Tag Archives: Greece

Another comment on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey (and a debate with a Turkish chauvinist– S.Mavroudeas PRESS TV 11-9-2020

Yesterday (11-9-2020) I was asked by PRESS TV to comment on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey.

I expressed the opinion that these tensions and war-mongering threats are coming from both sides, that is the Greek and the Turkish ruling elites. And that the peoples of Greece and Turkey have nothing to gain from this. The two ruling elites scramble for supposed oil reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean basin. The existence of these reserves is far from certain; and also, if they exist, it is equally uncertain whether it is economically feasible to exploit them (debth, price of oil etc.). The irony is that, even if they exist and one side or the other gets them, the ultimate beneficiary would be the big Western oil companies that will exploit them paying peanuts to the host country.

So, the Greek and the Turkish ruling elites are flirting with war for their own gains and the gains of their foreign patrons. The Greek and the Turkish peoples have nothing to gain from this. However, they will pay a bloody price in the case of a war as they will be the cannofodder for their ruling elites.

The solution is a return to the status quo ante and the cease of all aggressive actions by both sides.

The other commentator in the News programme was a Turkish analyst who expressed the typical nationalistic and war-mongering rhetoric of chauvinist jingoists in both sides of the Aegean. Notable, among his arguments, was the dictum that you can expand your borders by winning militarily. Typical rubbish by people that usually send other people to be massacred while they play the super-heroes safely at home.

The videos of the comment can be assesed via the following links:

https://urmedium.com/c/presstv/34705

 

A comment on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey – S.Mavroudeas PRESS TV 11-8-2020

The News Bulletin of PRESS TV asked for my comments on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey regarding the Exclusive Economic Zones in the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

The video of my comments and their transcript follows.

https://urmedium.com/c/presstv/30191

The current tensions are part of the long-running antagonism between the Greek and the Turkish ruling elites. This antagonism goes back to the formation of nation-states in the Balkan and the Eastern Mediterranean area in the 19th and the early 20th centuries.

In this antagonism both ruling elites scramble for gains and for regional influence.

They both use international law at will; that is each one chose an item of international law of the seas that suits it and disregards others.

This antagonism takes place under the auspices of the US, EU and NATO who are the ultimate patrons and arbiters. Recently, Greece has become even more subservient to these patrons because of its participation in the EU and the subsequent wreck of its economy during the recent economic crises. On the other hand, Turkey pursues a more independent and aggressive policy by playing not only with the West but also with Russia and other regional powers. As it feels more confident, the Turkish ruling elite expands its areas of operation more aggressively. However, the Greek ruling elite – although in a worse condition – does not fail to reply aggressively wherever it can.

The object of the current tensions is the ownership and the exploitation of potential oil and natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus, both ruling elites try to extend their Exclusive Economic Zones. The irony is that (a) the existence of these reserves (and moreover whether they are economically exploitable) is far from certain and (b) if they exist it is US and Western oil companies that will get the contracts.

This is a miserable reason for throwing the peoples of Greece and Turkey into a bloody war. A famous Turkish poet (Nazim Hikmet) once wrote that they are two Greeces and two Turkeys. The one is that of the ruling elite and it is fake: it serves only the interests of itself and its patrons. The other is that of the people and it is the real one. This real Greece and this real Turkey have no interest whatsoever in a bloody war supervised by the Western patrons.

Interview in Press TV News 19-12-2018 on the Greek budget and the mobilisations against it

Below are the video-recordings and the transcript (in English and Greek) of my iInterview in Press TV News (19-12-2018) on the Greek budget and the mobilisations against it

Press TV News 19-12-2018

 

