First published July 7, 2015

The «head to head» in the Greek referendum, the propaganda of mass media, disclosed a resounding head bashing against the wall for domestic and international supporters of the «Yes» campaign. The Greek people have said «No» not only to the «austerity» measures imposed by the EU, the ECB and the IMF, but, essentially to a certain system: the capitalist system that suffocates genuine democracy.

The implications of the referendum transcend the economic sphere, implicating political and strategic interests not only of Brussels, but (something noone talks about) those of Washington. President Obama has declared that he is «deeply implicated» in the Greek crisis, that «we are taking serious consideration of it», working with European partners so as «to be prepared for any eventuality». Why so much attention on Greece? Because not only is it a member of the EU but also NATO. A «solid ally», as the Secretary-General Stoltenberg defines it, that plays an important role in the troops of rapid deployment and sets a good example in military spending. Greece allocates more than 2% of its GDP to this, a target reached in Europe only by Great Britain and Estonia.

Although Stoltenberg reassures «the continual commitment of the Greek Government in the Alliance», in Washington they fear that, by sidling up to Russia and in fact to China, Tsipras’ Greece, jeopardizes its membership of NATO. Prime Minister Tsipras has declared that «we do not agree with the sanctions against Russia» and, at the EU Summit, he took the position that «the new architecture for European Security must include Russia». In a Tsipras-Putin meeting, that took place in April in Moscow, there was talk about the possibility of Greece becoming the European hub of the new pipeline, replacing the South Stream blocked by Bulgaria under US pressure, that, crossing Turkey, will carry Russian gas to the EU’s doorstep [1].

There is also the possibility of Greece receiving financing from the Development Bank established by Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and by the Investment Bank for Asian Infrastructure established by China, that wants to make Piraeus, an important hub for its trade network.

«Greece, a friend to Moscow, could paralyze the NATO’s ability to respond to Russian aggression» [2], Zbigniew Brzezinski (a former strategic adviser of the White House) has warned, articulating the conservatives’ position. The progressive position is expressed by James Galbraith, a Professor of Government and Business Relations at the University of Texas. He has worked for several years with Yanis Varoufakis, who became the Greek Finance Minister (and who has now resigned), to whom he has provided «informal support» in recent days [3].

Galbraith sustains that, despite the role the CIA played in the 1967 coup, that brought colonels to power in Greece on the basis of NATO’s plan «Prometheus», «the Greek Left has changed and this government is pro-American and a committed member of NATO». Therefore he proposes that, «if Europe fails, states together can be moved to help Greece, which, being a small country, can be saved by minor measures, which include a guarantee on loans.» [4].

Both positions are dangerous for Greece. If Washington chooses the conservative position, it advances Nato’s new plan «Prometheus» at «Syntagma Square» along the lines of «Maidan Square» in Ukraine. If the progressives triumph, an operation bearing a neo-colonial stamp that would make Greece fall into the frying pan in the embers. The only way left is a fierce popular battle for the defense of national sovereignty and democracy.

Anoosha Boralessa
Il Manifesto (Italy)

[1Möglicher Deal zwischen Athen und Moskau : Griechenland hofft auf russische Pipeline-Milliarden”, Von Giorgos Christides, Der Spiegel, 18. April 2015. «Poutine et Tsípras examinent le projet Turkish Stream», Anadolu Agency, 7 mai 2015. «Soutenu par Poutine, Tsípras signe un accord avec Gazprom», par Benjamin Quenelle, Les Échos, 22 juin 2015.

[3Modeste proposition pour résoudre la crise de la zone euro, Yánis Varoufákis, James K. Galbraith et Stuart Holland (préface de Michel Rocard), Les Petits matins,‎ 2014 (ISBN 978-2363831248)

[4US must rally to Greece”, James K. Galbraith, The Boston Globe, February 19, 2015.