Though I am thousands of miles away from Athens, I have been following political events there very closely. Tonight was the crucial vote needed to approve the necessary measures for the bailout package. It was passed with 199 votes out of 300.
In the last few days, many parliamentarians have resigned so as to not approve the measures and today following the vote, the heads of their parties expelled those who went against party policy and voting their conscience.
21 parliamentarians from the opposition party of New Democracy voted against the bailout. Ironically, the majority of them had been staunch supporters and confidants of the new party leader. Tony Samaras’ rhetoric over the past 2 1/2 years has all been about criticizing the measures demanded by the troika in order to approve Greek funding. He took such extreme views and drew so many red lines in the sand that he inflamed the passions of the Greek people and many of his personal parliamentary supporters. When today, he demanded that they vote against Greek bankruptcy and support the measures because it was the only option left to Greece, they disobeyed him and are now expelled. New Democracy too is now in disarray.
There is no point talking about PASOK. That party has been falling to pieces for close to a year. The majority of the parliamentarians did vote for the package and those who didn’t are expelled.
There are 62 independent parliamentarians today that they form the 3rd largest group in the House.
LAOS too, withdrew its ministers, and refused to vote for the bailout package. Two of them (Voridis and Georgiadis) disobeyed and they too joined the ranks of the independent votes in Parliament.
Never has there been such discord and dissonance in Parliament. The old system is being torn down brick by brick, day by day. There is no one to lead sanely and without drama, no one to give a realistic picture of what the near, and distant future have in store for the Greek people. Not a soul to rely on in order to get the recovery recipe right.
The EU partners will give some money and then demand more cuts in order to give out a bit more, and so on and so forth. It is a slow and painful death.
Meanwhile, the center of the city was in flames all night. Who started the fires? Who is responsible? Is it a conspiracy of the left? Is it a conspiracy to point fingers to the left and get people off the streets? Whatever it is, it is just the final blow to a historic city that is under attack, paying for every political decision reached in the Parliament.
If Europe thinks that what is happening in Greece is not contagious they need to think again. Pension funds Europe wide, even world wide, are falling apart and people are given less and get it later and later in life.
The economies in Europe are not thriving, they are at best, a heartbeat over stagnation.
The banks again are seen as the only victors in these negotiations.
When people begin to realize that they have lost all that they thought sacred and rightfully theirs, when they see the lack of economic and social mobility, they will react. It’s happening in spurts all over. And if they find a drummer with a good beat, then their voices will unite and synchronize and they will be heard all over the world.