  • This is another austerity budget dictated by the EU despite being promoted by the SYRIZA as the first ‘free’ state budget.
  • It places again the burden on the shoulders of the working people and the middle strata while favouring the big Greek and foreign capital.
  • Its main characteristic is the pursue of excessive primary fiscal surpluses (which is an EU requirement in order to secure the repayment of its loans to Greece)
  • These primary surpluses are coming from:
    • excessive taxation especially of the wage-earners and the middle strata
    • severe reduction of public investment (which continues to be the main investment source of the Greek economy)
  • They result in
    • subdued and insecure recovery (after almost 10 years in recession)
    • immiserisation of the working people
  • This budget does not signify the exit from the Greek crisis which is still simmering.
  • There is another feature of this budget. 2019 is an election year. Hence both the main contenders (the neo-liberal ND who is leading the polls and the social-liberal SYRIZA) are trying to present themselves as friends of the people.
  • This is pure shadow-boxing. Both of them follow the same policies (dictated by the austerity programmes of the EU) and both of them serve interests of the big Greek and foreign capital. Their only difference is that they are allied with different fractions of these capitals.
  • ND is overtly neoliberal.
  • SYRIZA on the other hand is hitting hard the working class and the middle strata but afterwards throws back some chicken feed (peanuts, crumbs) to the more impoverished people in order to buy their electoral support.
  • The trade union mobilisations of these days express the anger against these policies and are absolutely rightful.

 

  • Αυτός είναι άλλος ένας προϋπολογισμός λιτότητας που υπαγορεύει η ΕΕ παρά το γεγονός ότι ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ ισχυρίζεται ότι είναι ο πρώτος «ελεύθερος» κρατικός προϋπολογισμός.
  • Ρίχνει ξανά τα βάρη στους ώμους των εργατών και των μεσαίων στρωμάτων, ευνοώντας ταυτόχρονα το μεγάλο ελληνικό και ξένο κεφάλαιο.
  • Το κύριο χαρακτηριστικό του είναι η επιδίωξη υπερβολικών πρωτογενών δημοσιονομικών πλεονασμάτων (που αποτελεί απαίτηση της ΕΕ για την εξασφάλιση της αποπληρωμής των δανείων της προς την Ελλάδα)

Τα υπερβολικά αυτά πρωτογενή δημοσιονομικά πλεονάσματα προέρχονται από:

(α) την υπερβολική φορολογία ιδίως των μισθωτών και των μεσαίων στρωμάτων

(β) την σοβαρή μείωση των δημόσιων επενδύσεων (οι οποίες εξακολουθούν να είναι η κύρια επενδυτική πηγή της ελληνικής οικονομίας)

  • Τα αποτελέσματα είναι:

(α) η υποτονική και ανασφαλής ανάκαμψη (μετά από σχεδόν 10 χρόνια ύφεσης)

(β) η φτωχοποίηση των εργαζομένων

  • Αυτός ο προϋπολογισμός δεν σηματοδοτεί την έξοδο από την ελληνική κρίση που εξακολουθεί να σιγοβράζει.
  • Υπάρχει ένα άλλο χαρακτηριστικό αυτού του προϋπολογισμού. Το 2019 είναι έτος εκλογών. Ως εκ τούτου, οι δύο κύριοι διεκδικητές (η νεοφιλελεύθερη ΝΔ που προηγείται τις δημοσκοπήσεις και ο σοσιαλφιλελεύθερος ΣΥΡΙΖΑ) προσπαθούν να παρουσιαστούν ως φίλοι του λαού.
  • Αυτό είναι καθαρή σκιαμαχία. Αμφότεροι ακολουθούν τις ίδιες πολιτικές (που υπαγορεύονται από τα προγράμματα λιτότητας της ΕΕ) και εξυπηρετούν και οι δύο συμφέροντα του μεγάλου ελληνικού και ξένου κεφαλαίου. Η μόνη διαφορά τους είναι ότι συνδέονται με διαφορετικές ομάδες αυτών των κεφαλαίων.
  • Η ΝΔ είναι προφανώς νεοφιλελεύθερη.
  • Από την άλλη πλευρά, ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ πλήττει σκληρά την εργατική τάξη και τα μεσαία στρώματα, αλλά στη συνέχεια πετάει πίσω κάποια ψίχουλα στους πιο φτωχούς για να εξαγοράσει την εκλογική τους υποστήριξη.
  • Οι κινητοποιήσεις των συνδικάτων αυτών των ημερών εκφράζουν την οργή ενάντια σε αυτές τις πολιτικές και είναι απολύτως δικαιολογημένες.

