What a nice surprise ! Thank you Well done to all of you outside who have had the patience to stay and listen in the rain a warm welcome to you. Friends, before I start and on your behalf, let me honour and give a heartfelt welcome to Sinem Muhammed, co-president of Rojava and Kobané the capital of the anti-fascist struggle in DAESH Resistance ! Resistance ! I also honour and welcome Leyla Buran representing the Yezidis women who are being tormented by the DAESH Once again, dear friends and comrades this event ‘Fête de l’Humanité’, whose organisers I thank, has been a moment of high importance in our shared history. It is here that we built the first foundations of our Front de Gauche (Left Front) It is here that we went through all the stages of our political structuring together… which has not only a national mission and I hope that today, more than ever, you realise that you are not just the protagonists of a few local elections you are the protagonists of History with a capital H ! History made by women and men who feel they have a responsibility with regards to the human common good. You are Europeans ! You are citizens of the world ! The world is teetering on its edge and your actions will determine to which side it turns Remember that every single one of us is personally responsible for the outcomes to events depending on whether we face up to them with courage or whether we hide ourselves behind pedantic political squabbles, whinging and whining What a strange day it is today ! And you out there ! The reds ! Your hearts always filled with joy, with enthusiasm, always ready to forgive all the mistakes of the past… I saw you ! You heartily applauded a Labour General Secretary ! That doesn’t seem like you ! But…. you are right to do so Because it’s important to believe that although ‘one swallow does not a Summer make’, it can at least make Summer come sooner. What a rotten Labour party, that of the Blairites which destroyed the whole European progressive movement ! Papers signed by Blair, Schröder, to humiliate German workers the bastion and the most well organised of Europe’s working class. It’s Blair with Schroder, and later with Papandreou, and all those quitters who humiliated all the workers of Europe So destructive were their decisions that still today, ten years later the situation of the working class in Europe is worse than what it was after the war ! Those are the actions they will have to answer for when faced with History. That is what we refused to accept I was happy to see you applaud Oskar Lafontaine earlier. Friends, that is the kind of strength of character we need. That man refused to follow Schroder – he resigned from his position and set up Die Linke. That’s where the impulse came from, that inspired us to create the Front de Gauche (Left Front) We are, at each step of the way, the inheritors of a History much larger than the history of just our own country You heard these men speaking to you earlier They are finance ministers of their countries So I ask that we look at the results, logic against logic, programme against programme Why should we believe those who applied a programme that has been a failure everywhere ? One that has created poverty and decline, both moral and social decline of so many millions of people ! instead of these men here who have proposed another system ? Reason is on our side. Reason, not ideology ! Reason ! We are not presenting a ‘plan’ for our country. We are not presenting a ‘plan’ for the left We are presenting a plan for the common good of 450 million people in the European Union One has to have one’s head in the stars to be able walk in the mud ! But, you must be vigilant and often less naive Take a minute to think about it. Even though you say you are, and you are, sensible people that you have lived long enough to know that sometimes one must make compromises, for the compromise to be viable there must first be a power struggle Without a power struggle there should be no signing compromises, compromises that are a sign of capitulation Now, try to understand, by unravelling the string of your own past, what really happened The European Union, the way it was supposed to be, is dead The European Union is a political corpse for us, for the powerful, it’s a straight jacket designed to keep the people and their movements strapped down. And we ! We that are making History We that embody the desire for peace, desire that inspired women and men in History we that wanted a Europe of peace, we that wanted it since the Great Revolution of 1789 we that wanted it just like Victor Hugo, who wished a United States of Europe For us, the Europe we wanted cannot be the European Union that we have today The common currency to which we can aspire cannot be the Euro which today is simply a cage where our dreams are locked away and left to wither All our hopes, including the most legitimate ones ! Look at how the situation has been reversed look at how they lie, mislead you, trick and deceive you Today, they show you thousands of refugees, and