More than four years have gone by since Greece entered the world of Memoranda. Blurry pictures, contradictory news and fragmentary interpretations hinder us from forming a clear understanding of what has really happened ever since. In this book, Thanos Dimadis presents you with everything he recorded as a correspondent of the International Monetary Fund in Washington and the European Institutions in Brussels during this critical historical juncture. He describes the key events that determined the course of the country. He analyzes and interprets motives and behaviors of the protagonists through interviews and conversations capturing the atmosphere of those critical meetings. He sheds light on political expediencies and explains the reasoning behind specific political decisions. The purpose of the journalistic research of Thanos Dimadis is to highlight unseen aspects of events and to contribute to a pluralistic and clear overview of our recent history.
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK
For the Europeans, the choice of dragging Greece into a series of short-term measures does not provide a solution to the long-term problem of Greece and helps in keeping the country under their tight control, given the lack of trust towards the domestic current or future political elite.
Europe continues to approach the case of Greece, not as a problem that largely arises from its massive public debt, but mainly as a liquidity problem within its economy. Therefore, one should not be surprised if the same vicious cycle of the peculiar “Greek bailout programme” that goes on over the last four years repeats itself.
But much more worrying than the plans that the Europeans have in store for our country are the illusions with which the current bipartisan coalition attempts to embellish the Greek reality. A reality that is far from rosy and both its development and ending are far from predetermined. The promises for the «success story», which want to convince us that it has already been part of our history, as well as the culmination of an artificial optimism for the future from people who have already ensured their own well-being play the most critical role in manipulating a whole nation that tries to find its way without a compass. However, they do not change the violent face of our daily lives in the slightest, which over the last four and a half years have been decimated, drowned in false hopes, poisoned by threats and blackmailing dilemmas and subdued by the shackles of fear and fatalism.
At the same time, in an unprecedented political conjuncture, the current political leaders of all political parties -consciously or not- feed this climate of discrediting and they are trapped in the current debate of “who is the one that can pull Greece out of the Memoranda”. The statement of the European Commissioner, Olli Rehn, that “Greece will remain under an enhanced surveillance regime until the country repays 75% of the loans granted to it by the EU Member States” (October 2013) lay bare the illusions with which the Greek people are bathed with on a daily basis. Time flies without anything changing for the better for both the country and its citizens: the unemployment rate is rampant, thousands of young people migrate abroad in the hope of making ends’ meet, people working in the private sector are being exploited every day under the boogeyman of layoffs, the working environment is deregulated and reduced to jungle conditions, the lack of meritocracy defines professional development and social survival processes, social goods to citizens are curtailed, the public services are disintegrated as a result of underfunding and a lack of proper administrative infrastructure, those with economic power and political influence continue to evade their tax obligations at the expense of employees and pensioners, the middle class is eliminated, the gap between rich and poor is widening, our regime of democracy is being disputed, parliamentarism is discredited as the parliamentary control procedures have now become a thing of the past, political parties are being decimated under the shadow of non-transparency in their internal operations and their economic affairs, public life is dominated by corrupt and decadent political and party nomenclature who are jointly responsible for the country’s insolvency, institutions wobble by the lack of trust in their work, the media falter by self-negating the role and the reason for their existence and some neo-fascists in this morbidity find the opportunity to present themselves as self-appointed protectors of the eroded morale and pride of a confused and perplexed nation.
All the above are reasons why I cannot dispel the fear I feel when I close my eyes and try to imagine how the coming years might be like. I am overwhelmed by concern that history, albeit with some alterations, can repeat itself. The very well-known game of shifting the blame from the previous to the next government and vice versa will continue to be the case until the time bomb of the underlying Greek crisis finally explodes in the hands of those who in a given time are selected as a scapegoat to bear all the responsibilities and mistakes of persons inside and outside the country walls. And it is easy to predict the real victims of this whole situation.
Lucid dream or harsh reality? The answer lies in the new pages that will be written –as of now- not in the book of the ephemeral and outdated timeliness, but in that of our collective and indelible historical memory, which is what will make on behalf of future generations the final assessment of the truth in what we experience and in how it is going to end.
– Thanos Dimadis