By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos 17/06/2018
US-NATO-EU provoke chaos in Greece and in Balkans
Maybe it is the best agreement ever signed…Maybe by applying it, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, will enter an era of great friendship and enormous prosperity…
Maybe…The only small detail is that the majority of the deputies of the Greek Parliament do not believe that the Agreement is so good. Not only did the parties of the Opposition declare that they oppose the Agreement and won’t ratify it but even AN.EL., the junior partner of SYRIZA in the government says that it will vote NO when it is introduced in Parliament. The population does not believe it either. 70% of those asked in the polls, including 50% of the SYRIZA voters, answered they are against the Agreement.
The Opposition asked the Government to hold a vote in Parliament on the Agreement before Mr Tsipras and Mr Kotzias, the Foreign Minister, sign it. The Government refused the request and also refused the calls for a Referendum coming from many sides and personalities, including Mikis Theodorakis, the legendary symbol of the International Leftist movement. But no, Tsipras and Kotzias presume to know better what is good for the people than the people themselves.
Given the official opposition of the parties commanding the majority of deputies of the Parliament, the clear opposition of the people and other circumstances which we will try to elucidate, the signing of the Agreement between Mr Tsipras and the Prime Minister of FYROM, Mr Zaev, was nothing less than a political, if not a legal -stricto senso- coup d’ etat against the Greek constitutional order and the principles of Popular and National Sovereignty, with the sole aim of opening the way for FYROM to join NATO and the EU -and this irrespective of the opinion one may hold of the Agreement itself.
As we said, everybody can have an opinion about this Agreement (*). But there is a much larger and probably far more important question than how to solve the dispute between Greece and FYROM. And this question is: Who rules Greece and FYROM? Their citizens and elected Parliaments, or US, Germany, NATO and the EU?
Mr Kotzias and Mr Tsipras arguably may have had technically the right to sign this Agreement, but they did not have any legitimacy to do so, as the Greek political parties commanding a majority of deputies in the Greek Parliament have expressed their disagreement with it in the most official way.
A closer look at the Agreement will persuade anyone that instead of solving, it seals and perpetuates the existing differences between Greeks and Macedonian Slavs. The main aim of the Agreement is to open the way for FYROM to join NATO and then, the differences of the two nations will be used to provide the US with a permanent tool to use the one nation against the other. The Agreement was conceived to facilitate US-NATO advanced strategic planning for controlling the Balkans by encircling, containing and threatening Russia.
The Agreement has also the potential of destabilizing and provoking much greater instability, conflicts and chaos in the region, including in Greece itself. In addition to the problems outlined above concerning the Greek side there are also doubts whether Mr Zaev himself, who came into power in 2016, as a result of a ‘color revolution’ greatly helped by US Secret Services, has also sufficient legitimization to sign this Agreement.
Only by a series of ‘legal’ coups d’ etat and flagrant violations of the most elementary democratic and parliamentarian rules and procedures, which we will expose in detail, Tsipras and Kotzias were able to sign this Agreement. Of course, such massive violations of democratic rules and legitimacy in a member of the EU do not constitute an obstacle for Federica Mogherini, the EU Representative on Foreign and Security Policy, the EU Commissioner on Enlargement Johannes Hahn, Rosemary DiCarlo, the Deputy General Secretary of the UN and Mathew Nimetz, the UN special Envoy, who were present and celebrated the signing of the Agreement by the lake Prespes, an agreement reflecting the will of the Empire, not the will of the two nations involved.
The Agreement is also strongly supported by US President Trump, the German Government, NATO and the EU. All of them wish to include FYROM in NATO as soon as possible in order for this organization to control the whole of the Balkans. FYROM is located at the very centre of the peninsula, between Albania and Bulgaria and between Greece and Serbia. To control it means to control the whole peninsula. In FYROM the US has established many years ago enormous military installations and the country has become the centre of CIA activities covering all the Balkans. (**)
The only reason Tsipras and Kotzias hastened to sign this Agreement, essentially flouting of the Greek Constitutional Order, with the help of a EU Commission ever eager to attack democratic principles in any member state, is their willingness to satisfy everything that NATO and the US demand of them, something which they also do in all spheres of Foreign and Defense Policy (***).
