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Europe and Greece

By Evaggelos Vallianatos - posted Monday, 13 July 2015

The urgent discussions and meetings between European and Greek officials mirror the desperate conditions of war – a still invisible war between Greece and the European Union.

The cabal of European and American banks, represented by the EU, the European Central Bank and America's International Monetary Fund, insist that as a price of keeping Greece out of bankruptcy, Greece must stay on a starving diet of austerity. They know that austerity, imposed on Greece since 2010, has failed to help the country out of the continuing degradation of suicides, hunger, increasing homelessness, shuttered public health, and huge unemployment. But such facts make no difference to the bankers and their European and American government representatives. Austerity has simply drained Greece not merely of money but of national honor and pride.

Will Greece sign on the dotted line for the continuation of a debt, which Greeks consider illegal and odious? After all, the memoranda between Greece and the lenders violated Greek and international law. How could a sovereign country agree or be forced to agree to give up its own sovereignty? Would not such an act be cowardly, treasonous, and illegal?


The young but inexperienced Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras went to Strasbourg and spoke to the members of the European parliament, telling them that 61 percent of Greeks voted NO to the continuation of the humiliating debt agreements between the lenders and Greece. But the majority of the parliamentarians, sharing the German contempt for Greece, gave him a cold reception.

This is a critical moment for Europe and America. If they allow the inhumane conditions of the lenders to prevail and punish Greece further, we will be entering a new untested territory in international relations and civilization.

Greece will probably leave the Eurozone and go back to her own currency, the drachma. In fact, she should do that. She entered the Eurozone unprepared. Foreign powers bribed Greek politicians to undermine Greek economic self-reliance and sovereignty. Now these politicians are mouthing anything they hear from the lukewarm support of president Obama for a Greece within the EU.

Should Greece leave the Eurozone, the suffering of the Greeks will probably increase, but, in time, they will manage to put their economy together. They will at least have the satisfaction of not paying back most of the odious debt.

What will take time to heal will be the rising antagonism, even hatred, between Greeks and Western Europeans and, to a lesser extent, Americans.

Greeks will be especially angry against the Germans who precipitated their international humiliation and oppression. The Greeks have not forgotten the savage WWII German occupation of their country. And neither do they appreciate that Germany had its gigantic post-WWII debt forgiven. So why doesn't the US, which forgave the German debt, insist that the Greek debt also be forgiven? And, then, why don't the EU and America demand that Germany pays Greece compensation for the devastating pillage it did to Greece during WWII? Obama stays away from that history.


Second, a Europe without Greece is no longer Europe. Greece gave Europe both her name and civilization. European politicians should think twice about the consequences of allowing bankers, rather than the virtues of the Greek-inspired Western civilization, the last say on their conflict with Greece. Also, a German-dominated Europe is a Europe on a warpath. I cannot imagine this is a future Europeans want.

And, finally, a desperate Greece may do desperate things. She may sign another abominable memorandum with her creditors for additional oppression and even more economic impoverishment of her citizens, selling away her sovereignty and degrading further her national identity and national defense.

Or she may unsettle NATO and America's strategic interest in Europe. Europe may turn into a hazardous terrain. In addition, the so-called state of Macedonia and Turkey, both enemies of Greece, may take the economic weakness of Greece as an opportune time to cause trouble.

America is treating a bankrupt Ukraine with sympathy. Why not extend the same favors to Greece?

America needs to show leadership in Europe. The Europeans and especially the Germans have to be told to join forces with Greece and, together, resolve the debt problem of Greece. But, above all, Europe must behave like a union it says it is.

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About the Author

Evaggelos Vallianatos is the author of several books, including Poison Spring (Bloomsbury Press, 2014).

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