Interview with Liana Kanelli an independent MP elected under the flag of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) for the last twelve years in four consecutive elections. Ms. Kanelli has been a journalist for 36 years and holds a degree in law. By Moira Dalgetty, our correspondent in the Edinburgh of the South.
What do you see as being the historical/political context for the situation Greece is now in?
LK: To understand what’s happening in Greece now, you have to go back 40 years or more. You have to know that this country, this nation, are the people about whom Winston Churchill said after the Second World War: “Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks”, and this should never be forgotten.
We gave our blood for independence, we fought with no money, no weapons. We built an anti-Nazi front in which not only the Communist Party but 95% of the Greek people took part in, we delayed the invasion in Russia, we practically helped our western allies to win the war. But then, after everything that happened in the Middle East at that time, after the king that was imposed on us, we ended up being a country that had lost half its population to famine after the civil war in addition to those killed during the Second World War, whilst in the rest of Europe there was prosperity and re-building after the war, with the Germans getting away without paying us reparations.
To keep all the money they made out of the war with their Anglo-Saxon partners, capitalists that had made all the money using the German need for war – now this information is in the public domain, everyone knows that I’m telling the truth since it can be confirmed - we spent another 4 years in a dreadful, British-motivated civil war until we became an American ‘protectorate’ : we were handed to the Americans by the British. So, when Europe was rebuilding its future, here in Greece we were practically torn apart, having lost half of our population as I have said between soldiers and civilians under German occupation, then in addition our youth that left to work in German factories as gastarbeiters.
And then, when we started having some hopes of being something like a so-called very conventional type of democracy, we had the Cyprus case and then a dictatorship for seven years. When our young people overthrew the dictatorship, then we started living and breathing. Democracy came, then hope came, and loans came, and we closed the wounds of the civil war or at least we tried to, and we became little by little a modern society where people fought in the streets for their rights, using the experience of not being dependent, but finally we were betrayed from the inside as always happens.
The ruling class betrayed us just 30 years after the restoration of the so-called democracy. To save our necks from the dictatorship, we lost half of Cyprus. Then we became part of NATO and the EU and are now being portrayed as a rogue economic state because this suits the big money interests and the bullies of capitalism all over the world. We are an example of very tough-fighting, hard-working people and we have to be taught our lesson – OBEY. This is the case historically – we have to obey the new world order, the disguised international monetary dictatorship of the banks.
How do you interpret what is happening now?
The Greek people have already defaulted. Rights, gains, salaries, laws that we paid for with our own blood – all of this has been taken from us. Now they have started asset-stripping, as they call it, because Greece is in a strategic area, very rich, with oil – which is black gold – but with real gold too, which is the sun, the beauty, the history, the sea, the smiling people, the cosmopolitan attitude, being between east and west, with culture and dreams – it’s a very expensive piece of land that costs a lot to take possession of. So they have to strip the morale from the people, and the value of the land, so that they can buy cheaply, and I think that they need it as a very luxurious base to create the so-called pre-announced Great Middle East which starts from Tunisia and ends up on the frontiers of Afghanistan and China. And they need to be able to come here and rest when they invade Syria and Iran. This is the case, and I think that they are going back to the Second World War, but this time in modern terms and with modern weapons – stock markets, CDSs, hedge funds – these are the Messerschmitts and the Panzers of the new, modern world. We are going back to neo-colonialism, we are going back to new slavery, because what is a slave today? It’s just a working person laboring under “modern” ideas, deprived of our rights as human beings.Now the same capitalists come to Greece to take poor people to Switzerland, Germany, Malaysia and China to work for Chinese salaries and live in Indian prosperity.
What thoughts do you have about Scotland as it goes toward a referendum on independence?
LK: I’ve been watching Scotland for three-and-a-half decades as a journalist specializing in foreign affairs. I’ve always been in love with ideas about an independent Scotland, and I think the Scots should fight for that. We, the Greeks and Scots, are very similar, and you could teach your Scottish children about Messolonghi*. For an exodus, you need to sacrifice something, and it’s not civilized to accept being unable to decide what’s happening for yourselves. You will not be independent if you don’t get out of the EU, which has turned into a den of capitalist wolves.
My youth was spent living through a junta, and I can’t see a difference between that and what’s happening today. Practically, juntas are more civilized, because at least they do not disguise themselves – they wear their uniforms and they show their weapons; they don’t wear ties and suits, playing the democrats around financial Camelots. You have to be independent and choose your friends and your enemies of your own free will and not out of the needs that somebody else creates for you. And as far as joining the Euro is concerned – watch what’s happening to us! You will end up enslaved to bankers who live a lot further away than London.
*Messolonghi, declared a sacred town of immortal heroes due to its important role in the Greek Revolution against the Turks, where the poet and Philhellene Lord Byron fought alongside the Greeks in their struggle for freedom.