The signature of this Agreement, against the will of the Parliament and of the people, is the second such grave violation of the very foundations of Democracy in Greece and of the principles of Popular and National Sovereignty, since the flouting of the clear mandate of the 2015 Referendum. In fact this is the continuation of the previous coup of 2015 but without even the shadow of a justification. Back in 2015 Tsipras claimed that he couldn’t do anything else. Now there was no compelling reason to sign this Agreement in such haste other than to satisfy the American desiderata. By thus signing such an agreement, despite its entailing in all likelihood a severe drop in its popularity, this government proved that it is controlled directly by foreign powers in a way no Greek government was ever controlled since the military Dictatorship. The fact that the centres of Western Imperialism were able to control the leadership of the Greek Left, one of the most radical and strong in any European country after WWII is a tremendous triumph of the Empire, and this for many reasons. (****)
The main difference between now and 2015 is that the leading role is now played by the US and NATO. The European Union is relegated to a backstage supporting role, the opposite of what happened in 2015. In 2015 American diplomacy also played an important backstage role in the signing of the Greek capitulation and the Greek Vice-Premier, Mr Dragasakis even went on record to thank the US Administration for its vital contribution to the … surrender of his own government! The supposed “radical left” (SYRIZA) and supposed “radical right” (AN.EL.) were apparently unable to capitulate by themselves and needed outside help even for that!
We said that this new coup d’etat is the continuation of the previous one, because both are included in the project of destroying the Greek nation and Democracy, by turning the Greek state into a western protectorate in all fields, including foreign and defense policies. The Tsipras – Zaev Agreement marks the transition from the economic to the geopolitical colonization of Greece.
Why this is a coup d’ etat
As we already said, it is one question how Greece and FYROM want to regulate their relations and it is altogether another question who holds and how he exercises power in both nations.
n the Greek case, it is clear that the Troika, Germany and the EU are making the law as far as the economy and society are concerned while it is the US and NATO that call the shots where geopolitics is concerned.
But up to now, this was happening without openly defying parliamentary norms. Now we have a clear and open violation of these norms and rules.
This is why we said that the signing of this Agreement is a coup d’ etat, if not in a formal, legal sense at least so in essence, that is politically.
A government has of course the right to sign international agreements, which subsequently have to be ratified by the National Parliament.
But there are some limits to this prerogative. The agreements should not be in clear violation of the peoples’ will or the expressed or implied will of the majority of Parliament!
That is why Mr Tsipras, before going to Brussels to negotiate his surrender following the 2015 Referendum felt the need to go to the Greek Parliament asking for an authorization to negotiate and sign an agreement.
Now not only did he have no authorization of Parliament to sign the Agreement, but the majority of the Greek political parties commanding a majority of deputies in the Greek Parliament have publicly opposed the Agreement he proceeded to sign. Such a procedure would be unthinkable in any other law-ruled country of the world.
There is worse. SYRIZA has refused to put the Agreement to the preliminary approval of Parliament and to satisfy a demand of the Opposition for a vote on it.
Maybe you will ask how a government commanding a majority in Parliament, has not a majority on that particular issue. This is happening because SYRIZA has a parliamentary majority only by adding AN.EL. deputies and AN.EL. is one of the parties opposing the Agreement.
There is even more. It is maybe the first time in the international history of parliamentarianism and of international relations that a Foreign Minister signs an international agreement not only against the will of the majority of his own Parliament, but also without the full support of his own government! One of the two governing parties in Greece, the smaller partner of SYRIZA, AN.EL., also disagrees with the Agreement. This is why Mr Tsipras and Mr Kotzias did not even ask for an authorization from their own Council of Ministers before signing!
Except for SYRIZA, which was voted by less than 20% of the Greek electorate back in September 2015, there is only one other small party, Potami, with four deputies, supporting the Agreement. All the other political parties, from the Communist Party on the far Left to the Golden Dawn on the far Right have opposed the Agreement that Tsipras and Kotzias signed.
Speaking about the institutional order, the only institution of the Greek state which has ever debated and decided about the FYROM issue has been the Council of Heads of Political Parties, which met under the President of the Greek Republic, back in 1992. Then, all the heads of the Greek political parties represented in Parliament, the President of SYN (the predecessor of SYRIZA) included, with the exception of the Communist Party, decided that Greece does not accept for FYROM any name which includes the term Macedonia or its derivatives.
It is true that this is no longer the opinion of most Greek political parties, but nobody bothered to change that decision. If SYRIZA respected in a way the institutions of the Greek State and its Democracy, the least it had to do was to call for convening again this Council, or, alternatively, convening Parliament to ask for a change of this decision to and authorize the Government to negotiate on a different basis.
The Referendum question
The Agreement is not only signed against the will of Parliament, it is also signed against the will of the people.
Hundreds of thousands of people, probably more than a million, have recently demonstrated in Athens and Salonica against SYRIZA’s policy on this question. Those demonstrations were by far the biggest in the country since decades.
The polls show since last February that a persisting absolute majority of Greek citizens are against the policy of the Government on that issue, including half of the SYRIZA voters themselves. According to the latest poll, taken after the Agreement was known, 70% of Greeks reject the Agreement. The influence of SYRIZA in all of northern Greece is collapsing.
