MIKIS THEODORAKIS : AN OPEN LETTER TO INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC OPINION THE TRUTH ABOUT GREECE
Until 2009, there was no serious economic problem. The major wounds of our economy were the enormous expenses related to the purchase of war material and the corruption of a part of the political and economic-journalistic sector. For both of these wounds, foreigners are jointly responsible. Germans, for instance, as well as French, English and Americans, earned billions of Euros from annual sales of war material, to the detriment of our national wealth. That continuous hemorrhage brought us to our knees and did not permit us to move forward, while at the same time it made foreign nations prosperous. The same was true of the problem of corruption. The German company Siemens, for instance, maintained a special department for buying off Greek stakeholders in order to place its products in the Greek market. Hence, the Greek people have been victims of that predatory duo of Greeks and Germans, growing richer at their expense.
It is obvious that these two big wounds could have been avoided if the leaders of the two pro-American parties in power hadn’t been eroded by corrupt elements who resorted to excessive loans in order to cover the leakage of wealth (the product of the Greek people’s labor) into the hands of foreign countries, resulting in the public debt reaching 300 billion Euros, i.e. 130% of GDI (Gross Domestic Income).
Due to that confidence trick, the foreigners I mentioned before made a double profit: firstly from the sales of the weapons and their products. Secondly, from the interest on the money they lent to the governments and not to the people. As we have seen, the people were the primary victims in both cases. A single example should convince you: the interests on the one billion dollar loan that Andreas Papandreou received in 1986 from a big European country reached 54 billion Euros and was eventually paid back in … 2010!
Mr Juncker declared a year ago that he had realized the Greeks’ financial hemorrhage caused by the excessive (and compulsory) expenses in buying war materials exclusively from Germany and France. And he concluded that our sellers were leading us on a path to destruction. However, he confesses that he didn’t take any action in order not to hurt the interests of friendly countries!
In 2008 came the big financial crisis in Europe. It was therefore only logical that the Greek economy should be affected. However, our living standards, high enough for Greece to be ranked among the 30 richest countries in the world, remained unaffected. There was an increase, though, in public debt. But public debt doesn’t necessarily lead to financial crisis. There are big countries, like the U.S. and Germany, with debts amounting to trillions of Euros. The key is in economic growth and production. In that case, one can borrow from large Banks with an interest rate of up to 5%, until the crisis ends.
That was exactly our position in 2009, when the government shift took place in November and G. Papandreou took over as prime minister. In order for the current opinion of the Greek to become clearer I cite two figures: in the elections of 2009 PASOK gained 44% of the votes. Today the polls give PASOK 6% of the public support.
Mr. Papandreou could have dealt with the financial crisis (which as I have said reflected the European one) by borrowing from foreign Banks under the usual interest rate of under 5%. If he had done that, there wouldn’t have been the slightest problem for our country. In fact, the opposite would have occurred; because we were on an economic growth path, our standard of living would certainly have risen.
However, Mr. Papandreou had already begun his conspiracy against the Greek people since the summer of 2009, when he secretly met with Strauss-Kahn, with the objective of driving Greece under the domination of the IMF. The information concerning this meeting was released by the former President of the IMF himself.
For the situation to reach that end, the country’s real financial status had to be distorted, so that foreign Banks would become nervous and raise the loan interest rates to prohibitive figures. That odious project began with the phony raising of the Public Deficit from 9,2% to 15%. For that felonious deed, the District Attorney, Mr. Peponis indicted Messrs Papandreou and Papakonstantinou (Minister of Finance) 20 days ago. What followed was the systematic campaign by Mr. Papandreou and the Ministry of Finance throughout Europe that lasted 5 months, during which they tried to persuade the foreigners that Greece was a Titanic about to sink, that Greeks were corrupt, lazy and therefore incapable of dealing with the country’s needs. After each of their declarations the interest rates increased, so that it became impossible for us to borrow any more, giving IMF and the European Bank the appearance of being our slavation, when in reality it was the beginning of our death.
In May 2010 a single Minister signed the notorious Memorandum, our complete subservience to our lenders. Greek law stipulates, in such situations, that the adoption of such an important agreement must be decided by three fifths of the Parliament. Therefore, in essence, the Memorandum and the Troika that essentially govern us today, operate illegally not only under Greek but also under European law.
By now since then, if the steps leading us to our death are twenty, we are already more than half way there. Imagine that with this Memorandum we concede to foreigners our National Independence and our National Property. That is, our harbours, airports, road networks, electricity, water supply, subterranean and underwater wealth, etc., etc. Add to that our historical monuments, like the Acropolis, Delphi, Olympia, Epidaurus and such sites, since we have waived all our legal defenses.
Production has come to a standstill, the unemployment rate has reached 18%, 80.000 shops have closed down, along with thousands of small businesses and hundreds of industries. In total, 432.000 enterprises have shut down. Tens of thousands of young scientists are abandoning the country, which is every day sinking into medieval darkness. Thousands formerly wealthy citizens are scavenging on rubbish heaps and sleeping on the pavement.
