documentary produced/narrated by Paul Mason
First episode of our four-part series telling the story of the European Union’s confrontation with the Greek Syriza party in 2015. With unprecedented access to key Greek politicians.
troika formed to bail out greece
troika – european union, european central bank, international monetary fund
condition of bailout was extreme austerity
In economics, austerity is a set of policies with the aim of reducing government budget deficits. Policies grouped under the term ‘austerity measures’ may include spending cuts, tax increases, or a mixture of both, and may be undertaken to demonstrate the government’s fiscal discipline to creditors and credit rating agencies by bringing revenues closer to expenditures.
In most macroeconomic models austerity measures generally increase unemployment as government spending falls, reducing jobs in the public and/or private sector, while tax increases reduce household disposable income, and thus reducing consumption
1.5 mill unemployed.. over 50% unemployment for young.. more than 5000 suicides.. 1/4 of greek economy destroyed
past 5 yrs destroyed hospitals, schools, families.. one party promised to end the pain – syriza
people vote to end troika/bailouts
pm yanis stands up … and shortly after.. ebs stops lending to greek banks..
young give up on politics.. find alt ways to live, ie: squats
tsipras claims to defy lenders, raise wages, cut taxes for poor… greek democracy vs eurozone
yet for all defiance.. the harsh reality of bankruptcy is looming
in a panic fearing they’ll use savings…greeks have pulled 8 bill euros out of banks in 20 days.. to stop it yanis is forced to accept whatever’s on the table..
austerity measures continue, bailout extended 4 months, europe gets a veto over all greek laws
march 2015 – 4 months till greece goes bankrupt
they want the debt cancelled.. 353 bill euros
it europe ceases to be about human beings.. it ceases to be europe..
most of bailout money was spent saving europe’s banks… only 11% of it went to greek people
for 5 yrs when germany demanded more austerity greek politicians said .. how much.. with syriza in power.. greece is saying no
pm passes law to give food to poorest in greece.. europe passes a law telling him not to do it
probably only country in world that we pay our creditors w/our blood – tsipras
9 min – finally someone asks right question.. how did greece come up to so much debt… a: greece was forced into the original bailout.. human rights law was broken.. that means in an international court.. the debt could be written off..
they sacrificed the greek people to save the foreign banks..
on the streets people treat varoufakis like a hero .. but the lenders can’t stand him… saying he’s a time waster..
we’re not elected to sit in offices.. travel around.. we’re elected to face the greek people and day to them that we did our best to end this cycle of diminuation, indignity, of recession of poverty – yanis
varoufakis’ radical attacks aren’t working, tsipras excludes him from talks to try to get a deal
jun 4 – but there is no deal
they have to do something big. so they do. stop paying the imf. something no developed country has ever done… suddenly.. the fight is on.
zoe’s report.. declaring debt illegal.. brings the people back onto the streets..
not just satisfied w/truth.. but ask for justice.. for lives back… none of us is afraid. the greek people are ready. they’re ready for a change. – zoe
jun 21 – only 9 days of bailout money left
streets are filled w/a new kind of protester – terrified that greece will get kicked out of euro… others think syriza has compromised quite enough.. pensioners take to streets as well
tsipras says.. referendum.. people will vote on conditions.. europe ordering people to vote yes.. people are furious..
nearly all tv channels openly supporting yes campaign.. ysipras fears he’s losing
10s of 1000s turn out in pouring rain calling for tsipras to quit
this is 5th yr of austerity but first referendum.. first time anyone was allowed a direct vote about it
12 min – tsiparis speech – today we are not protesting.. today we are celebrating democracy… whatever the outcome is.. we have already won.. greece has sent a message of dignity..
no vote to win at more than 61%
15 min – i wasn’t convinced that we would manage the people to win their fear.. but this message.. people.. if they believe in their force.. they can overcome the fear – tsiparis
the people have told tsiparis they want him to lead a fight.. but that night he decides to do it w/o varoufakis
athens july 2015
greeks voted by 61% to defy europe and reject austerity… they turned the greek word for no into a global message… now they suspect they’re about to be betrayed
no matter what no meant for the people.. tsiparis spells out what it means to him.. he drafts a new final compromise
banks still closed… cash withdrawal rationed
text of greek compromise offer is leaked… offer is so close to what europe wants that many greeks will see it as surrender
61% voted to end austerity and now all they can do is sit and watch and wait
germany rejects compromise and demands greece exit the eurozone
this ultimatum sparks outrage around the world…
7 min – by the time the night is over 1 bill people have seen the hashtag.. #thisisacoup
europe lends greece 86 bill euro.. the price is even harsher than austerity…. massive: tax rises, pension cuts, privitisations
syriza plant small seed of doubt about narrative that big forces are interested about greece and want to save it..
syriza splits.. senior politicans leave
i think we betrayed them and i don’t think we had the historical right to do that.. varoufakis
never stop struggling.. never believe the way out is behind closed doors.. the way out is in the society with the people – zoe
new election – sept 20… syriza wins.. but it’s bitter..they won on the promise to do the very thing they spent their lives opposing.. austerity..
i think we lost time.. we were out of money.. if we knew that.. we could make more brave decisions at the beginning – tsiparis
greece is still saddled with a debt it cannot pay with an austerity program that cannot work.. greece tried the baracades then the ballot box.. but for europe .. democracy didn’t matter. nobody knows what they will try next..
#ThisIsACoup – Testimonies: Euclid Tsakalotos (greek finance minister)
corruption as default of capitalism
4 min –
6 min – our opponents were not arguing about econ or crisis.. they were wishing for a syriza defeat .. because a syriza victory would encourage others to look at a diff direction... syriza gave a fight that was for others…
7 min – see that …not so greek people would be humiliated..so that spanish/portuguese/italian people didn’t have aspirations above their station in life..
we can’t not.
Yanis‘ comments on Paul’s doc:
i hear Carl – i don’t care if you call it a disease or not…
Yanis interview: #ThisIsACoup – Testimonies
people were mobilizing themselves.. they didn’t need us..
april 27 – i witness a major turn around in spirit/attitude – few days later found out.. w/o my knowing .. we had already accepted a large dosage of austerity
8 min – the leadership decided to turn a no into a yes.. and i was a former finance minister at that moment..
on tsipras – an honorable man, good leader, someone who could have turned greece around, a major threat to the troika… – who clinically planned step by step to run us to the ground – he was so weakened he was fished out of the water
9 min – it was clear that the magestic no had not carried through.. the seemingly happiness was incredible sadness…
10 min – is that it for the left… of course not.. we’ve suffered much more and always bounced back
11 min – still maintain a very close link with the people dreaming.. they’re already revolting.. w/in minds… i’m sure we’ll see these on the streets again