 

 

 

 

Interview in SPUTNIK (7-12-2018) on the anniversary of A.Grigoropoulos’ killing

A recent interview in SPUTNIK (7-12-2018) regarding the anniversary of A.Grigoropoulos’ killing.

In SPUTNIK’s webpage (https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201812081070504166-greece-killed-student-protests-society-sentiment/) itcomes under the misleading title of ‘Certain Greek Powers Exploit Youth Hit by Crisis to Instigate Violence«.

On the other hand, the title of the interview’s upload in SoundCloud (Memory of Alexis Grigoropoulos’ killing ‘is very alive’ in Greek student youth – Professor) is more consistent with the essence of the interview.

The transcript of the interview that appeared on SPUTNIK’s webpage is pretty accurate.

 

 

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201812081070504166-greece-killed-student-protests-society-sentiment/

 

Certain Greek Powers Exploit Youth Hit by Crisis to Instigate Violence – Prof

© AP Photo / Petros Giannakouris

Opinion

05:49 08.12.2018

 

Scores of protesters clashed with riot police in Athens on Thursday, on the tenth anniversary of the killing of 15-year-old Greek student Alexis Grigoropoulos at the hands of police. Why have annual marches marked the death of the teenager turned violent?

Sputnik spoke to Stavros Mavroudeas, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, for more insight on the issue.

Sputnik: Why are Greek citizens so determined to celebrate the memory of Alexis Grigoropoulos?

Stavros Mavroudeas: Because of political reasons.

But political will cannot stand on its own: forces in the Left are keen to preserve this anniversary, but you cannot preserve an anniversary simply on political will. So they are underlying problems in the Greek society that keep the memory of that person alive.

© REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis

Greek Authorities Detain Dozens During Violent Protests in Central Athens (VIDEO)

Sputnik: Why have annual marches marking the death of Grigoropoulos have turned violent?

Stavros Mavroudeas: The violence comes from a minority, the Black Bloc. The Black Bloc considers the Grigoropoulos case as its own property – which is quite ironic, given that they are mainly anarchists, and they are supposed to have a problem with property.

They are acting for their own purposes that give rise to violent acts.

But apart from them, the memory of the incident is very alive in the youth, particularly in the student youth.

Sputnik: Does Greek police have a problem with the demonstrators and especially with rioting youth?

Stavros Mavroudeas: The youth is most severely hit by the crisis, particularly nowadays. So social disorder comes from parts of the youth, and of course this brings to wrath of the police, which is pretty undisciplined.

The police contains extreme right sections; it is under pressure from successive governments to subdue unrest in segments of the population that are in revolt. It is typical in such cases that the police exhibits brutality and arbitrariness.

Sputnik: Can the Greek government do anything to quell the unrest?

© Flickr/ Jubilee Debt Campaign

‘Catastrophic Effect’: More Austerity Measures Could Force Greece to Exit the EU

Stavros Mavroudeas: They cannot do anything, and probably they are not willing to do anything regarding the fundamental causes of such eruptions.

There is no exit from the crisis, out of all social strata the youth is in the worst condition, and SYRIZA and the New Democracy – which are the main contenders for government – are both lackeys of the European Union, and are pursuing the same austerity policies with only minor differences.

So I don’t see that any Greek government, in this particular moment of time and coming from these parties, can do anything serious to alleviate these problems.

Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Stavros Mavroudeas and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

 

 

Stavros Mavroudeas – A resurgence of popular mobilisations in Greece – BRAVE NEW EUROPE

 

 

https://braveneweurope.com/stavros-mavroudeas-a-resurgence-of-popular-mobilisations-in-greece

 

Stavros Mavroudeas – A resurgence of popular mobilisations in Greece

November 15, 2018 Austerity, EU politics, EU-Institutions, National Politics, Neo-Liberalism in the EU

On November 14th, Greece`s largest union, ADEDY, which represents about half a million public sector workers, carried out a one day strike. The union is demanding that the SYRIZA government retracts pay and pension cuts and tax increases which were part of three bailout programmes since 2010. We asked Stavros Mavroudeas to give us a brief evaluation of the strike.

