Alexis Tsipras has defied predictions of capitulation, asking Greeks to vote “NO’ in Sunday’s referendum in order to get a better deal from Europe’s financial leaders.
Iranians and Greeks, in two distinctly different crises, express the same demand: to be treated with dignity and respect. This is not an unusual attitude among the majority of the world’s inhabitants, but it is unacceptable to its masters. For the Iranians, the lifting of economic sanctions depends on allowing the world’s leaders to know everything going on in its military bases, as part of it accepting to scale down its nuclear program. For the Greeks, a return to relative normalcy from the brink of default is hostage to continued austerity that would enable irresponsible banks to recoup their losses. In 2011, Iceland pointed the way to a dignified response to the first crisis of the 2008 meltdown, jailing its bankers as its people refused to be stuck with the bill. Apparently its isolated geographic location has kept it from acting as an example for Europe, but then again, Europe has changed considerably since 2011. Austerity imposed on its southern tier has given a decisive boost to the progressive movement.
Tsipras’ expected capitulation would have been a victory for Europe’s neo-liberal agenda aimed at dismantling the welfare state. According to RT - and this makes sense - the Troika’s goal is regime change in Greece, eliminating the loudest voice on the European stage in favor of people’s democracy, as oppose to bankers’ rule. If they succeed, Europe’s financial masters will have dealt a significant blow to the rising people’s movements across the European south in Spain, Portugal and Italy. However, their success could boomerang: as thousands of African and Middle East refugees and migrants flood into Europe, far-right parties will play the financial and social strain to the hilt, until they succeed in replacing neo-liberal rule with new and improved nineteen-thirties fascism.