Dialogos Radio’s recent radio interview with journalist and political analyst Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network has been featured in Truthout! In this interview, Lascaris analyzes the results of the snap parliamentary elections held in Greece on September 20, the implications of these results for Greece, and he discusses his own candidacy in the upcoming Canadian parliamentary elections.
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with analyst and journalist Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network, who spoke with us about the results of the Greek parliamentary elections of September 20, and his own candidacy in the Canadian parliamentary elections. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of September 24-30, 2015. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is political analyst and journalist Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network. Dimitri analyzes Greek and international politics, and he is also a candidate with the Green Party in the upcoming Canadian parliamentary elections. Dimitri, thank you for joining us today.
DL: My pleasure, Michael.
MN: Getting us started, after a tumultuous political summer in Greece where we saw the SYRIZA-led government turn its back on the referendum result of July 5th, where Greek voters resoundingly rejected austerity, we saw those same Greek voters bring SYRIZA back to power, with barely a decline in its share of the vote compared to January’s elections. Are you surprised by this result?
As it turns out, there was no hope, and that was plainly evident after the historic referendum of July 5th in Greece. As the SYRIZA-led Greek government was preparing to sell out the result of the referendum and to agree to an even harsher set of austerity measures than that which had just been rejected, the amount of protesters who congregated at Syntagma Square in Athens barely reached 2,000, a far cry from the huge rallies in support of the “no” vote prior to the referendum. Why was this the case? This was the case because prior to the referendum, SYRIZA and its governing partner, the Independent Greeks, made a big show of supposed “resistance” and mobilized tens of thousands of Greeks to come out and rally in support of no. Immediately after the referendum though, the shepherds did not lead the herd back out onto the streets, and without a shepherd, the Greek people won’t go any further than to their local cafe to drink their frappe.
Well, we said it and it happened. The major capitulation from the supposedly left-wing SYRIZA government, which we had predicted over and over again from prior to the January elections, took place with the rejection of the “no” vote in Greece’s referendum to approve EU-imposed austerity, and with the signing of a memorandum agreement far worse than what Greek voters had previously rejected. The signs were there from the beginning, from the original Eurogroup agreement in February which extended the previous austerity agreements, to the election of corrupt conservative former government minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos as president of the republic, by telling the Greek people that it was their patriotic duty to pay the unconstitutional unified property tax, and through the imposition of a presidential decree which looted all of the cash reserves of the government and public bodies, such as the health and pension systems.
Dialogos Radio’s exclusive pre-election interview with renowned scholar and analyst James Petras, in which he discusses and analyzes the political situation in Greece leading up to the September 20 snap parliamentary elections, has been featured in both English and a Greek translation, by Truthout and by freepen.gr, respectively!
We are excited to announce the return of Dialogos Radio, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary with a special pre-election program to launch its new broadcast season!
Our special broadcast will include two exclusive interviews: with world-renowned scholar James Petras, professor emeritus at Binghamton University in New York, and with
analyst Leonidas Vatikiotis, member of the Greek parliamentary debt audit commission. Both Petras and Vatikiotis will discuss the upcoming elections in Greece, the July 5th referendum and its political aftermath, and the current economic conditions in Greece.
In addition to our interviews, we will feature commentary and updates on the forthcoming elections, plus some great Greek music! All this and more, exclusively on Dialogos Radio!
On Friday, July 31, Michael Nevradakis, producer/host of Dialogos Radio, was interviewed on the Stocks and Jocks radio program (which airs in Chicago, Phoenix, and online) on the latest economic and political developments in Greece, the new round of austerity measures, Greece’s debt, and the possibility of grexit.
Hear the full interviews of Michael Nevradakis (Dialogos Radio) and investigative journalist Greg Palast, which recently aired on The Julianna Forlano Show on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City. This recording includes portions of both interviews which were not broadcast over the air.
In these interviews, the new austerity agreement signed by SYRIZA and its complete about-face from the referendum results and pre-election promises are discussed in detail, as is the current situation on the ground in Greece, and the reasons why Greece must still proceed with grexit.
Listen online at http://www.juliannaforlano.com/196/ or get the podcastdirect from our website. Our podcasts are also available in the official Dialogos Radio apps for Android, Kindle, and BlackBerry devices and for Google Chrome, and in iTunes, TuneIn.com, the Windows Store, and the Nobex Radio, weCast, PlayerFM, and Stitcher apps.
We Greeks have voted ‘No’ to slavery – but ‘Yes’ to our chains.
Not surprisingly, by nearly two-to-one, Greeks have overwhelmingly rejected the cruel, economically bonkers “austerity” program required by the European Central Bank in return for an ECB loan to pay Greece’s creditors. In doing so, the Greek people overcame an unprecedented campaign of fear from the Greek and international media, the European Union (EU), and most of our political parties.
What’s simply whack-o is that, while voting “No” to austerity, many Greeks wish to remain shackled to the euro, the very cause of our miseries.
It was November 2011 when I had the opportunity to meet Yanis Varoufakis in person, for the first and so far only time. Upon the invitation of his close friend and promoter James Galbraith, Varoufakis was visiting the University of Texas, where I was studying, to give a talk about the future of the Eurozone and to present his new book. As the host of what was then a locally-produced Greek radio program (Austin Hellenic Radio), I attended Varoufakis’ talk in order to try to get an interview with him on site. And indeed, I did. “Be quick though, eight other media outlets are waiting to speak with me,” Varoufakis told me.