Stavros Mavroudeas is Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Economics at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki

Edited by BRAVE NEW EUROPE

 

 

 

 

 

 

These days some glimmers of hope seem to be appearing in a Greek society devastated by the EU. This is not the result of the false claims that the Greek crisis is over, being vaunted by the EU, the SYRIZA government, and the champions of Greek capitalism. Instead, it comes from a resurgence of popular protest in Greece after a considerable period of calm. Several strikes have already taken place and participation, although not spectacular, is increasing.

The Greek people have been suffering from a capitalist crisis and a barbaric EU-IMF austerity programme for almost ten years. Following the eruption of the 2008 crisis and the subsequent euro-zone crisis, Greek capital and its foreign patrons (EU and the US) imposed a vicious programme of austerity upon the country (adjustment programmes overseen by the troika –the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank).

Initially there were strident popular reactions to these austerity programmes that discredited the establishment parties and led to frequent changes of government. However, this popular activity and energetic intervention by the people was defused when SYRIZA was elected to government, since the party had promised to ameliorate the population’s devastated living standards. But SYRIZA betrayed the people’s trust by continuing the same austerity policies as its predecessors. Instead of shelving the troika programme, it agreed to a new third one. However, popular mobilisations remained subdued as SYRIZA discredited the Left and the people were at a loss to know how to respond to SYRIZA’s betrayal. The recent resurgence of popular protest breaks this pattern and possibly signifies a return of the masses to the political foreground.

There are several reasons for this resurgence:

First, SYRIZA and the EU, by declaring that the Greek crisis has ended, are proving to be victims of their own deception. The Greek crisis is still simmering and is far from over. Its structural causes (the low rate of profit of capitalists and imperialist exploitation by the core euro-zone economies) are still present. Furthermore, Greece´s immediate problems (such as the debt burden on the economy) have not been solved but only swept under the carpet. The EU propagates the myth that the Greek crisis has ended because it wants to avoid pressure from the US and is under increasing strain as new serious conflicts arise within the EU (Brexit, the budget dispute with Italy etc.). SYRIZA is following suit hoping that by selling a false ‘success story’ it might win the next Greek election. However, behind this façade, the Greek people sense that if the crisis has at least stabilised, then there must be space for recuperating at least some of the huge losses they have suffered. It should be noted that the Greek workers and middle classes have borne the burden of austerity, whereas Greek capitalists and oligarchs have remained largely unscathed.

Second, 2019 is a multi-election year. Greece will be holding EU elections, local elections, and ultimately general elections. So, the people sense that establishment parties are in a vulnerable position and if they don’t want to suffer huge electoral losses then they have to make concessions. The Greek and EU establishment on the other hand want to make as few concessions as possible, get past the elections, and then renew their austerity drive.

However, history has taught us that once the genie of popular action is out of the bottle, the corrupt Greek and EU establishments may not be able to contain it. The return of popular protest is a glimmer of hope for Greece.

Greek public sector workers strike for higher pay – Interview in PRESS TV 14-11-2018

This is the transcript of my interview in PRESS TV News (14-11-2018) on the Greek public workers’ strike. The video of the interview follows.

 

After a considerable period of calm there is currently a resurgence of popular mobilisations in Greece.

The Greek people are suffering from a barbaric EU-IMF austerity program for 8 years.

Initially there were massive popular reactions to austerity policies.

Then they calmed down as SYRIZA’s election in government was supposed to ameliorate people’s living standards.

This was disproved as SYRIZA continued the same austerity policies as its predecessors.

The recent resurgence of popular mobilisations is fomeneted by the following reasons.

