The Greek Pensioners
Ever since the soap opera called Austerity is being broadcasted across the continent, it has been a dramatic period for Europe. The protagonists of this serial, featuring in episodes like; Privatisation, Lost of Sovereignty and Starvation, are democratically included EU nations, meaning most of the nations are being voluntarily austerity-slaughtered. At least it looked like that until, voluntarily, the Greeks decided that the game is over.
There is a crisis on the creative board of writers of the Austerity script. The Greeks thought that the plot is not as convincing as the Greek tragedy itself.
Greeks are complaining, among other things, that demos and kratia are wrongly spelled in today's Europe. After inventing the notion of democracy in their ancient past, the Greeks of today went further in rewriting it while campaigning for broader social reforms in Greece and Europe. An unwritten axiom of such reforms is that no free Greek, consequently European, should be treated like a slave to the corporate powers.
In the last episode of the Austerity saga - The Pensioners - the dark Austerity Forces (previously known as Troika) asked the Greeks to cut pensions of 2 million pensioners. The only reason, I guess, for such draconian European measures to be implemented against the old Greeks could be the firm evidence in support of the claims that giving pensioners their pensions in full may only result in pensioners living longer life. Additionally, if a state pension is guaranteed, it is going to be more difficult to convince pensioners, before they become pensioners, to pay their life savings into phantom pension funds that investors preferably use for their gambling bets. Coincidentally, most of the mentioned pension funds turn into ashes the very first day of a pensioner's career as a pensioner.
If the current Greek government is ready to accept the deal - abandoning annoying demands of Greek pensioners to receive their pensions - then the Austerity Forces could, in return, inject some cash urgently required by the country to enable Greeks to pay back interests to its lenders - the Austerity Forces.
The European technocrats are determined to teach Greeks a new lesson in darwinian politics by wanting to bring Greek pensioners to the point of starvation. It is about austerity, nothing personal from the German finance minister Schauble and his alike eurocrats towards his fellow Europeans, the Greeks. Simply, that's the name of the game. Cutting pensions to Greeks and conducting labour reforms, abolishing the rules that protect workers rights, is a program which, as a matter of fact, can be seen as a part of a long term strategy with the final calculus that would benefit us all;
Were the Austerity Dogma management (conservative, neo-liberal governments) allowed to finalise the Austerity project (Wealth for Wealthy&Health for Healthy), both - rich and poor – would get more out of it; rich would become more rich while poor would become more poor.
The poor pensioners would be expected to die sooner rather then later so that life moves on for their children. A new generation would have inherited debts of their parents to worry about, so when they become pensioners themselves, they won't have their own debts.
There would be a prospect of employment for thousands more servants required by wealthy, long life expectance pensioners.
The Red and The Blue Line
When the Greeks talk of the red line which, according to Tsipras and Varoufakis, won't be crossed, they, again, assign this line to the rights of workers and pensioners. What a 20 century political concept, shouts loud a mediocre Machiavellian conservative through the corridors of the European institutions. His idea of prosperity and happiness relies on a concept of bipolarity. On one side of his blue line there are the finance - business minded, profit oriented “hard working people”, and their protectors, law makers and their protectors, investors, bankers... and so on … the word that summarises it all - for our Machiavellian conservative is the - winners.
The other side is occupied by real, productive, factory and public sector workers and vulnerable, state dependent citizens. There is a word for the inhabitants beyond that invisible blue line; in the dictionary of MMC (Mediocre Machiavellian Conservative) circulating in their private gatherings, the word is the - losers.
For Tsipras and his government, the same line, from different perspective, appears in red, marking the territory of uncompromising divisions with the conservative Europe. Tsipras wants more socially inclusive Europe. Like their sisters and brothers from Podemos - Spain, Syriza's activists carefully watch every step that their leader Tsipras makes as he walks through the regulatory minefield of fiscal agreements with former Troika, which brought Greece where it is now – in the middle of the minefield.
The options for Tsipras are; to use the manual and walk safely out of the trouble by signing another bail out program on 5 Jun 2015, but when he walks out of Brussel's minefield, the prime minister of Greece will have to face the chore of voters back home. Or simply, Tsipras should step on it, to take the risk as there is a slight possibility it won't explode.
If it were to explode, then Tsipras can only hope that it will explode in the face of his opponents as much as in his own. Now that the EU is threatened from Britain by 2017 referendum on EU membership, at the time when the coming elections in Spain could bring another marxist group into power, the default of Greece could hurt everyone around that minefield.
Tsipras made promises to his voters and to the Marxist core of his Syriza party, saying that, if he has to make a choice: paying the debts to the creditors or rescuing the Greek pensioners, he will chose the latter.
In Alan Ford, my favourite comic from childhood, Superhik is an anti hero of New York underground crime scene. He can fly like Superman but his secret weapon is rather unusual. It's his breath of an alcoholic that disarms his enemies. And who are his enemies? His enemies are poor people, workers and pensioners who make streets dirty while rich people represent the virtues, promoted hygiene and culture and brought prosperity to themselves. So, being some kind of Robin Hood of New York, Superhik stole from dirty poor people and gave the catch to the sophisticated, cultured, wealthy people.
Once I found Superhik extremely funny because I thought it to be a joke.