Manolis Glezos is a Greek National Hero and belonged to the Greek resistance during WWII. He is also a MEP of SYRIZA and one of its most respected leaders. In short, he is not your 30-something “cool” and “hip” politician who are little more than salad dressing for your Greek salad.
“On May 30, 1941, he and Apostolos Santas climbed on the Acropolis and tore down the swastika, which had been there since April 27, 1941, when the Nazi forces had entered Athens. It inspired not only the Greeks, but all subjected people, to resist against the occupation, and established them both as two international anti-Nazi heroes.” – Wikipedia
When SYRIZA came to power with much fanfare, opinion was abound and their stance on Russian sanctions puzzled many. The wishful thinking crowd held on but as time goes by we are reminded of Dagmar Henn’s analysis once again:
“The actual mobilization of people in Greece came to a halt with Syriza. While Syriza might be a positive change globally speaking, it is at the same time a negative change for Greece.”
“I ask the Greek people to forgive me for contributing to this illusion.” With this phrase veteran left politician, WWII resistance fighter and SYRIZA MEP Manolis Glezos slammed the Greek government for handling the negotiations with the country’s lenders and so having changed the rhetoric of the party.
In an article uploaded on the website of his Movement for Active Citizens, the historic member of the Greek left expresses his deep disappointment about the way SYRIZA handles with the negotiations ans calls for party members to decide if they accept this situation. Manolis Glezos writes:
“Renaming the Troika into Institutions, the Memorandum of Understanding into Agreement and the lenders into partners, you do not change the previous situations as in the case renaming meat into fish.
Of course, you cannot change the vote of the Greek people at the elections of January 25, 2015.
The people voted in favor of what SYRIZA promised: to remove the austerity which is not the only strategy of the oligarchic Germany and the other EU countries, but also the strategy of the Greek oligarchy.
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To remove the Memoranda and the Troika, abolish all laws of austerity.
The next day after the elections, we abolish per law the Troika and its consequences.
Now a month has passed and the promises have not turned into practice.
Pity. and pity, again.
On my part, I APOLOGIZE to the Greek people because I have contributed to this illusion.”
In a rhetoric full of passion and driven from leftist and WWII resistance ideology, Glezos calls for a debate within the party and the course it follows.
“SYRIZA members, friends and supporters at all levels of organizations should decide in extraordinary meetings whether they accept this situation.
Some argue that to reach an agreement, you have to retreat. First: there can be no compromise between oppressor and oppressed. Between the slave and the occupier is the only solution is Freedom.
But even if we accept this absurdity, the concessions already made by the previous pro-austerity governments in terms of unemployment, austerity, poverty, suicides have gone beyond the limits.”
To Glezos’ sharp criticism, SYRIZA reacted rather cool and with respect to the senior veteran. Government sources commented that “most probably Glezos is not well informed about the tough negotiations.”
However, the article triggered a vivid exchange of ‘verbal attacks’ on internet with opposition parties supporters -mainly pro-austerity – to mock SYRIZA ‘that even Glezos admitted you named the meat fish”. Also SYRIZA supporters are divided.
UPDATE: Glezos came under attack by several Syriza’ friends and supporters, well known Greek personalities, who accuse him for “narcissism” and the “unmistakeable of a hero” (comedian Harry Clyn), or urge him to “let us have some success” (entertainer Zouganelis).
World famous composer Mikis Theodorakis, 90, also lined up with Glezos on Monday. “Alexis, say No to Schaeuel’s NEIN, amend all austerity measures of the bailout programs now!”
Now, several SYRIZA-supporters, voters -call them what you like – urge them both to “retire” or “reform” and “go with the time”.
PS of course, the crucial question is: who are the SYRIZA voters, what’s their social status, what was their motivations and expectations. Many of them are from the middle class, the majority of them being former PASOK voters who may rather prefer some “euro occupation” than “own currency freedom” and “return to drachma“with whatever the cost and the consequences.
Source: Keep Talking Greece
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.