they ask for your kindness of which you have so much, because you stretch out your hand to he who falls to he who doesn’t know how to go forward But you’re not buying their playacting Why do they only speak of their arrivals ? Why do they never speak of what has caused these thousands of people to leave their homes ? And what has pushed these people out of their homes ? It’s the aggression of the European Union Yes ! The EU is responsible for the wars in which she participates ! and is responsible for imposing on all the countries of sub-Sahelian Africa absolutely unconscionable contracts, that ruin local economies and cause countless people to move out And please, please don’t just sit back and watch ‘exotic-looking’ refugees from a far I’d like to remind you of the consequences of these policies on the Europeans themselves Because until now, the greatest population movement we’ve seen take place in Europe is NOT the arrival of Syrians, nor the arrival of the Eritreans but the forced departure of 500 000 Greeks from their country ! Of which 120 000 arrived in Germany, where hands were openly rubbed together upon receiving such highly qualified workers Just as hands are rubbed together when all those English speaking Syrians arrive because you see them on television explaining their misfortune to us, which means they belong to the educated middle class of their country who in turn finds itself deprived of its elite 500 000 Greeks ! 1 million Spaniards ! who have had to leave their country in under a decade due to the absurd austerity policies These are the biggest population movements ! so much so that Europe’s hypocrisy affects the entire world, provoking a bitter laugh from our friends in Latin America Evo Morales says Europe keeps sending them immigrants and pushing their people out ! The irony is great : they spend thier time inventing new legislation against job seekers while we spent our time trying to make new legislation to give them jobs over here ! That’s what’s happening ! This is what inexorably leads to catastrophe ! Because on this downward slope we cannot expect anything other than a catastrophe You know that I don’t like to paint a black picture I’m not an orator who relies on people being motivated through fright I’m the total opposite I want to say that every challeng we’re faced with is an opportunity to be inventive and creative elevate ourselves to something greater, my friends and comrades ! Well, the challenge is so great that we have before us an enormous opportunity to invent something radically new and we have to get started But before you must understand that the first condition is democracy ! If we pursue with Europe against and without the people it will fail – it has already been tried several times and it fails each time. Well now we are witnessing a repeated series of violent strikes against democracy. Maybe you are aware of it but maybe others aren’t. Everything started in 2005 when they gathered all the old texts together with a view to write up a new Constitution replacing the one that founded the European Union After some unbelievable blackmailing the French had been told that if they rejected the Constitutional Treaty, they rejected the whole method of building the EU which had been used up until then Well the French did reject the Constitutional Treaty And they made their decision very clear And then, at the time the recently elected president Nicolas Sarkozy betrayed the French people who had voted ‘No’, by transforming their ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ – that was the Lisbon Treaty. After which came the next man Who promised that he would renegotiate the Fiscal Treaty, remember ? The Fiscal Treaty is the straight jacket in which we are suffocating And remember me, poor devil rying to explain to the listeners in Montpellier during twenty minutes how the European Financial Stability mechanism works And you watched me and said to yourselves ‘maybe he will talk to us about something else, to finish with’. At the time France was debating a totally improbable subject Halal meat ! That’s what the media was talking about ! Instead of talking about things that directly concerned us Well friends, remember this it’s because democracy has been violated twice because François Hollande had promised to revise the Fiscal Treaty Now, just for a moment, try to imagine that you are Mrs Merkel She sees the French President, whose people voted ‘No’ and he says to her ‘oh, don’t worry, we cut everything up into pieces throw it up all in the air, as it all falls down we just pick it up, stick it all back together again and there we have our Lisbon Treaty So she looks at him and says to herself ‘Gosh, this chap’s rather frantic ! Well, alright then, he says the French said ‘Yes’ although they voted ‘No’, fine with me. The next one comes along The one who said he’d renegociate everything He comes along ‘Hello, how are you ?’ ‘Fine thank you ! So she asks him in German ‘Is that all you have to say ?’ ‘Yes yes !.. Oh I forgot, we need a stimulus package’ And that’s how out of nowhere Europe found out that François Hollande obtained a stimulus package of 120 billion euros of which 60 already existed in the European budget and the other 60 to be borrowed from somewhere So of course they told him ‘Yes yes !’ The entire Europe laughed at France They thought it was us, the people, who agreed with this joke And to realise the extent of the joke can you imagine 120 billion euros the ECB (European Central Bank) banker didn’t borrow anything from anyone and he decided to put 1000 billion euros on the table ! of which nobody here ever saw a cent ! Because it went directly back into the banks from the European Central Bank straight into private banks who in turn immediately put all of it into the financial bubble There is not a single screw or nut in Europe that was made with that money not a single machine There you have it that’s the Europe we have before us : a continuous hoax So you others out there, remind yourselves How many times did you think it was exaggerated How many said to me ‘Oh well it’s a symbolic violence’. Really ?! And when the ECB decided to stop Cyprus’s cashflow small country my comrade François Delapierre – may he rest in peace had called Moscovici a ‘bastard’ for having accepted it And I… I had said that Moscovici no longer spoke French but spoke the language of Finance And you know what they retorted ? You have become antisemitic ! That’s how low the level of debate is in this country ! That’s how you’re spoken to when you talk about real problems. Well in Cyprus, it has gone from symbolic violence to the most direct violence possible and that, my friends and comrades, in any other region in the world, when the cashflow to a country is stopped, prevent a country from accessing its ressources is an act of war ! What the ECB did to Cyprus was an act of war ! And it’s an act of war, what was done to Greece. It’s a financial Coup d’Etat It was not ‘symbolic’ violence. Those are the conditions in which Alexis Tsipras had to negociate Comrades, friends I’m not giving any lessons. The events are still so recent. The 5th July we were in the streets and we sang songs There’s one that maybe you recall The chorus was and we says “bis, and we says “bis” and we says “bis”, Varoufakis tralala’ One week later our comrade Tsipras signs. We are not giving any lessons We first protested against his decision Because it was not a free decision ! When 18 people keep you in a room during 17 hours to negiotate in a hostile manner making you sign a document in which they control everything down to the price of milk, of meat and of bread it’s quite simply an act of humiliation ! It is not a free agreement Tsipras’s agreement is no free Tsipras’s agreement is no freer than the agreement comrades were forced to sign making legal working hours go up from 35 hours to 39 hours An agreement is not a free agreement if you sign with a gun pushed against your head ! This violence is used all the time What right has the Eurogroup to decide that Greece has to leave the Eurozone ?! There is not one single law that talks about one country coming out of the Euro, it’s important to remember that. Remember also that the Eurogroup has no Institutional status. Remember also – and the proof comes from the Eurogroup itself, because when they expelled Yanis Varoufakis from the meeting Yanis said ‘why are you pushing me out ? My country is a member of the Eurozone’ they told him ‘the Eurogroup has no status, the president decides what he wants, and you get out.’ That’s what happened. So ? Where are those violin players who claim that Europe protects us with its big gun against our head ? The ‘democratic’ Europe ? Who beats up the defenseless ? That’s their Europe And they want us, under pressure, intimidated they’d like us to shed hot tears of joy when they mention Europe And you have the improbable President of the French Republic whe declares that he’s had a brilliant idea he’s going to create an economic governement and suddenly in the night you wake up and jump joyfully out of bed ‘an economic government ! Why didn’t we think of that before ?!’ The Parti Socialiste has been repeating the same idea for the past twenty years And of course, immediately, the Germans ask ‘what are they going on about ? We won’t let that happen. And if one day you decide to install an economic governement, it will be to apply the European Fiscal Treaty.’ And anyway, this economic government exists already, it’s called the European Commission to which each nation has to present its budget before presenting it to its own parliament That’s the only idea they have to show for themselves With a parliament, if you please ! We’d create a new Assembly, and they would have the right to agree ! ‘Wouldn’t that be magical votes ? ‘Yup ! All the time ! They don’t even listen to the question As M. Juncker has said : ‘whatever the question, the answer is yes Yes yes yes Well, many of us know that sometimes in life, one gets off to a better start when one says ‘no Anyway, we heard the words that Mr Juncker said He said : ‘There is no democratic decision against the European Treaties’. The day he said that, the President of the Commission told you something you hadn’t dared tell yourselves your republican homeland that refused the right to Veto at Capet (louis XVI) is forced to accept the Commission’s veto on national budget and your country is no longer independent Friends, the freedom to say ‘yes’ is only valid if we’re free to say ‘no’. You can only say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you’re free And that’s what ‘independence’ means I am a partisan of French independence! I am a partisan of independence for all the peoples of Europe ! It’s another name for ‘sovereignty’ Sovereignty begins in the hearts of each one of you when you decide for yourselves what you want to become In big things as well as in the little things Sovereignty, according to the definition in anthropology is the first act of a group of people to control its members and the territory it lives on Sovereignty is the possibility for a population to make a collective decision and it’s because the decision is made collectively, that the decision is applied to everyone Democratic legitimacy comes from the ability to decide for ourselves and the ability for everyone to decide But in this case, only a handful of people are making the decisions 28 people in a European Commission meeting, presided by Mr Juncker The prerequisite for recovering the European ideal, is that France recovers her independence I say ‘France’… is it only a french ideal? Friends, because it was me who condemned the role of the German government before anyone else did, (for which I received some not-so-pleasant remarks) since then many have realised I was right and want to make me into some kind of Germanophobe And this is despite my friendship, since the origins of my party, with Oskar Lafontaine, who is German And this is despite me and Oskar’s strong union against the European oligarchy and against the direction of the CDU-CSU government, through Die Linke I want for my country the same as I want for the others And if we want to be heard, we need to assert our resolute will We need to create a power struggle I have to raise my voice, friends and comrades because I aspire to govern this country with you, as much as you do And I want everyone to know, beyond all borderlines that I WILL CONCEDE TO NOTHING! It has to be known! I need them to know that although they were able to threaten Alexis Tsipras because the Greek economy is 2% of the European economy they will NOT be able to threaten a French ruler that resists because France is 18% of the European Economy – about as much as the German economy And as Yanis Varoufakis said earlier If they start nitpicking too much, we can always say : ‘we’ll stop paying’ Because as Yanis Varoufakis said earlier if the Greek gouvernent had said listen, we’ve been trying to negociate with you for 5 months, for 5 months you’ve been trying to humiliate us we tried our best, but now we cannot pay! Because we’re left with nothing but skin and bones and now you’re asking for our skin!’ If the Greeks had said that, the odds are that the EU would have backed down Why? Because a Greek bankruptcy, means triggering the European insurance mechanisme, i.e. the European Financial Stability mechanism And when the insurance is triggered it is the Stability Mechanism that has to pay Which means that if Greece had gone bankrupt France would have had to cough up 40 billion euros, and Germany 60 billion! And guess what, no-one fancied paying that much In short, if Alexis Tsipras hadn’t signed he would have found himself in a situation of bankruptcy and suddenly on the other side of the table they would have got very ‘realistic They would have said Right, so 80% of the Greek debt is from now on in public hands in the hands of the European Central Bank and in the hands of the European Financial Stability mechanism which means what? Paper! Just paper, my friends and comrades! and upon taking the sum of the debt to the European Central Bank the ECB would have looked at it, said ‘how interesting’, and thrown it directly in the bin! Because all those billions disappeared long ago It’s just argumentations, that rely on power struggles power struggles, comrades! That’s why I raise my voice He told you earlier! Those who believe that currency is apolitical that it’s not influenced by social and political relations are dreamers! It’s not true! That belief is designed to fool you. For example… When you go to the bank, do you really think they lend you money they actually have? (Because when you lend to a neighbour, you lend your money) But the bank that lends you money has never had a penny of it! They wait until you’ve built the house or bought the car, so that behind the banknotes there is a tangible return. Maybe it’s a little complicated. But everyone must understand it! You must become experts in the materialist theory of currency. You must understand it. Because when the battle begins for this