MPs, Constitution, consciousness and ideology
By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
We hear from some SYRIZA cadres, that what is happening now in the Greek political scene constitutes a coup.
This is indeed true. I think however, that it’s the first time in world history that we are advised to respond to a coup by executing it ourselves!
What is happening is indeed a coup. It’s a coup organised abroad, monitored in its every detail from abroad and aimed at overthrowing the will of the Greek people, as this was expressed on the 5th of July.
Referendums are not playground stuff, nor are they merely polls. Their results are not supposed to be overturned by governmental decisions, nor even by the Parliament. A referendum result can be changed only by another referendum. Any government or parliament decisions which contradict the majority vote of a referendum are, from the outset, unconstitutional, null and void.
During the 20th century, Greece called four referendums on the question of monarchy. The first was the referendum of 1924, the result of which was changed by the referendum of 1935 which was in turn changed by the referendum of 1974. Neither a majority of 251, nor even of 451 MPs, would have ever been sufficient for changing this result and restoring Monarchy.
Besides, there hasn’t been any essential change in the situation since the 5th of July, which may justify the fact that the government, which campaigned for the No vote, started, soon after voting ended, acting as if the Yes vote had won; and, what’s more, by massively resorting to the fear discourse of the Yes campaign in order to scare the Greek people and to convince them that the courage, which the government itself asked them to amass, is in fact irrelevant!
Both right- and left-wing MPs have taken an oath to abide by the constitution, not by party discipline! The mandate given to the left-wing MPs and the MPs of the Independent Greeks (ANEL) by their voters, by those voters who lost family members to suicide, by the Greek people on the 25th of January, is not to continue the policies of their predecessors in government but rather to use any means in order to put an end to such policies. They became MPs and Ministers because their country and its people is destroyed and humiliated. They are not in the parliament in order to betray the Greek people for a third time in five years, by turning, in the fashion of George Papandreou and the New Democracy party, into docile instruments of the Creditors and of foreign interests. Their seats in parliament do not belong to them, nor do they belong to their parties. They belong to the Greek people who voted in the elections in order to have its will represented, not betrayed.
In addition, there hasn’t been any decision by the competent party organs which would allow for SYRIZA’s transformation from an anti-memorandum to a pro-memorandum political force. It’s especially telling that in the middle of the current events, of which the significant historical importance would normally call for an extraordinary party congress, there hasn’t even been a meeting of the party’s Central Committee.
Therefore, the coup that followed the 5th of July is, in fact, not just one, but many. Mr. Kammenos, the leader of the Independent Greeks party, referred to this outcome as “capitulation” – speaking at least with some degree of self-respect and honesty. “I will support it” he said, “in order to avoid a civil war”!
He is wrong. The 1945 Varkiza Agreement (1) which was imposed by the British and which resembles, to some considerable extent, the agreement between Tsipras and the Creditors imposed by the US on the EU, did not so much prevent but it rather eased the way to the civil war that ensued, as it’s often the case in any unfair and uneven agreement.
We are afraid that the Third Memorandum does not simply constitute the continuation of the economic and social catastrophe that the previous two memorandums have affected, but it may also prove to be the start of a dangerous period of political instability and outright constitutional aberration. May God, and the Greek People, intervene.
Athens, Wednesday, 15 July 2015,
exactly, day per day, a half-century since the royal-US coup, which was executed with the help of the Apostates (defectors) (2), against the will of the Greek people; a coup that led to the dictatorship of 1967 and to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
1 The Varkiza Agreement was signed on February 12, 1945 between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of a British-bolstered Greek government and the Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for EAM-ELAS. [EAM-ELAS = Greek abbreviation of English National Liberation Front–National Popular Liberation Army] was a communist resistance organization and its military wing (ELAS) which operated in occupied Greece during World War II and became the most powerful resistance formation in the country. By October 1944, when the Germans evacuated Greece, EAM controlled about two-thirds of the country. It participated in conferences in September 1944 that were designed to unite the rival resistance groups and the government-in-exile in a postwar government. The formation of a national army meant in effect the dismantling of the forces of ELAS. Not all of the members of EAM agreed and when the new government ordered ELAS to disarm in December 1944 there was an extended clash with the military police supported by the British troops located in Greece. A peace treaty was signed (Varkiza Peace Agreement, Feb. 12, 1945), providing for the surrender of ELAS. In return for surrendering its military arm, the E.A.M. was promised freedom to engage in political activities, and the government guaranteed civil and political liberties and undertook to organize a nonpolitical national army. These commitments were not fulfilled, and the Varkiza Agreement was followed by a rightist reaction and widespread persecution of leftist elements leading to their rebellion and the third Greek civil war of 1946-1949.
1 Literary meaning defection, “apostasia” came to negatively describe the defection of MPs from the ruling party Center Union (Enosi Kentrou) in order to form a new government in the summer of 1965, a move sponsored by the King Constantine II and supported by the conservative opposition party and the United States. These events are also known as the Royal Coup or Iouliana (July’s events). Starting with a disagreement over control of the armed forces the king forced the Prime Minister George Papandreou, father of Andreas Papandreou, to resign and moved to divide his party. The defectors from the Center Union were branded as the Apostates. These events caused a massive political mobilisation and an escalating crisis which led to the military coup of 21 April 1967.
Translated from Greek by Maria Komninou, who wrote also the notes