Say what you will, but the fact of the matter is that many leftists of the Syriza persuasion (intrinsically ahistorical and naïve) would not have a problem accepting the use of the name Macedonia by Greece’s northern neighbor if Greek public opinion was not so much staunchly against it.
Following the recent incident with alternate Immigration Minister Yannis Mouzalas, who failed to use the full name of northern neighbor the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in a late-night interview, Syriza MP Makis Balaouras has now come out saying that he would not personally oppose the use of the name Macedonia by FYROM.
Mr. Balaouras made the comments to radio station Parapolitika, describing in fact the whole matter as of third-rate importance.
Anyone familiar with the views of the Syriza crowd would not be surprised by Mr. Balaoura’s views. Foreign policy issues have always been treated with minimal respect by the so-called Greek Radical Left and there is a general aversion to anything having to do with ancient Greece.
Indeed, while Minister Mouzalas apologized immediately after his improper use of the name Macedonia in connection with FYROM, Syriza’s leadership defended the minister, thereby disclosing its own stance on the matter.
In his radio interview with Parapolitika, Mr. Balaouras also defended Mr. Mouzalas and explained the pressure for his resignation put on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras by defense minister Panos Kammenos, the head of the ruling coalition’s junior party, as a move motivated purely by domestic political considerations.
Syriza’s MP claimed that the leader of Independent Greeks (ANEL) felt pressure himself from various extreme right-wing elements, hence his call for Minister Mouzalas’ resignation. In so doing, Mr. Balaouras categorically denied the fact that ANEL represents a nationalist extreme-right wing party, thereby adding insult to injury.
Anyone familiar with the political tactics of the Syriza crowd also would not be surprised by the ease with which Mr. Balaouras twisted reality to serve political ends. Collaborating with a nationalist right-wing party is the ultimate duplicity of an organization that parades itself as radical left.
As leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, Alexis Tsipras used extreme Machiavellianism to ease people and situations in order to rise to power. Just ask giants of the Greek left such as Mikis Theodorakis and Manolis Glezos, among so many others, how they feel about the way they were used by Greece’s current prime minister.
Indeed, is there a more dangerous combination in the real world of politics than leaders and/or entire political organizations who are either ignorant or insensitive to history and foreign affairs but extremely apt in using the most devious methods to rise in power?
Alexis Tsipras and his marginalized leftist party prior to the outbreak of the Greek debt crisis won the January 25, 2015 elections by making promises (abolish regressive property tax, restore the minimum wage to pre-crisis levels, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs) that all rational and astute observers knew could not be materialized.
But after six years of a severe depression in which output had shrunk by 25 percent and unemployment went through the roof, rising from 9 percent in 2009 to 27.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014 before dropping to still unbearably high levels at 25.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014, the Greek electorate seemed to have had enough with austerity, misery, poverty, authoritarianism and national humiliation and handed power to Syriza, apparently willing to believe any newcomer political charlatan who promised immediate relief.
Then of course there is also the infamous austerity referendum of July 5, 2015, which added a new chapter to Syriza’s Machiavellian bent as a political organization thirsty for power.
In a televised address to the nation just a few days before the bailout referendum, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appealed to voters’ emotions and their national pride and urged them to say “No.” In turn, he assured them that he will personally find a solution with Greece’s creditors, even though he failed to do so after five months of non-stop negotiations.
Lo and behold, political rhetoric worked its magic again with Greek voters as the “no” vote prevailed by a very wide margin in a ridiculous referendum over a proposal that was no longer on the table and while the bailout programme had already expired.
Indeed, in so doing, Greek voters seem to have forgotten that the Syriza government had evolved into a master of lies and deception.
At the June 22 euro summit, the leftist Greek government had submitted a proposal that was very much in line with the logic of the infamous troika’s bailout programme, although both Germany and the IMF still found it “insufficient” and placed demands for more blood and tears.
In addition, a few days after the decision for a referendum had been made, the Syriza government sought to get approval for a new two-year bailout programme, in exchange for 29 billion euros ($32bn), only to be turned again by the eurozone’s hegemon, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel stating rather laconically that there can be no further talks before the referendum.
But this was typical of how the Syriza-led government had been approaching negotiations with Greece’s creditors since its rise to power defiance one moment and capitulation the next.
Less than a week after the Greek people had cast a historic and determined “no” to austerity, Alexis Tsipras signed a new bailout agreement with Greece’s creditors that contained in some respects even harsher measures than the two previous ones.
Back to the issue of the use of the name Macedonia by FYROM, Syriza’s stance on the “Macedonia” naming dispute and on Greece’s northern neighbor to reappropriate Greek history and culture as its own was always highly ambiguous at best, downright confused at worse. Same goes about maritime borers with regard to the Aegean sea.
Nonetheless, the recent comments made by Syriza’s representatives with regard to the use of the name Macedonia speak volumes of what action the Tsipras government would take on the matter if it did not fear facing an open rebellion by the Greek people in the event that it proceeded to accept the distortion of Greek history.
History will be extremely harsh towards the Syriza-led government for various reasons. No doubt about that. But this is what happens when you have in power an astonishingly ahistorical-minded and Machiavellian bent political organization.