The Ideals of Freedom and Justice: Towards the Reorientation of Greece

Doing one’s duty towards the ideals of freedom and justice until the end


Mikis Theodorakis, the great Greek composer and freedom fighter, approaches the situation in his homeland from his own, internal position. The experience of Greece in the Second World War and the experience of the military dictatorship have sharpened the eye and let him differ between EU propaganda and real causal relationships.

Until 2009, there was no serious economic problem. The major wounds of our economy were the enormous expenses related to the purchase of war material and the corruption. For both of these wounds, foreigners are jointly responsible. Germans, for instance, as well as French, English and Americans, earned billions of Euros from annual sales of war material, to the detriment of our national wealth. The German company Siemens, for instance, maintained a special department for buying off Greek stakeholders in order to place its products in the Greek market.

It is obvious that these two big wounds could have been avoided if the leaders of the two pro-American parties in power hadn’t been eroded by corrupt elements who resorted to excessive loans in order to cover the leakage of wealth (the product of the Greek people’s labor) into the hands of foreign countries, resulting in the public debt reaching 300 billion Euros, i.e. 130% of GDI (Gross Domestic Income).

Due to that confidence trick, the foreigners I mentioned before made a double profit: firstly from the sales of the weapons and their products. Secondly, from the interest on the money they lent to the governments and not to the people.

(…) the interests on the one billion dollar loan that Andreas Papandreou received in 1986 from a big European country reached 54 billion Euros and was eventually paid back in … 2010!

2008 – the big financial crisis in Europe

In 2008 came the big financial crisis in Europe. It was therefore only logical that the Greek economy should be affected. However, our living standards, high enough for Greece to be ranked among the 30 richest countries in the world, remained unaffected. There was an increase, though, in public debt. But public debt doesn’t necessarily lead to financial crisis. There are big countries, like the U.S. and Germany, with debts amounting to trillions of Euros. The key is in economic growth and production. In that case, one can borrow from large

Banks with an interest rate of up to 5%, until the crisis ends.

That was exactly our position in 2009, when the government shift took place in November and G. Papandreou took over as prime minister.

Mr. Papandreou could have dealt with the financial crisis (which as I have said reflected the European one) by borrowing from foreign Banks under the usual interest rate of under 5%. If he had done that, there wouldn’t have been the slightest problem for our country. In fact, the opposite would have occurred; because we were on an economic growth path, our standard of living would certainly have risen.

However, Mr. Papandreou had already begun his conspiracy against the Greek people since the summer of 2009, when he secretly met with Strauss-Kahn, with the objective of driving Greece under the domination of the IMF. The information concerning this meeting was released by the former President of the IMF himself.

For the situation to reach that end, the country’s real financial status had to be distorted, so that foreign Banks would become nervous and raise the loan interest rates to prohibitive figures.

What followed was the systematic campaign by Mr. Papandreou and the Ministry of Finance throughout Europe that lasted 5 months, during which they tried to persuade the foreigners that Greece was a Titanic about to sink. After each of their declarations the interest rates increased, so that it became impossible for us to borrow any more, giving IMF and the European Bank the appearance of being our salvation, when in reality it was the beginning of our death.

One single signature

In May 2010 a single Minister signed the notorious Memorandum, our complete subservience to our lenders. Greek law stipulates, in such situations, that the adoption of such an important agreement must be decided by three fifths of the Parliament. Therefore, in essence, the Memorandum and the Troika that essentially govern us today, operate illegally not only under Greek but also under European law.

Imagine that with this Memorandum we concede to foreigners our National Independence and our National Property. That is, our harbours, airports, road networks, electricity, water supply, subterranean and underwater wealth, etc., etc. Add to that our historical monuments, like the Acropolis, Delphi, Olympia, Epidaurus and such sites, since we have waived all our legal defenses.

Production has come to a standstill, the unemployment rate has reached 18%, 80.000 shops have closed down, along with thousands of small businesses and hundreds of industries. In total, 432.000 enterprises have shut down. Tens of thousands of young scientists are abandoning the country, which is every day sinking into medieval darkness. Thousands formerly wealthy citizens are scavenging on rubbish heaps and sleeping on the pavement.

In the meantime, we are supposed to be surviving thanks to the magnanimity of our lenders, the Europe of the Banks and the IMF. In reality, every package deal which charges Greece with tens of billions of Euros is repaid in full, while we are burdened with new unbearable interest rates. And since it is necessary to maintain the State, the Hospitals and the Schools, the Troika is burdening the middle and lower economic strata of society with excessive taxes, leading directly to starvation. A famine took place at the beginning of the German occupation in 1941, with 300.000 people dead in a period of 6 months. Since then, the ghost of hunger is now returning to our defamed and unfortunate country.

If one considers that the German occupation cost us one million people dead and the total destruction of our country, how is it possible for us Greeks to accept Ms Merkel’s threats and the Germans’ intention to impose on us a new Gauleiter… This time wearing a tie…

And to prove just how rich a country is Greece and how hard working and conscious the Greek people (conscious of their Debt to Freedom and love of their country), I cite as an example the time of the German occupation from 1941 until October of 1944.

When the SS and hunger killed one million citizens and the Wehrmacht was systematically destroying the country, and stealing all its agricultural production and the gold from the Banks, Greeks saved the people from hunger by creating the National Solidarity Movement and a partisan army of 100.000, which tied down 20 German divisions in our country.

