Starting point Thessaloniki, April 28-29
In the summer of 2015 Mr. Schäuble’s most hardcore follower in the Eurogroup, the Slovakian Minister of Finance Mr Kazimir, justified the brutal treatment towards Greece’s efforts to unblock the country from Memorandum absurdity by saying:
“We had to be strict with Athens, because of the Greek spring.”
Without hesitation he referred to the will of a nation to escape a situation of serfdom as something to be stifled. Greece’s Spring had to be suppressed – just like what happened in Prague.
Many people ask me why have we been going around Europe for almost a year and a half now with DiEM25, trying to create to first genuinely internationalist Pan-European movement that will oppose to the Europe’s Deep Establishment (the notions of which are being spread with great effort by its “stable boys” like Kazimir) as well as the Nationalist forces (both right and left) whose seek a return to a political environment of nation state. “It’s all very nice in Berlin, in Rome, in Vienna and in Dublin. But what about Greece?” they ask. The answer is simple:
Our goal was to save (in spite of the different “Kazimirs” of the world inside and outside the country) the spirit of Greece’s Spring to spread it around Europe (where the ground was already set by a seven-year period of crisis), to set the fundamentals of a new, unprecedented Pan-European progressive movement (that will confront the deepest causes of a crisis that smother countries like Greece in a crumbling Europe) and only then, return to Greece reinforced to bring back hope to the country that gave birth to it.
Now, in spring 2017, we feel it’s about time DiEM25 should return to Greece, thereby returning the spirit of the Greek Spring to its birthplace, in spite of the different “Kazimirs” of Greece and other countries. And so this is what we’re doing, starting in Thessaloniki on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29.
Why Thessaloniki? Because Greece’s Spring wasn’t just about Athens. Because Thessaloniki is the city where the first working class assembly took place even before its incorporation to the Greek nation, the city that lead the fight for democracy in the spring of ‘36 against the dynasty of Metaxas, the city that organized against the defamation of our Jewish compatriots and lived through the slaughter of Chortiatis and the blocking of Kalamaria in the German occupation, the city that became the final resting place of Grigoris Labrakis in 1963 and of Yiannis Chalkidis a few months later after the “Ethnosotirios”.
Why now? A month ago on March 25, and while European leaders were “celebrating” in Rome the 60th anniversary of the EU, we in DiEM25 were announcing in a press conference and later that night in Teatro Italia, our complete proposal concerning both financial and political matters for every corner of Europe (countries both in and out of the EU)- the “European New Deal”. At the same time, we announced that DiEM25 will work systematically to enable every European citizen to vote for the “European New Deal” in the next European elections of 2019.
Having established ourselves almost all over Europe, and after publishing an exciting, realistic and groundbreaking financial and political proposal (the “European New Deal”), DiEM25 is now ready to return to its roots, in Greece and particularly in Thessaloniki.
So on Friday, April 28, in a press conference taking place in “Vellideio” (auditorium “Kassandros”, 11:00 am), a new financial and political proposal will be announced with the title “Greek New Deal. It is the first time that an agenda instantly applicable to our country will be presented, which is simultaneously directly linked and interconnected to a complete agenda of financial and social politics for Europe (our “European New Deal”).
Two questions will be answered at the press conference:
The first question is also the obvious one “What needs to happen in this country tomorrow morning?” The answer lies in two national goals and six necessary reforms. The two national goals are: (1) Debt restructuring for both private and public debts and (2) The stable reduction of all tax rates and of the fixed cost in financial activities.
The six necessary reforms that these two goals demand are: tax rates, medium-term budgetary objective (and the corresponding restructuring of public debts), the creation of a Public Payment System (whose goal among other uses will be the fight against poverty), the management of red loans, the creation of an investment bank and finally the respect and relief of employment and entrepreneurship.
The next important question is: “Considering the Troika and the Eurogroup will veto any rational financial and political proposal that goes against its destructive prototype (i.e. the Memorandum and the “review”) how will the six reforms that the “Greek New Deal” demands be applied?” How will mistakes such as the ones in 2015 be avoided? How will we escape the so-called “negotiations” and reviews” whose “closing” guarantees the desertification of the country?
These two questions will be answered, and the answers will be discussed with journalists in the press conference on Friday, April 28. The next night, Saturday, April 29, DiEM25 will open its doors once again, in an open event in order to get to know one another and discuss the “Greek New Deal”, to organize and “breathe” together. After 7:30 pm, the doors of the “Thessaloniki” auditorium in “Vellideio” will open. The play of George Maniotis called “The Tree”, starring Nikos Magdalinos, will take place before the event. Around 9:15pm the main event will begin where the voices of members of the movement from Greece and the rest of Europe will address our answer to the challenges of our time. Later, following DiEM25’s pattern in the rest of Europe, people participating will be given the opportunity to self-organise according to municipality and area. The night conclued with a live performance from Cosmicray.
Unlike those who call upon Europe to support the constant suffocation of Greece and other countries like ours, under the weight of political practices that destroy Europe and the European perspective of all its countries, we don’t LIVE in Europe – we ARE Europe! The tens of thousands members of DiEM25 in countries like Germany, Netherlands and Belgium are the Europe that instead of trying by any means to suppress the spirit of Greece’s Spring, fights to keep it alive and set it in service of their own country in the concept of a Europe that saves itself, because it deserves to do so in a way that serves best the majority of its citizens.
Translation by Vasilis Rokos.
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