Etienne Balibar issued a declaration, signed by over 170 international public figures, in solidarity with the struggle for political and economic democracy in Greece and beyond.
Following on the chain of events that, in just three years have plunged Greece into the abyss, everyone knows that the responsibility of the parties in office ever since 1974 is overwhelming. New Democracy (the Right) and PASOK (the Socialists) have not only maintained the system of corruption and privilege — they have benefitted from it and enabled Greece’s suppliers and creditors to profit considerably from it, while the European Community institutions looked the other way.
In these conditions, it is astonishing that the European leaders and the IMF, posing as paragons of virtue and severity, should busy themselves in trying to restore to office those same bankrupt and discredited parties by denouncing the “red peril” as embodied by SYRIZA (the radical Left coalition) and threatening to cut off food supplies if the new 17 June elections confirm the rejection of the “Memorandum” that was clearly shown on 6 May last. . .
We, in turn affirm that: it is time for Europe to understand the signal sent out from Athens on the 6 May last. It is time to abandon a policy that is ruining society and placing the people under ward-ship so as to save the banks. It is most urgent to put an end to the suicidal drift of a political and economic construction that is transferring government to “experts” and institutionalizes the omnipotence of the financial operators. Europe must be the work of its citizens themselves so as to save their own interests.
This new Europe for which we, like the democratic forces that are emerging in Greece, hope and for which we intend to fight is that of all the peoples. In every country, there are two politically and morally antithetical Europes in conflict: that which would dispossess the people to benefit the bankers and that which affirms the right of all to a life worthy of the name and that, collectively, gives itself the means to do so.
Thus, what we want, together with the Greek electors and SYRIZA’s activists and leaders, is neither the disappearance of Europe but its refoundation. It is ultra-liberalism that provokes the rise of nationalisms and of the extreme right. The real saviours of the European idea are the supporters of openness, and of the participation of the citizens, the defenders of a Europe where popular sovereignty is not abolished but extended and shared.
Yes — Athens is indeed the future of democracy in Europe and it is the fate of Europe that is at stake. By a strange irony of history, the Greeks, stigmatized and impoverished are in the front line of our struggle for a common future.
Let us listen to them, support them and defend them!