At the same time not only did Greeks manage to survive thanks to their hard work, but there was also a large growth in Modern Greek art – especially in literature and music- under the terrible conditions of the occupation.

Greece chose the path of self-sacrifice for the sake of freedom and simultaneously of survival.

That is when we were unnecessarily punished, and we responded with Solidarity and Resistance and we survived. Now we are doing exactly the same thing, with the certainty that the Greek people will be the ultimate victors.

They are threatening to throw us out of Europe. If Europe doesn’t want Greece to be a part of it, Greece, for her part, is 10 times more unwilling to be a part of this Merkel- Sarkozy Europe.

Today, Sunday February 12, 2012, I am about to take part in the demonstrations, along with Manolis Glezos, the hero who, in the past, took the swastika down from the Acropolis, signaling the beginning of resistance against Hitler, not only in Greece but throughout Europe. Today, our streets and our squares will be flooded with hundreds of thousands of citizens who will demonstrate their rage against the government and against theTroika.

Aiming for cooperation with Russia

At this point in time, I have devoted all my efforts to an attempt to dynamically unify the Greek people. I am trying to convince them that IMF and Troika is not a one-way street, that there is an alternative solution. And that solution is to radically change the course of our nation and turn towards Russia for economic co-operation and the setting up of joint ventures in order to exploit our natural wealth under beneficial terms that will safeguard our national interests.
As for Europe, I suggest we stop buying war material from Germany and France. And that we do everything in our power so that Germany pays back the war reparations they owe us and which currently amount to approximately  – including the appropriate interest – 500 billion Euros.

The only force capable of effecting all these revolutionary changes is the Greek people, unified under a huge Front of Resistance and Solidarity in order to remove the Troika (the IMF and the European banks) from our country. At the same time all their illegal actions (loans, debts, interest, taxes, privatization of national wealth) should be considered as if they never took place. Naturally, their Greek partners, already condemned in our conscience as traitors, will have to be punished.

I am totally dedicated, body and soul, to this cause (the unification of the People in one Front) and I believe that I will be proved right in the end. I have fought, gun in hand, against Hitler’s occupation. I have experienced the Gestapo’s dungeons. I have been sentenced to death by Germans and have miraculously survived. In 1967 I founded PAF (The Patriotic Anti-dictatorial Front), the first resistance organization against the military junta. I fought underground, was caught and imprisoned in the junta’s “slaughterhouse”. Once again I survived.

I am today 87 years old and it is very possible that I will not live to see the salvation of my beloved country. But I will die with a clear conscience, because I will continue doing my Duty towards the ideals of Freedom and Justice until the end.    •

(Source: Excerpts from “The truth about Greece” – an open letter to international public opinion by Mikis Theodorakis, 12.2.2012,

The Banks claim a lot of money

Foreign Creditors of Greek State Bonds (retrieved June 2011; in billions of dollars)

In case of a Greek insolvency the American and British banks would be affected due to the credit default swaps edited by them.

(See Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung “Kurseinbruch der griechischen Bankaktien“. 24/10/2011)

cc. The debt conversion to new State securities of Greece which was agreed upon at the end of March would only postpone a collapse. In the future the big banks will better hedge their claims and will collect their interests.

Greece: “So that this may never happen again.”

A movie for our adolescents and for us adults, too

thk. On 10 June 1944 during a so-called “measure of atonement” a German SS division massacred 218 residents of the Greek village of Distomo within two hours. Indiscriminately the innocent people were killed; infants, children, women, men, old men, everyone who was present in the village at this time. As by a miracle the two-year-old Argyris and his three sisters survived in this massacre, while their parents and 30 other relatives were murdered in this war crime committed by Germans.

At first Argyris is taken to an orphanage in Athens, before he starts on the journey to Switzerland in order to be able to recuperate from the traumatic events in the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Trogen. After having taken his A-levels, he left the Children’s Village with which he remained connected throughout his life. He then studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and for many years he has worked as a graduated mathematics teacher at Zurich grammar schools. Later, Argyris Sfountouris committed himself to the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) and among others served as development aid worker in Somalia and Indonesia.

He has dedicated his whole life to the commitment to peace and reconciliation among the peoples: “So that this may never happen again.”

In 1994, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the massacre, he organized a memorial service at Delphi, dedicated to the theme of war and peace. It was attended by speakers from Switzerland, Germany and Greece. However, no official representative from Germany attended the memorial. To this day Argyris Sfountouris has been fighting for the recognition of the massacre as a war crime, and for compensation for the bereaved. To date, official Germany has refused to acknowledge this war crime and justifies it as a “measure in the context of warfare”. The lawsuit is now pending at the European Court of Human Rights.

In his film “Ein Lied für Argyris” (A Song for Argyris) the director Stefan Haupt portrayed in detail a personal history and unveiled the entire problems of grief, indignation, reconciliation and justice, which are behind it. Many contemporary witnesses have their say, including also Mikis Theodorakis. Relentlessly, the film reveals the crimes of the Wehrmacht and the SS against the civilian population as well as the inhuman attitude of official Germany. There is no way around this film if we discuss in classes the issues of war and peace and the suffering that war causes among the people. In addition to the personal history of Argyris Sfountouris essential questions of the peaceful coexistence of peoples are raised. It is a historically well-founded appeal to our youth and the teachers who are teaching them to get ready for the task, to devote their vitality to a more dignified coexistence in the 21st century.

Obtainable (in German and Greek with English subtitles) from Fontana Film GmbH. E-mail: [email protected]

Articles by: Mikis Theodorakis

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