In the meantime, we are supposed to be surviving thanks to the magnanimity of our lenders, the Europe of the Banks and the IMF. In reality, every package deal which charges Greece with tens of billions of Euros is repaid in full, while we are burdened with new unbearable interest rates. And since it is necessary to maintain the State, the Hospitals and the Schools, the Troika is burdening the middle and lower economic strata of society with excessive taxes, leading directly to starvation. A famine took place at the beginning of the German occupation in 1941, with 300.000 people dead in a period of 6 months. Since then, the ghost of hunger is now returning to our defamed and unfortunate country.
If one considers that the German occupation cost us one million people dead and the total destruction of our country, how is it possible for us Greeks to accept Ms Merkel’s threats and the Germans’ intention to impose on us a new Gauleiter… This time wearing a tie…
And to prove just how rich a country is Greece and how hard working and conscious the Greek people (conscious of their Debt to Freedom and love of their country), I cite as an example the time of the German occupation from 1941 until October of 1944.
When the SS and hunger killed one million citizens and the Wehrmacht was systematically destroying the country, and stealing all its agricultural production and the gold from the Banks, Greeks saved the people from hunger by creating the National Solidarity Movement and a partisan army of 100.000, which tied down 20 German divisions in our country.
At the same time not only did Greeks manage to survive thanks to their hard work, but there was also a large growth in Modern Greek art -especially in literature and music- under the terrible conditions of the occupation.
Greece chose the path of self-sacrifice for the sake of freedom and simultaneously of survival.
That is when we were unnecessarily punished, and we responded with Solidarity and Resistance and we survived. Now we are doing exactly the same thing, with the certainty that the Greek people will be the ultimate victors. This is the message I am sending to Ms Merkel and Mr Schouble, declaring that I remain always a friend to the German People and a fan of their great contribution to Science, Philosophy, Art, and especially Music! And the ultimate evidence of that is probably that I have entrusted the whole of my musical work to two German Publishers, Schott and Breitkopf, who are among the greatest publishers of music in the world and my co-operation with them is extremely friendly.
They are threatening to throw us out of Europe. If Europe doesn’t want Greece to be a part of it, Greece, for her part, is 10 times more unwilling to be a part of this Merkel- Sarkozy Europe.
Today, Sunday February 12, 2012, I am about to take part in the demonstrations, along with Manolis Glezos, the hero who, in the past, took the swastika down from the Acropolis, signaling the beginning of resistance against Hitler, not only in Greece but throughout Europe. Today, our streets and our squares will be flooded with hundreds of thousands of citizens who will demonstrate their rage against the government and against theTroika.
I heard, yesterday, the banker-prime minister proclaiming to the Greek people that “we have reached point zero”. But who has led us to this ZERO point within two years? Those same people, who instead of having been imprisoned, blackmail the members of the parliament to sign the New Memorandum, which is even worse than the first one and which will be implemented by the same people following the same methodology which brought us to this point ZERO. Why? Because this is what the IMF and the Euro-Group dictates, blackmailing us that if we disobey, we will go bankrupt?This is a play of the theater of the absurd. All these parties who in fact hate us (foreigners and Greeks) and are the only ones responsible for the dramatic situation to which they have led our country, threaten and blackmail, aiming at continuing their devastating work, i.e. to lead us even beyond point ZERO, to our final elimination.
We have survived very difficult situations throughout the centuries and it is certain that if they lead us to the brink of death by force, Greeks will not only survive but they will be reborn.
At this point in time, I have devoted all my efforts to an attempt to dynamically unify the Greek people. I am trying to convince them that IMF and Troika is not a one-way street, that there is an alternative solution. And that solution is to radically change the course of our nation and turn towards Russia for economic co-operation and the setting up of joint ventures in order to exploit our natural wealth under beneficial terms that will safeguard our national interests.
As for Europe, I suggest we stop buying war material from Germany and France. And that we do everything in our power so that Germany pays back the war reparations they owe us and which currently amount to approximately -including the appropriate interest- 500 billion Euros.
The only force capable of effecting all these revolutionary changes is the Greek people, unified under a huge Front of Resistance and Solidarity in order to remove the Troika (the IMF and the European banks) from our country. At the same time all their illegal actions (loans, debts, interest, taxes, privatization of national wealth) should be considered as if they never took place. Naturally, their Greek partners, already condemned in our conscience as traitors, will have to be punished.
I am totally dedicated, body and soul, to this cause (the unification of the People in one Front) and I believe that I will be proved right in the end. I have fought, gun in hand, against Hitler’s occupation. I have experienced the Gestapo’s dungeons. I have been sentenced to death by Germans and have miraculously survived. In 1967 I founded PAF (The Patriotic Anti-dictatorial Front), the first resistance organization against the military junta. I fought underground, was caught and imprisoned in the junta’s “slaughterhouse”. Once again I survived.
I am today 87 years old and it is very possible that I will not live to see the salvation of my beloved country. But I will die with a clear conscience, because I will continue doing my Duty towards the ideals of Freedom and Justice until the end.