First, SYRIZA and the EU are – deceivingly and for their own political and geopolitical reasons – declaring that the Greek crisis is over. This is not true. The Greek crisis is still simmering. However, the people think that if the crisis is over then it is time for recuperating at least some of the huge losses that it has suffered. Keep in mind that the Greek workers and middle classes have curried the burden of austerity whereas the Greek capitalists are largely unscathed.

Second, 2019 is a multi-election year. We have euroelections, local elections and ultimately general elections. So, the people sense that establishment parties are in a vulnerable position and if they don’t want to suffer huge electoral losses then they have to make concessions.

The Greek and EU establishment want to make as little concessions as possible, surpass the elections and then renew the austerity drive.

However, history has taught that once the genie of popular action is liberated from its cage then the corrupt Greek and EU establishments might not be able to contain it.

This is a glimpse of hope for Greece

 

 

 

Συνέντευξη στο PRESS TV 14-11-2018

Μετά από μια σημαντική περίοδο ηρεμίας υπάρχει σήμερα μια αναζωπύρωση των λαϊκών κινητοποιήσεων στην Ελλάδα.

Ο ελληνικός λαός υποφέρει από ένα βάρβαρο πρόγραμμα λιτότητας ΕΕ-ΔΝΤ για 8 χρόνια.

Αρχικά υπήρξαν τεράστιες λαϊκές αντιδράσεις στις πολιτικές λιτότητας.

Κατόπιν μετριάστηκαν καθώς η εκλογή του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ στην κυβέρνηση υποτίθεται ότι θα βελτίωνε το βιοτικό επίπεδο του λαού.

Αυτό διαψεύστηκε καθώς ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ συνέχισε τις ίδιες πολιτικές λιτότητας με τους προκατόχους του.

Η πρόσφατη αναζωπύρωση των λαϊκών κινητοποιήσεων επηρεάζεται από τους ακόλουθους λόγους.

Πρώτον, ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και η ΕΕ – με εξαπάτηση και για δικούς τους πολιτικούς και γεωπολιτικούς λόγους – δηλώνουν ότι η ελληνική κρίση έχει τελειώσει. Αυτό δεν είναι αλήθεια. Η ελληνική κρίση εξακολουθεί να σιγοβράζει. Ωστόσο, ο λαός πιστεύει ότι εάν η κρίση τελειώνει, τότε είναι καιρός να ανακτήσει τουλάχιστον μερικές από τις τεράστιες απώλειες που έχει υποστεί. Λάβετε υπόψη ότι οι Έλληνες εργαζόμενοι και οι μεσαίες τάξεις έχουν σηκώσει όλο το βάρος της λιτότητας, ενώ οι Έλληνες καπιταλιστές είναι σε μεγάλο βαθμό αλώβητοι.

Δεύτερον, το 2019 είναι ένα έτος πολλαπλών εκλογών. Έχουμε ευρωεκλογές, τοπικές εκλογές και τελικά γενικές εκλογές. Έτσι, ο λαός αισθάνεται ότι τα κόμματα του κατεστημένου βρίσκονται σε ευάλωτη θέση και αν δεν θέλουν να υποστούν τεράστιες εκλογικές απώλειες τότε πρέπει να κάνουν παραχωρήσεις.

Τα κατεστημένα της Ελλάδας και της ΕΕ θέλουν να κάνουν όσο το δυνατόν λιγότερες παραχωρήσεις, να ξεπεράσουν τις εκλογές και στη συνέχεια να ανανεώσουν την προσπάθεια λιτότητας.

Ωστόσο, η ιστορία έχει διδάξει ότι, μόλις απελευθερωθεί ο τζίνι της λαϊκής δράσης από το κλουβί του, τότε τα διεφθαρμένα ελληνικά και ευρωπαϊκά κατεστημένα ίσως δεν θα μπορέσουν να τα συγκρατήσουν.

Αυτή είναι μια χαραμάδα ελπίδας για την Ελλάδα.

