“The rapid developments in Greece and Italy are -above all- dramatically confirming one thing: neoliberalism is incompatible with democracy.
The bipartisan preachers of ultra-austerity and social destruction are terrified of being exposed to popular verdict. That’s why they refuse to go to extra-ordinary elections, first in Greece and now in Italy and, instead, invent the tragically ironic task of “national salvation”. In the name of this task, they have now appointed the ex Vice-President of the ECB, Lucas Papademos, as the new Prime Minister of the country.
This illegitimate “salvation government” is asking for the maximum possible consensus, in order to fullfil its tasks: to impose new authoritarian and brutal austerity measures, reinforce social cuts and boost unemployment rates to unprecedented levels (18.4% in Greece, in October 2011).
This new governmental “party of the Memorandum” consists of PASOK (PES), New Democracy (EPP) and the extreme-right wing party of LAOS, and is also suppported by the Democratic Alliance (ALDE) and the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV). It is the first time after the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974, that four representatives of the populist right-wing, who have often openly expressed their reactionary, xenophobic and ultra-nationalist ideals, undertake ministerial and vice-ministerial positions, under the approval of a party calling itself a socialist one.
The formation of this “unholy alliance” in Greece is not an isolated incident. The European Left has repeatedly warned that Greece has been the guinea-pig of the troika, the markets and their local collaborators, and this includes a continuous and dangerous experimentation on how to override democratic procedures, parliamentary and public control and the constitutional rule.
They are now getting ready to extend the experiment of a “national salvation” government to Italy, with Mario Monti, an ex Commisioner, getting ready to undertake the position of the Prime Minister and lead a government which will consist of technocrats and will be supported by both Berlusconi’s party and the Democratic Party.
These developments are jeopardizing democracy and put Europe into a period of unprecedented authoritarianism, with social and political rights being constantly reduced and brutally violated.
At these crucial moments, the European Left is firmly standing on the side of the Greek and the Italian Left forces and social movements. We are calling upon all left, progressive and democratic forces in Europe, to escalate our common mobilizations and unitary initiatives, in order to defend democracy at all levels, against this new reactionary “International of Financial Authoritarianism”. ”
Press Release of the European Left, Brussels, 13/11/2011