As you have probably read in mass media from all over the world, political situation in Greece is changing rapidly. Yesterday, Papandreou announced that there will be a referendum on the bailout package agreed with EU, IMF and IIF (International Institute of Finance, the international syndicate of banks). The Greek PM also asked for a confidence vote by the Parliament, which will be held on Friday evening. Of course everybody was amazed by this announcement. There is a very negative reaction by international markets and EU leaders. Furthermore, there is a revolt inside PASOK parliamentarian group and practically all the mainstream commercial media are accusing Papandreou of destroying the country and putting at risk its participation in the Euro-zone. At this moment, Papandreou is politically isolated. The most probable scenario is that he will not get a confidence vote on Friday and we will go for a snap election on early December.
But why Papandreou took this obviously suicidal decision? First of all, massive angry protests during the National Day of October 28 (http://yalmpanis.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/massive-angry-protest-stops-military-parade/) made clear that the government hasn’t any social support. In addition to that, October 28 protests proved that the government is rapidly losing control of the country. A government cannot rule if its MPs cannot drink a coffee in public because they are afraid of been attacked by people passing by. Popular unrest led government to a dead end.
In such cases, normal politicians resign and open the road for snap elections. But Papandreou is no normal politician. He is a PM whose father and grand-father were also PMs. Papandreou is one of these great Greek families who think of the country as their own personal asset. They have no doubt of their hereditary right in political power. As a result, resignation is out of the question.
Besides that, Papandreou is a person of very low political abilities. He saw in the referendum a way of escape from his political impasse. He thought that if he blackmailed Greek people (yes=bailout – no=default, yes=euro-no=drachma) he would have won the referendum. As a result, he would have bought some political time. Of course, bourgeois politicians who have elementary political sense, they are too afraid of this referendum. They see it is highly possible that NO will prevail, something that might open the doors of hell for European capitalist economy.
For the Movement the challenge now is to continue massive mobilization in order to take back everything has been stolen from us since 1,5 year. A Papandreou fall would be an important symbolic victory, but it wouldn’t change anything in everyday life. A real change is what we are asking for. And a potential government of “national unity” (Right, Extreme Right and Socialists) might be a really tough opponent.
Yannis Almpanis, 1/11/11