Maybe these are the calmest elections we have had in a long time. I sat down to watch the debates between the political leaders and I have just one thing to say: there is a total lack of inspiration. This situation has nothing to do with what we have experienced before the referendum. You may ask me: are you really looking for inspiration from politicians? Yes, unfortunately. With many friends from 2011 to 2014 we cultivated inspiration in the squares, in the initiatives of social resistance and in the creation of different structures that helped us to combat the crisis. Then a large percentage of us entrusted this inspiration to Syriza, who asked us to reconfirm this trust just before the big rupture. Having obtained 61.38% in favour of no more austerity, the government went to Brussels where it was humiliated by most of the European Governments who we certainly shouldn’t be begging money from (as the Greek government did) and who don’t even deserve our respect. The European Institutions never miss an opportunity to hit us below the belt. Better said: the institutions not only never miss an opportunity but they create opportunities to hit us.
Zoe Konstantopoulou was one of the most interesting people in this period. She never stopped talking about the Greek debt audit, about the degrading way that the whole former government treated this debt audit, either with silence, absence from the discussions in parliament or even telling her straight to leave Mr. Stournaras “in peace” (the ex-minister of Finance who had to present himself and give a statement to the committee) to try to cover up scandals. She called on the government in public to give some answers. She co-signed the common open letter for another Europe (plan B) together with Varoufakis, Melanchon and other ex-ministers of finance from France, Germany, and Italy. With elections approaching she joined the party newly formed by her comrades who refused to vote for pre-required measures or the 3rd MoU, as an independent candidate. Last week, she almost begged the Greek representatives in the UN to vote in favour of the approval of basic rules that permit a public debt to be reconsidered. Finally the Greek representatives in the UN abstained from this procedure. Yes, you understood well: the country that has created the debt audit within its own parliament now abstains from this procedure at the UN. Zoe Konstantopoulou has been reviled since the beginning of her term as Speaker of the Greek Parliament, more than anyone else. They used adjectives, phrases and talked in such a way that anyone’s feminist instinct would be awakened. Nothing but silence, though. A few voices spoke up but they managed nothing but a whisper. There was absolutely no reaction to this merciless attack.
As an active member of civil society I understand more and more that the time has come to take action again. I’m not talking about the kind of actions that create a safety net, those actions that we carried out with commitment throughout all these years of crisis, trying to regain the stolen dignity of the vulnerable population. The adjective “vulnerable” has already surpassed us. Now we are all vulnerable in some way. The time has come to meet again and take action towards the creation of new forms in all levels. New structures, new activities for non-cooperation with policies that are not suitable, new proposals for a system of governance as representative democracy has collapsed so gloriously this summer.
We need solutions that can really address our problems. We need to take responsibility for a new state that will discard the regime of clientelism, will adjust the tax system in a fairer way, will reconstruct our sources of income, our economy, our tourism, will care for the people, public health, public education and dignity. We must prioritize issues. Whether we are in or out of the EU is something that doesn’t seem that important to me right now. One thing is certain: we need to do that together with other countries that feel the same necessity. Maybe some of them are in the EU or not.
Finally I want to give credit for two things that the Syriza government has done: Firstly the Greek crisis and the problems that were produced are now an international issue. Secondly we learned to verbally address the people who escape war zones in order not to be killed using the word refugees, and most importantly we learned that another kind of reception and treatment for them is needed.