TROIKA’S ECONOMIC ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMMES FOR GREECE: HAVE THEY REALLY SUCCEEDED?, S. Mavroudeas, Oxford Brookes University lecture, 21/11/2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are invited to an Economics External

Speaker event on the topic:

 

TROIKA’S ECONOMIC ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMMES FOR GREECE: HAVE THEY REALLY SUCCEEDED?

Stavros Mavroudeas

 

In August 2018 the EU and the Greek government declared the successful completion of the 3rd Economic Adjustment Programme (EAP) for Greece. They also explicitly implied that the Greek crisis is over. We dispute the statements made by the EU and the Greek government and argue that Greek EAPs (a) rest on a problematic understanding of the Greek crisis (as simply a debt crisis), (b) applied a disastrous policy recipe in an attempt to deal with the crisis, and (c) failed systematically to achieve their own milestones. We will analyse the theoretical background of these programmes which lie in the neo-conservative notions of pro-cyclicality and growth- creating austerity. We will show that the Greek EAP’s basic structure is a very problematic modification of the typical 1990s IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programmes (as it lacks the lever of currency devaluation and had a belated, half-baked and ineffective debt restructuring). Finally, we will discuss the systematic failure of the Greek EAPs in achieving their own goals.

 

Stavros Mavroudeas is Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece. His research focuses on Marxist Political Economy, Development Economics, History of Economic Thought, and Greek Economic History.

 

DATE: 21 November 2018

TIME: 12:00 – 13:30

VENUE: JHBB302

Interview in PRESS TV 30-9-2018 on the FYROM referendum

These are the videos of my interview in PRESS TV 30-9-2018 on the FYROM referendum

 

 

Interview on the FYROM referendum – SPUTNIK NEWS 30-9-2018

Following is (a) the full transcript of my interview in SPUTNIK NEWS on the FYROM referendum and (b) its coverage in SPUTNIK’s webpage (together with the directly opposite (sic!) views of Papadimoulis)

 

Sputnik News

30/9/2018

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201809301068460080-macedonia-referendum-sunday/

  1. What are your expectations from the outcomes of the referendum?

I expect that the ‘yes’ will prevail in the FYROM referendum on the Prespes Lakes’ agreement. The pressure applied upon the populace of this small and weak country by the major Western powers (both the US and the EU) is formidable. All the important EU leaders have passed from the country and pressed unbashfully for the acceptance of the agreement. The US did also the same. In normal circumstances these acts would amount to blatant foreign intervention in internal affairs reminiscent of colonial powers. Thus, despite the initial reactions (that sometimes were extremely violent) even the opposition parties refrain from even campaigning for a ‘no’ vote. There is a small possibility that voters’ participation might not be massive enough so as to legitimize the result. But it has already been declared that in this case the agreement will be put for vote in the parliament. In a nutshell, the big Western powers are very determined to impose the agreement which puts another brick in making the Western Balkans the West’s ‘backyard’. The local ruling class is too thirsty for power and money and too subservient to the West. So, it does not dare even to try to reform the agreement. And, the people of FYROM are too poor and terribly disorientated by ethnic divisions and weak political consciousness. Hence, they ‘buy’ unquestionably the deceiving tale that ‘they will become Europeans’ and their economic misery will be removed.

2. Do you think that the positive vote results will lift all remaining disagreements between Greece and Macedonia? How do you see further development of bilateral relations?

There are two separate issues here. The one is the relationship between the people of the two countries. And the second is the relationship between the elites of the two countries. It would be wonderful if this agreement brought friendship between the people of the two countries.

Unfortunately, the purpose of this agreement is not this. It has been pushed upon both countries by the big Western powers in order to control the situation in the Balkans. The West (and EU and the US are in tandem in this despite their differences) is afraid of losing ground in this unstable and turbulent area. Hence, it tries to close issues in the area in order to engulf it in the EU and NATO. The Prespes agreement is part of this strategy (as is the idea of a land exchange between Serbia and Kosovo). However, the way the West tries to impose its order in practice foments national rivalries. It disregards national and popular aspects and attempts to redraw borders and relations in the way colonial officials in the past have drawn borders between countries by straight pencil lines. It is well known that this old practice did not solve but, on the contrary, aggravated national tensions. Of course, this enabled the old colonial powers to pose as arbiters. This is the game the West is playing in the Balkans. In fact, the Prespes agreement has fomented nationalist and far-right trends in both countries and actually worsened the possibility of amicable relations between the people of the two countries.

