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Greece: “I fear history will repeat itself”

Translated Friday 29 June 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Derek Hanson

An interview with Syriza deputy Zoe Konstantopoulou.

What’s your analysis of the election results?

Zoe Konstantopoulou: A large part of the population has become aware that the politicians of the two parties that have governed Greece for the past 38 years cannot provide any perspective. This part of the population has recognized in Syriza the political force that can express the demands, hopes and rights of the Greeks in the European context. Because most citizens don’t even have a perspective of survival; they’ve experienced the loss of all their rights and gains as concerns employment, social security, the welfare state and rights. They want to recover a decent standard of living. Syriza offers itself as a useful tool for social protection.

A coalition government is being formed. What’s your opinion?

Zoe Konstantopoulou: We’ve already had the detrimental experience of a PASOK-ND-LAOS coalition. It seems that we’re going to have another three-party coalition, with ND, PASOK, and the Democratic Left, which will be a little more to the left than the two previous ones. However, I fear that history will repeat itself and I’m not optimistic about the outcome. The main components of the government are the two parties that have failed and that have been rejected by the voters. Their policy doesn’t correspond to the message from the Greek people. Moreover, even as an alliance they do not express the majority of the Greek people.

The European leaders have repeated that renegotiating the memorandum isn’t possible. What’s your opinion, as a jurist?

Zoe Konstantopoulou: The European leaders and civil servants haven’t felt any qualms about blackmailing the Greek people, whereas everybody knows perfectly well that the memorandum is an anti-European accord which violates the European charter. With the application of these policies, Greek pupils have ended the school year without getting their books and the hospitals have no medicines! This cannot be the policy of the European Union, whose main goal, according to article 3 of the treaty, is the prosperity of its peoples and its member states. All this cannot happen in the EU of 2012 whereas the obligation of solidarity is inscribed in article 122 of the treaties. No European argument can legitimize this situation.

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