passed and history will judge this period.

Doesn’t Kouromblis have a point? Even after the fiasco of the July 2015 bailout referendum–in which 61% of Greeks voted against the bailout agreement, only for the SYRIZA government to accept an even worse agreement from the troika–Greeks once again voted for the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition. In other words in a democracy you deserve what you vote for.

However, there is a little problem with this line of reasoning. If one looks at the actual election results we see that 2,126,327 people voted for the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition.[4] This amounts to only 39.1% of total votes (SYRIZA-ANEL coalition). So a majority of Greeks did not even vote for the Tsipras government!

But it gets even better. If one compares the number of votes for the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition to the total number of registered voters in Greece (9,840,525) then the percentage of eligible Greek voters that voted for the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition is only 21.6%.

It appears to me that Kouromblis is highly disingenuous. He chastises Greek farmers for protesting against his government because they had voted for that very government, yet only 1 in 5 Greeks voted for the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition. How the hell does 20% of the vote constitute a mandate that is immune from criticism?

Maybe now you can understand why Greece is tanking when they have such leadership. They are intransigent to their own people but are supine to foreign powers that are economically pillaging Greece in the name of a tyrannical and utopian geopolitical fantasy, the European Union.

I can only hope that some of these Greek farmers are able to pelt Tsipras and his ilk with rotten tomatoes, then at least this sad situation could bring me some enjoyment.

O Mouggos

References

[*] I believe now the troika has expanded to the quadriga, which is comprised of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and, the new addition, the European Stability Mechanism.

[1] http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-12/caught-tape-800-angry-farmers-storm-greek-ministry-beat-cops-shepherds-sticks

[2] http://en.protothema.gr/imf-requirement-leads-to-a-17-cut-in-primary-pensions/

[3] http://en.protothema.gr/kouroumblis-neither-pm-tsipras-nor-minister-of-rural-development-promised-anything-to-anyone/

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_legislative_election,_September_2015

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