On the other hand, the elites of the two countries paly a different game. The Greek elite is stronger and Greek capital has swamped the weak economy of FYROM, despite the diplomatic tensions. The Greek elite will try to take advantage of an even more open access to FYROM (although the latter’s economy is, legally or illegally, very open to foreign capitals already). FYROM’s elite will try to ameliorate its position by linking itself closer to Western interests. However, these are the ‘little mice’ in this game. The ruler of the game and the one that will dictate who is going to win and who is going to lose is the West.

3. What consequences do you see in case of negative vote of the referendum on name change?

A ‘no’ vote would throw into disarray Western plans in the Balkan area. It won’t necessarily create more instability than that already existing. One positive aspect would be that EU’s and NATO’s grip in the area will be weakened.

4. What benefits and consequences do you see in case of Macedonia joining the EU and NATO?

I do not see any benefit from FYROM’s participation in the EU and NATO. These are imperialist organisations infamous for sowing misery and wars in their path. The participation in the EU would make the weak and already dependent FYROM economy even weaker. Greece, and the other euro-peripheral economies have a bitter taste from this participation that made their economies weaker and simple appendages of those of the euro-core economies. It is indicative that other Balkan economies connected to the EU were lucky not to participate at least in the European Monetary Union (EMU). This shielded them from grave consequences during and after the global capitalist crisis of 2008. The people of FYROM will learn probably through the hard way something that the Greek people learned similarly: the EU instead of gifts and wealth brings pain and poverty. Moreover, NATO is always the long arm of US aggression and its record is well-known. Instead of stabilization and peace it brings conflicts and war.

 

 

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201809301068460080-macedonia-referendum-sunday/

National Referendum on Macedonia Name Change to Be Held on Sunday

01:22 30.09.2018

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Referendum on name change from the Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of Northern Macedonia will be held in the country on Sunday.

Almost 2 million citizens will head to the polls to answer the question «Are you in favor of European Union and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?» For the results of the referendum to be valid the turnout must be at least 50 percent.

The referendum was scheduled following the signing of an agreement on renaming of the country to the Republic of North Macedonia by Macedonian and Greek foreign ministers on June 17. The document thus put an end to a 25-year dispute over the use of «Macedonia» name, which Greece has been objecting as this is also the name of one of its regions.

Referendum is Likely to Result in ‘Yes’ Vote

Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov has decried an agreement that would change the country’s name calling on his compatriots to boycott the vote on the deal that takes place on September 30. At the same time, the EU enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, delivered an impassioned speech urging the Macedonians to vote in referendum to change their country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

© AP Photo / Boris Grdanoski

EU Commission: Macedonia’s Name Vote Should Be Free From Foreign Influence

Professor of Political Economy at Department of Economics in the University of Macedonia Stavros Mavroudeas told Sputnik that the pressure upon the citizens of small Macedonia for the «yes» vote exerted by both the United States and the European Union was incredible.

«I expect that the ‘yes’ will prevail in the FYROM referendum on the Prespes Lakes’ agreement … All the important EU leaders have passed from the country and pressed unbashfully for the acceptance of the agreement. The US also did the same,» Dr. Mavroudeas said.

The expert noted that in normal circumstances such actions of the Western powers would amount to blatant foreign intervention in internal affairs reminiscent of colonial powers.

Vice President of the European Parliament and head of the Greek ruling SYRIZA party’s delegation Dimitrios Papadimoulis in his comments to Sputnik expressed strong support to the «yes» vote at the referendum.

«We are strongly supporting Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s government to that end, and we do believe that a positive outcome from the referendum would be beneficial for FYROM’s EU integration process,» Papadimoulis said.

