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by Jean-Luc Mélenchon

An Entirely New Page in History

Translated Tuesday 15 May 2012, by Henry Crapo

It is an event. It is equal in importance to the result of the presidential election in France. In certain respects, even more important. Because, in Greece, as in France, the politics of austerity have been disavowed. But in Greece, the ballot boxes placed our party in second place in the electoral returns, with 16.8% of those voting, cleanly outstripping the Pasok socialists.

One of our comrades, Alexis Tsipras, thirty-eight years of age, has been given the task of forming a government. Do we understand the import of this event? In the previous elections, our comrades harvested only 4.6% of the votes. Three years later, they are called upon to govern the nation.

The South American political process, of which I have frequently predicted an aftershock in Europe, has just entered a decisive new stage. After a phase of endless financial punishment, we now see the beginning of a phase of radical rejection. The old bipartisan political system has collapsed, and alternation cannot continue without an alternative.

History in this period is not linear, it does not follow its habitual paths, it goes yawing and pitching.

To this my friends reply that they will not be able to form a government [1]. So what? Does anyone want to go back to the Pasok or the right wing? No! We are the ones in control. The ballot boxes will provide us more generously with the means we require. Clearly, the danger is well understood by the beautiful and important people. They are making somersaults to try to save what they can.

The injection of mortar into the crumbling edifice is now everywhere the same. Spread fear of the far right wing devil! They never stop talking, trying to channel and render impotent the movement for rejection that is so strongly engaged. Tomorrow they will beg the Colonels to "save the democracy" menaced by "the neo-nazis and the extreme left", as they are packed in the same bag already by certain organs of the French correct thinking.

Put together these two political landscapes, French and Greek, and you will see that there opens a very new page of history. The time for our program, in France as in Europe, is approaching. I bet that the upcoming legislative elections will shorten this road.

[1Alexis Tsipras was unable to do so, it was announced today 10 May.

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