Printed Greek press review 26/1/2015

27 Ιαν.


Let’s start from far right papers, cause it’s funny: «Prophecy of Saint Paissios (proclaimed as an orthodox church Saint on January 13th… 2015!): Tsipras will bring bankruptcy» reads the cover of the pro-Golden Dawn paper «Eléftheri Ora ». On the top of the page: «the Left seized power in Greece: THE ENEMY HAS BROKEN THE GATES» (it’s actually the lyrics from a left-wing song but who cares). Well known (very bad) actor Kostas Prekas says: «the micro-Greeks won. True Greeks will fight to bring happiness to Greece».

Then let’s check « Ta Néa » one of the two big papers of the most powerful media oligarch in the country, Stavros Psycharis successor of Christos Lambrakis whose media enterprises have always supported power from the collaborationist governments in the 40s, to the Colonels and then very strongly PASOK for three decades. His media empire still relies on bank loans paid by EU citizens through the Troika and hardly pays any taxes. The cover is red and the comment absolutely positive about Syriza: «it can ride the positive wave of Draghi’s policy change». Until some weeks ago, Tsipras was a foolish populist and Syriza an extreme party comparable to the Golden Dawn for « Ta Néa ». The tactic is now to domesticate Syriza. Here are some titles inside: «Before the Troika, Syriza was struggling to get into the Parliament. Then it stepped on the anti-Troika wave, mutated and matured to become a majority current for Change». Like Thatcher (!!), Tsipras is «a romantic of yesterday and a realist of today» and «as she had managed to get payments back from CAP, he might get something on debt ». The most amazing statement of all: one of the things the Troika and Syriza supposedly agree on is «the need to fight big economic interests in Greece »!! Note here the paper is integral part of those very interests, while the Troika’s privatisation program (TAIPED) has already handed lucrative public enterprises to mafia-style oligarchs like Melissanides.

Going on to the official organ of KKE, « Rizospastis » celebrates the realignment of its electorate (KKE increased by 1% in comparison to the last national elections). It has found positive that New Democracy and PASOK have been crushed, but says hopes that Syriza will improve things for the majority of people are delusive.

Syriza’s « Avgi » celebrates Martin Schulz’s statements about acting as a mediator for a sustainable compromise with the EU. Sickle and hammers on the banners brought by foreign comrades cannot be seen anywhere in the paper. Yet, Marx is portrayed in the newspaper’s cartoon page, delighted and carrying a Syriza flag. It says the new government will have three priorities. The first is renegotiating the debt and switching from surplus to balanced budgets. The second is to pass laws dealing with the humanitarian crisis, and the third to draft a new ‘memorandum of understanding’ (mésoprothesmo) bringing minimum salary back to 750 euros, re-establishing the thirteenth pension for pensioners receiving less than 700 euros per month, «abolishing all anti-labour Troika laws», and prohibiting the auctioning of first residence in case of inability to pay back a loan.

From abolishing more than 100 laws applying the Troika’s dictates in one vote, that was Syriza’s position in 2012, it only puts forward now this bunch of counter-measures, depending, moreover, upon EU’s approval. It is questionable whether re-establishing minimum wage without increasing public sector salaries and banning precarious contracts, can change current practices in the real economy. It will be interesting to see to what extent collective agreements will be resurrected.



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