The lawmaker also stressed big support to the great commitment that Greek and Macedonian governments have shown toward reaching a mutually beneficial agreement after more than two decades of stagnation and nationalist decline.

Dr. Mavroudeas added that there was a small possibility that voters’ participation might not be massive enough so as to legitimize the result, however, it has already been declared that in this case the deal would be put for vote in the parliament.

«Western powers are very determined to impose the agreement which puts another brick in making the Western Balkans the West’s ‘backyard,’» the expert added.

Consequences of ‘No’ Vote

© AP Photo / Boris Grdanoski

Mattis to Fly to Skopje to Show US Support for Macedonia Joining NATO – Pentagon

In early August, a group of about 30 civic associations, political parties and NGOs, led by the United Macedonia party, launched a campaign for boycotting the name deal referendum. The so-called crisis headquarters is now made up of more than 70 organizations, political parties and patriotic movements, according to the party’s president Janko Bachev.

«I would say that a negative outcome would not be the best option for FYROM, its efforts to accelerate EU integration process and deal with a number of social and economic issues,» Papadimoulis said.

In turn, Dr. Mavroudeas expressed his opinion that a ‘no’ vote would throw into disarray Western plans in the Balkan area.

«It won’t necessarily create more instability than that already existing. One positive aspect would be that EU’s and NATO’s grip in the area will be weakened,» the expert said.

Development of Greece-Macedonia Relations

Papadimoulis stressed that in case of the deal acceptance by Macedonia’s citizens a new chapter of cooperation would be opened in relations between Greece and Macedonia and both countries could work closely in good spirit to deal with all issues.

«I believe that the deal between Greece and FYROM is a good deal, one that puts forward the interests of both countries and enhances security and good neighborly relations,» the lawmaker said.

Dr. Mavroudeas noted that there was a need to separate relationships between the people of the two countries and the relationships between the elites of the two countries.

«Unfortunately, the purpose of this agreement is not this [to bring friendship between the people of the two countries]. It has been pushed upon both countries by the big Western powers in order to control the situation in the Balkans,» the expert said.

© AP Photo / Matt Dunham

Concerned About Russian ‘Mischief,’ US Defense Secretary to Visit Macedonia

He added that the EU and the US were trying to close issues in the area in order to engulf it in the EU and NATO and that the Prespes agreement is part of this strategy along with the idea of a land exchange between Serbia and Kosovo.

«In fact, the Prespes agreement has fomented nationalist and far-right trends in both countries and actually worsened the possibility of amicable relations between the people of the two countries,» Dr. Mavroudeas said.

What Will Macedonia’s EU And NATO Membership Bring

«Regional security will be strengthened, bilateral and multilateral cooperation will be advanced and the entire Balkan region could enter into a new era of enhanced cooperation,» Papadimoulis said.

The lawmaker added that political, economic, commercial synergies could multiply something important for all adjacent states.

However Dr. Mavroudeas expressed opinion of no benefit in Macedonia’s participation in the EU and NATO.

«The participation in the EU would make the weak and already dependent FYROM economy even weaker. Greece and other euro-peripheral economies have a bitter taste from this participation that made their economies weaker and simple appendages of those of the euro-core economies,» Dr. Mavroudeas said.

 

Way the Referendum Over Macedonia Naming Formulated Is ‘Scam in Itself’ – Author

The expert highlighted that the people of Macedonia would probably learn through the hard way something that the Greek people learned similarly, that the EU instead of gifts and wealth brings pain and poverty.

«Moreover, NATO is always the long arm of US aggression and its record is well-known. Instead of stabilization and peace it brings conflicts and war,» the expert stated.

The country’s new constitutional name will open the way for Macedonia’s accession to the European Union and NATO, which has long been blocked by Athens over concerns that the neighboring country might have territorial claims to Greece’s own region of the same name.

 

Comment on SYRIZA’s new law implementing troika’s demands – PressTV News 16-1-2018

This is the video of a short comment in PressTV News (16-1-2018) on SYRIZA’s new multi-article law implementing troika’s demands and imposing furter austerity measures on the Greek people.