By Anastassios D. Retzios,
The Greek mass media and press, almost in their totality, ignored the most important piece of news last week. In fact, it is the most important news of the year. It was announced last week that Marteen Werwey would lead the EU team that would oversee the Greek government at Athens. The communique stated simply that he would have a direct line to the office of the prime-minister, but since the Greek prime minister is bound to agree (without equivocation or possibility of an appeal) with whatever Marteen Werwey says, dear Mr. Werwey is the real governor of Greece. No ifs or buts. He rules the place. Have you voted for him? Of course not! Because there is not real democracy in Greece. The elections are just the medium required to produce a majority in the parliament that would facilitate the governance of this territory (no longer a state) by Marteen Werwey.
Who is Mr. Marteen Werwey? He was, prior to his appointment to Athens, the deputy director for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission. He is a mid-level functionary. Here is a summary of the resume:
The terms of the 3rd memorandum give Mr. Werwey a really broad authority in Greece. In the first place, he is leading a large deputation which will take control of most ministries of government and several of its services. In fact, the Greek Statistical Service would be directly under his control. What else would be under his control? Well, just all the income of the Greek state (which goes to an escrow account controlled by the troika), the whole investment banking control and, wait for this, all the property of the Greek state which Dr. Werwey must sell in order to pay back mostly the Germans. Is there anything here that needs further explanation?
Virtually all obsequious Greek politicians (and they are obsequious in their totality) will pay their respects to Mr. Werwey; if they can, they would kiss his feet. They would take their marching orders and do his bidding. Then, they would go out and say the usual pack of lies that they have been saying for 5 years. The total lack of dissonance between the Greek politicians (new and old alike) and the Greek public is amazing. While the public voted against the neo-liberal policies of the memoranda twice this year (in the January elections and the July referendum), 222 deputies out of 300 voted in the 3rd memorandum!!! Amazing!
The most amazing fact, of course, is the credulity, disorientation and bafflement (let’s not use the term “stupidity”, for politeness sake) of the Greek public. Looking at the latest polls, about 70% of the public is ready to vote for parties that support the memorandum explicitly. Incompetent and immoral politicians claim that the 3rd memorandum was “necessary for the salvation of the country” but it was also “an odious agreement made under duress”!!! Well, it has to be one or the other!!! If it was an odious agreement with disastrous results, how can it be necessary for the salvation of the country????? I am amazed that not a single Greek journalist has the guts to call it as it is and that the public is “eating” this “hook, line and sinker”. Again, the incompetent and unethical Mr. Tsipras claims that he will “deviate” from the memorandum in undeclared and unspecified ways. I have news for him. He should listen to Mr. Winston Churchill who stated that “You may fool all of the people for a sort time; or you may fool some people all the time; but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. He should take this under advisement.
But all of this is irrelevant noise with no real impact. Because, whoever is elected prime minister of Greece, or whatever the winning party or coalition may be, they would simply enforce the orders of Mr. Marteen Werwey. He would approve all the laws to be passed (in fact, there is a special office in Brussels that would examine, modify and amend all proposed legislation). The Greek government would simply have to agree….or it would not get any money. And since Mr. Marteen Werwey controls all state income, all functions of the government and all state property, good luck in trying to do anything that he does not approve. Not to mention that the permanent executive secretaries of all key ministries are troika appointees. And this is stated to last, wait.,wait, until 2072 (at the earliest!).
So, if you want to vote for any of the memorandum parties, just do not bother. Mr. Werwey has you covered.
I should not be really terribly surprised about this turn of affairs. Only a couple of days ago, a Greek Cypriot correspondent in the forum told me (personal communication) that the Greeks in Cyprus are nostalgic of British rule and that the Europeans may do a better job ruling Greece than the Greeks have done!!! I was amazed, to be certain. But for a nation that produced a Gennadios Scholarius, this should not be terribly unexpected.
This level of toadiness, obsequiousness and slavishness should not really be surprising. The majority of Greeks suffer from such an inferiority complex and they are so fearful of the world around them that even the suggestion of exiting the Eurozone and/or the EU provokes statements such as “but who can we depend on to help us ?”. In the mere suggestion of such exits, they are “shaking in their booties”. There is no pride, there is no self-assurance, there is no spine.
Does Greece deserve to be independent and sovereign? On the evidence, I would say “probably not”. I would assume that this was probably what Byssarion and Gemistos Pletho thought in the 15th century, as well. Gennadios Scholarius was simply a maggot on a corpse.
Anastassios D. Retzios, PhD
San Ramon, California, USA