This quote made an impression on me, but is quite indicative of Varoufakis’ personality. His “rock star” status in the world of “anti-austerity” economics was already beginning to be solidified. That same period, Varoufakis made appearances on CBS’ 60 Minutes, on NPR, and on a number of other media outlets across the world. One year later, Varoufakis would be back at the University of Texas, apparently on Galbraith’s invitation, as a visiting scholar. His annual salary of $100,000 (which can be seen through publicly-available records, as the University of Texas is a state university), was more than what many tenured professors earn at the same university. But despite his burgeoning celebrity status, little did I imagine that just a few years later, he would become the finance minister of a Greece which was even deeper in crisis.
With early returns from the referendum coming in, it is clear that a vote of “no” to the austerity measures proposed by the institutions formerly known as the troika will prevail, with a clear majority that will likely surpass 60%. As I write this, the sky is falling on Greece, the sea is drying up, day has become night, trees and flowers and kittens are dying, bullets and missiles are flying, and Greece is feeling the angry wrath of the gods for defying the will of the creditors, the mass media, and the troika.
At least, that’s what the mass media would have had us believe, with their dire warnings as to what a “no” vote would bring for Greece and with their utterly disgraceful coverage of events in Greece over the past two weeks. In reality, as I am writing this, I am sitting on a park bench in an ordinary neighborhood of Athens. It is a beautiful Greek summer evening, there is a light breeze, young people, families, and the elderly are walking about, and there is no sign of anything but life continuing on as normal. A couple of miles away, in Syntagma Square, more Greeks are congregating to celebrate the “no” victory in today’s referendum.
It was just four months ago, though it already seems like a lifetime away, when Greece’s celebrity finance minister Yanis Varoufakis publicly stated that “creative ambiguity” won the country a “loan lifeline” from the institutions formerly known as the troika: the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund. Despite the never-ending soap opera that is Greek crisis politics though, few would have imagined that the SYRIZA-led coalition government would succeed in outdoing itself in terms of its “creative ambiguity,” by calling a referendum which, just days before the polls open, remains remarkably unclear as to its actual meaning and potential consequences.
Setting The Stage for the Referendum
What has been actually happening in Greece though, over the past week? Lots has been heard in the Greek and international media, much of it tainted by either a pro-austerity or pro-SYRIZA bias and a generous dose of sensationalism. Cutting through all of this media-created noise, the realities are as follows: in a peculiarly-timed nationally-televised address which aired live a minute after midnight on June 27, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced to the nation that a referendum would be held on whether or not to approve the set of proposals put forth by the “institutions.” The last referendum held in Greece was in 1974, just after Greece’s Western-backed military regime fell, when Greeks overwhelmingly voted “no” for the restoration of the monarchy. This announcement was initially hailed by a majority of the public, as it was seen as a bold step towards giving the Greek people a direct say in the country’s affairs for the first time during the five-plus years of financial crisis.
Our recent interview with world-renowned author, journalist, and analyst Tariq Ali has recently been featured in Truthout! In this interview, Ali talks about the latest economic and political developments in Greece and in Europe, the failures of austerity and the policies imposed upon Greece by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, and much more.
This week, Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series will be wrapping up the 2014-15 broadcast season with an interview with world-renowned author, journalist, and analyst Tariq Ali. A member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and a contributor to such publications as The Guardian and Counterpunch, and is the author of numerous books, including “The Extreme Centre: A Warning,” “The Obama Syndrome,” and “A Banker for All Seasons.” He joins us on the Dialogos Interview Series this week to share his thoughts and insights as to the political and economic situation in Greece, on Greece’s new SYRIZA-led coalition government and its broken campaign promises, on the role of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in furthering the economic crisis in Greece, and on his upcoming visits to Greece.
In addition to our interview, hear our commentary of the week segment, where we will analyze the “negotiations” taking place between SYRIZA and the “institutions,” the proposals put forth by SYRIZA which contradict its pre-election rhetoric, and the latest broken promises by the government.
Hear this timely and exclusive interview, our commentary, plus great Greek music and much more, this week our season finale, only on Dialogos Radio!
The theater of the absurd known as the Greek government and the Greek negotiating team continues unabated. Despite the fact that Greece’s public coffers have been depleted, despite the fact that schools and universities are operating with major shortages, and despite the fact that public hospitals are lacking even basic medical supplies at this point, the otherwise “heroic” and “gutsy” celebrity finance minister Yanis Varoufakis continues to state that Greece will pay its next loan installment to the IMF and that the Greek government remains willing to repay all of its lenders, as long as there is an agreement with the so-called “institutions.” The same “institutions” which have thrown Greece into an endless spiral of poverty and hopelessness.
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We would like to remind our listeners that all content expressed during this program does not necessarily reflect the views of its host, Michael Nevradakis, of Dialogos Radio, or of any of the radio stations which broadcast our programming, or their licensees.
Σας υπενθυμίζουμε πως οι απόψεις που εκφράζονται στην εκπομπή δεν είναι απαραίτητα η επίσημες απόψεις του παρουσιαστή, Μιχάλη Νευραδάκη, της εκπομπής Dialogos Radio, τον ραδιοφωνικών σταθμών που μεταδίδουν τις εκπομπές μας, ή των ιδιοκτητών η προσωπικού αυτών των σταθμών.