All that puts in even greater doubt the political legitimacy of a government signing an agreement like the one just signed, but it also begs the question of the reasons it hastened to do so despite of all the above. Along with many other indications, this clearly shows that the two governing parties of Greece are following strictly the agenda of the United States, and its NATO allies even against their own interests, not to mention the interests of Greece as most Greeks see them.
Given Greece’s history and its great sensitivity on national questions, as well as the deep- rooted divisions in society, which are exacerbated by the fact that many feel and believe that the country is under attack, Mr Tsipras and SYRIZA’s conduct only adds insult on injury and could potentially backfire.
Life sometimes plays strange tricks on people. Mr Tsipras himself, who spent half his life in street demonstrations or organizing occupations of public buildings, went live on TV to brand half a million or more peaceful demonstrators in Athens as a “Mob”. But the polls conducted proved that a clear majority of the demonstrators had voted “No” on the 2015 Referendum, along with the 62% majority.
Those who demonstrate against SYRIZA’s “Macedonia” policy are party to the same deep social revolt of Greeks struggling to save themselves and their nation. Their struggle brought SYRIZA to power not because but in spite of many of its ideas and leading cadres and this because the country was in an emergency situation, facing existential threats and because Tsipras was intelligent enough to adopt revolutionary slogans and ideas from outside his own party, which he consequently betrayed.
It is rather preposterous and certainly unethical to treat like that the demonstrators who went to Constitution Square to hear Mikis Theodorakis, the legendary symbol of the Greek and international Left, or Professor Kasimatis, the leading authority on Constitutional Law in Greece, ex-advisor of PM Andreas Papandreou and an ardent critic of the neo-colonial Loan Agreements imposed on Greece. SYRIZA, in typical Stalinist fashion, portrays all who disagree with its policies as “primitives”, far Right nationalists, ‘forgetting’ that among them there are many intellectuals and politicians on the left, such as the legendary veteran of the Greek Left, Manolis Glezos, condemned nine times to death because of his political ideas and saved from execution because of the mobilization of European personalities, including President Charles De Gaulle, who called him the “first Partisan of Europe”.
By pursuing such policies and attacking all these people as “nationalists”, “extremists”, “far right people”, “populists” etc., SYRIZA is not only committing political suicide, it creates gradually the conditions for a kind of low intensity civil-war in the country and a rise of the far Right, which emerges as the only major force appealing to the Greek national feeling. SYRIZA leaders, besides those who are directly serving foreign interests, may hope that this may strengthen the far-Right at the expense of the conventional Right, but they are playing with fire, completely detached not just from ethical considerations but even from reality.
SYRIZA came to power expressing and then betraying a deep feeling of social and national revolt. But even right-wing Greek nationalism, even when it assumes ‘primitive’ forms, is essentially a defensive nationalism. No Greek claims any territory outside the frontiers of Greece. The popular reaction on the Macedonian question stems from the fears of many Greeks that after the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the dismemberment of Greece is next in line. And in a way this is happening. Though the Greek state and society were not bombed by NATO, as Yugoslavia was, they are being systematically destroyed by economic warfare by the very same forces which destroyed Yugolsavia.
The potential of this question to provoke serious internal strife in Greece is one more reasons why various Greek personalities, including Mikis Theodorakis, have called for a Referendum on the Agreement, a proposal aimed at safeguarding democratic decision-making as well as civil peace in the country.
As we have already said, SYRIZA, for decades an advocate of referendums, rejected such a proposal.
SYRIZA not only does not want a referendum in Greece, it also does not want one in FYROM! The FM Mr Kotzias, in cahoots with the pro-American and pro-NATO leaders of the Albanian community in this country, has even publicly suggested so to the FYROM authorities!
A one-time arch supporter of everything that the Soviets and East Germans were doing, including interventions in Eastern Europe, a Stalinist ideologue who never permitted himself any doubt about the regimes he was serving and a one-time virulent critic of Western Imperialism, Mr Nikos Kotzias left KKE (the Communist Party of Greece) in 1990. Some years later he re-appeared enjoying the full confidence of this same “Western imperialism”, judging from the fact that he served as advisor and mentor of the Greek FM George Papandreou, himself one of the most pro-American Foreign Ministers ever of Greece. He had also served as President of PASOK’s think-tank during its “modernizing”, right-wing turn. After not being appointed as Foreign Minister when Papandreou became Prime Minister, Kotzias gradually begun to criticize his policies. He became one of those who greatly influenced the shaping of Tsipras’s ideas, especially as the latter had very little education, particularly concerning foreign and international policy. It is safe to assume that he has contributed substantially behind the scenes to Mr Tsipras’s and SYRIZA’s pro-western turn, something which was facilitated by the fact that SYRIZA never functioned as a collective, not to mention democratic, political entity. All decisions were taken by Tsipras and a group of close associates, something which greatly facilitated the manipulation of this party by various foreign centres.
