Tuesday, November 8, 2011

As the World Turns

Wednesday, November 2

Today was a fascinating day in Greek (and European) politics. The Prime Minister has announced a referendum on the austerity measures (or something) in January. Thing is, he has already signed all the agreements with the Europeans, so as one old lady put it, “Why is he asking us now?”

Except for the Communists, the other political parties here are against the referendum. Their opinion is that the current government should get out and national elections should be held. Fat lot of good that would do, get rid of crooks X, Y, and Z and put in their places thugs A, B, and C.

The European leaders were startled, too, but after expressing their alarm, back-pedaled some, because of course they can’t be seen openly opposing a democratic process.

Stock markets dropped precipitously all over Europe and in America.

One effect of this proposed referendum is that the agreements with the EU aren’t going to be implemented now until after it. After all this great hurry, after even flouting the Greek Constitution because allegedly the agreements had to signed NOW, after all this scrambling to meet some deadline, now nothing will be done until January, if then. January! Why wait that long? How will Greece manage without those funds from Europe?

Another effect of the referendum will be to help rehabilitate America’s man here, the Prime Minister, together with his cronies. They’ve all been publicly and repeatedly called traitors, and now they’re ostensibly willing to consult the will of the people.

What in the world is going on? (One theory we can safely rule out is that the P.M. has had a change of heart and is on the people’s side after all. They can’t pay him enough.)

But this is not all that happened here in today’s episode! No, there was another major twist in another plotline. Today the Minister of Defense called together his joint chiefs of staff, together with other senior military officers, and he fired them all. It was announced he would replace them all with totally inexperienced people. This on the day some of their Turkish military counterparts were in Athens. Does their visit have anything to do with it? I don’t know. The Minister says he fired them because of insubordination shown in the parades on Ochi Day. But I think it’s all part of the government’s now thirty-year-long campaign to destroy Greece as an independent nation. They had already gutted the armed services years ago. (Why, you ask? Because this government does America’s bidding, and America has to placate her much-desired ally, Turkey, and Turkey wants Greece back. Mr. Obama called the Greek islands “Turkey’s necklace.”)

Either that or else the Minister of Defense was afraid these senior officers might be plotting a coup. Well, if they weren’t, they may well be now!

Strange, all very strange! Soap opera on a world stage.

UPDATE: The Puzzle Solved! (Summary of Friday’s Episode)

There isn’t going to be any referendum after all. What was going on has become obvious now: it was a very deft piece of shadow theater by the Prime Minister.

The opposition parties cried out against the referendum and clamored for elections, for a new government, and scheduled a no-confidence vote in Parliament. They were sure to win it as, combined, they are a majority. Mr. Papandreaou made them look ridiculous which, of course, they are, so that wasn’t difficult. He said well, you can’t have it both ways. You’re against our agreements with Europe yet you don’t want a referendum (which everybody knows you would win).

Then he met with them and made a shrewd deal, a sort of blackmail. He said he would call off the referendum if they would vote for him, but otherwise, well, he was in such deep political trouble he had nothing to lose in any case. They were desperate to call off the referendum since they, too, are the henchmen of foreign interests and all the differences with the Prime Minister are no more than theater. In reality, they’re all in cahoots and the last thing any of them wants is the Greek people to speak their overwhelming “Ochi!” to what all the parties are paid to achieve.

So the P.M. (1) got to cancel the referendum he never intended to hold in the first place, (2) got his vote of confidence in exchange for it, and (3) gets to blame the opposition for there being no referendum. He himself, like a good democrat, tried to have one, tried to let the people speak, but was thwarted by the bad guys. This is the response to the nation-wide protests a week ago today.

I really do stand in awe of the cleverness of it all.

But he underestimates the Greek people; I do not think they will be fooled. No, his days as Prime Minister are numbered,

Of course that’s not at all a bad deal for him because he can retire and try to enjoy the wealth for which he sold his country and himself, while another member of the same gang shoulders the workload. And gets more chances to dip his own finger into the honey pot.

Hot Preview of the Next Episode: A New Government for Greece

Oh, never mind. Some times soap opera plots become just too unbelievable. Anybody remember when Ridge told Brooke and Taylor (the two women who had each been married to him at least tiwce), he couldn’t decide between them until they got over their mutual hostility, so he had them holed up in the family vacation cottage together with a psychotherapist to teach them to get along, using a bunch of silly gimmicks? Yeah, right. Greece’s new coalition government, the one the politicians are trying to form, is about as believable as that.

Well, it’ll accomplish at least one useful thing, which is to demonstrate more clearly than ever that both parties are working the same dirty deals. Only now, instead of competing to see who will get to do it, they will all sell out Greece together and share the spoils – and the blame, but that won’t much bother them.

I shall not burden you or myself with the grubby details. I plan simply to remember that God in heaven does not approve of these sorts of things, He does not allow them to go on forever. His justice brings mercy and his mercy brings justice for the oppressed.