The Imperial Strategy is probably to use SYRIZA in a first stage to get from Greece all the concessions they want on Cyprus, the Balkans, the Aegean and vis a vis Turkey and use the entire Greek territory as a gigantic US military base. This is the Plan A, which will most likely be followed by a Plan B, comprising not only the destruction of the SYRIZA leadership, because of the policy it is implementing, but also delivering a huge blow to the underlying, now increasingly orphaned, strong social current of the Greek national, popular and anti-imperialist Left, which has shaped Greek politics since the time of the epic Resistance to Nazi Occupation.
Undermining Democracy and National States: the Legal Tricks of the Agreement concerning NATO and its Ratification
The Agreement as signed is constructed in such a way as
1. To produce as quickly as possible and before the text is ratified by the Greek Parliament a maximum of results as far as FYROM’s integration in NATO is concerned.
2. To create enormous political pressure upon the Greek Parliament in order to make it nearly impossible for it not to ratify it.
All that is attempted by reversing the usual chronology for the implementation of an international agreement:
In the first phase the Agreement will be submitted to FYROM’s Parliament for ratification but not to the Greek Parliament! If FYROM’s Parliament ratifies it, Athens will revoke its veto to FYROM’s joining NATO and the EU and the Alliance will issue an invitation to FYROM to join it. All that before the Agreement is submitted to the Greek Parliament.
That means that the political and military integration of FYROM into NATO will begin, with Americans taking care to make as much as possible a sheer formality of the final act of inclusion of FYROM, which has to be ratified by all parliaments of the Members of NATO.
If things go as planned and FYROM takes all the necessary steps it has to take, including changing its constitution and possibly sealing all that through a Referendum, then and only then will the Greek Parliament examine the Agreement and decide whether it accepts it and whether it accepts FYROM in NATO.
In theory, the Greek deputies have the possibility to stop all that. But how easy will be for FYROM to have begun accession negotiations with NATO and EU, to have satisfied all conditions put by the Greek Government and then suddenly for the Greek deputies to say “wait a moment, all that was a mistake”. If they so it enormous pressures will be exercised on Greece and it will be accused of fraud.
We repeat, one can agree or disagree with the content of this Agreement and with this or that solution of the dispute between Greece and FYROM. But no one has the right to impose one’s views by organizing coups d’ etat and circumventing the Constitutional Order and Democracy itself. The fact that this is accepted and even supported by the European Commission in the case of one of the members of the European Union (which ironically also happens to be the birth place of Democracy!) constitutes one more serious proof of how far down the road towards becoming a totalitarian structure the EU has gone in its subservience to NATO and International Finance.
(*)As it happens with all agreements, there are those who like them and those who do not like them. In Greece there are those who believe that Athens should not recognize any state whose name includes the term Macedonia or its derivatives. There are also people who say that FYROM can have the name it wishes to have. In the middle there are people who say Greece cannot deny to Slav Macedonians altogether the use of the term Macedonia, but in such a form which will make clear that they represent a part, but not the whole of the region of Macedonia, as Slav Macedonian nationalism claims and as the Agreement outright stipulates by recognizing the ‘Slavomacedonian’ language as simply “Macedonian” (!) and the nationality of the citizens of “Northern Macedonian” as simply “Macedonian”!! Equally conflicting views exist in FYROM. This dispute did not create any problem in the relations between two countries and nobody was worrying about it until recently, when Washington asked the Tsipras and Zaev governments to solve it quickly, in order for FYROM to be invited to NATO next July and to be given pre-accession status to the EU.
(**) We remind our readers that this region of SE Europe, of critical importance in any war with Russia, has been transformed into a chain of small, socially and economically ruined and plundered and closely controlled western protectorates. Germany and other European countries are looting them systematically, but it is NATO and the US that make the Law, as far as geopolitics is concerned. There are only some “details” left for the full control of the whole region, such as incorporating all Western Balkan states into NATO and its affiliate, the EU, and organizing regime-change in Serbia.
(****)First, they are able to use the SYRIZA-AN.EL. Government in Athens to get concessions from Greece in foreign and military policy that no other government would be able to deliver to them.
Second, they use this policy to destroy the social basis of the Greek Left, to put the SYRIZA leaders into an open clash with both their social base and the national feeling of Greeks. They want to finish-off with one of the deepest social, national and anti-imperialist currents shaping Greek politics and ideology which has its roots in the Greek Resistance to the triple, German-Italian-Bulgarian Fascist occupation, the strongest and deepest resistance of any European country besides the Soviet Union.
Third, they want to create, if possible, a current of primitive nationalist far-Right, as a result of a series of betrayals by SYRIZA.
Such a development may be useful to some in the next stage of the Greek, European and Middle Eastern crisis. A low intensity civil war, an outright dictatorship or a war with Turkey or in the Balkans cannot be excluded