country it won’t only depend on one or two people it will be depend on millions of people that must be educated, prepared to resist, because in order to resist, one must be morally strong One must be informed, one must be knowledgeable You must learn! You must read! You must teach those who don’t know. And those who don’t know must ask those who do until everyone knows! Because that’s the way the fight can be fought by the people. Comrades, you’ve heard talk about the ‘Plan B’ But don’t let it make you skip a letter! There’s the Plan B but there’s also the Plan A. The Plan A is the plan for sensible people Me. And others in the room here. We arrive and we say: Right, let’s look at the results. The policies you apply we won’t go into an ideological debate, we know eachother: we like sharing, you’re stingy and selfish, no point talking about it let’s look at the results. Nothing works, there’s unemployment everywhere The only result for which you are satisfied with yourselves is “Germany exports cars and machine tools” And you expect us to be happy about that and applaud you But guess what? We don’t care! What we want is to be able to live happily with the few simple things we ask for education, social security, look after our elderly, look after our children have holiday leave… Simple things! And we’re ok with sharing your billions because we don’t have any billions to share. We’re ok with sharing your millions! Because you are able to say ‘I’m getting 16 million euros to leave’, like the boss of Alcatel. Oh well, he merely ruined his company He destroyed a jewel of the French industry sector He leaves and gets 16 million. Everyone protests, so he says ‘ok ok, I’ll take only 8 8? But why 8? And who’s the type of person that gives up half of his pay? Nobody! Nobody normal who has earned his pay honestly gives up half of it! So if he accepts to cut it by half, that means he knows himself that he hasn’t earned it honestly. Now getting back to what I was saying before. The Plan A is the sensible people’s plan Let’s look at you results: nothing works! We have an alternative solution and it can start with us, the French If we gain a majority we’ll say: France has signed treaties Please, comrades, it’s important that you treat politics as a very serious matter France has signed treaties. She honours the treaties she has signed. And the other countries that have signed alongside us we ask them to apply their contents. As a result, in order to come out of a treaty that we have democratically agreed to (through our elected deputies) we need a mandate by the people. If we want to go back on the main aspects of the Budget Treaty the only way to do it is to consult the French People. Just as Tsipras did with the Memorandum. The difference is that I propose a referendum not on a Memorandum but a referendum concerning a certain number of European policies And we’ll make sensible propositions We’ll say to them, ‘Listen, before the euro, before your ‘wonderful’ Budget Treaty, before your ‘sublime’ economic policies, what were we doing? we were making Airbus (you enjoy talking about Airbus!) except with the current regulations, we’d be unable to do Airbus! Because Airbus received subsidies for several years. And what else were we making? The Ariane space rocket! You keep talking about that too you like calling it ‘the European rocket’, because all the flags are printed on its fuselage! Ah! You like talking about it! Except with current regulations we’d be unable to do the Ariane rocket. Because the company that produced Ariane received subsidies And today it represents 50 % of the global satellite market. You see, friends, what I’m trying to say is that our approach to problems is not a purely ideological approach (even though there’s ideological reasoning behind our actions.) It’s a rational approach: their way doesn’t work. Fine. So we explain all that to them. All depends on who explains. There are people who are more or less credible when they raise their voice Some have the heart of a sheep, and they don’t get very far because you can hear them bleating miles away. And there are others who are of a different calibre ith this in mind, there are two possible attitudes: France is the second largest territory and the second largest population, and soon the largest population of Europe Either enter into sensible discussions with France, or offend her! I know perfectly well That within the German government of Mrs Merkel of the CDU-CSU a party that’s working on this very geopolitical idea That if you push everyone too far and in particular if you push the Eurozone ‘til it bursts, ejecting what they call the ‘club med’ The ‘club med’ supposedly refers to the Mediterranean countries. See how arrogant these little pretentious people are calling it the ‘club med’. Who’s in this ‘club med’, I ask you? France, second largest economy of the continent. Italy, third largest economy of the continent. Spain, fourth largest economy of the continent In other words, the bureaucrats of Mrs Merkel’s CDU-CSU, call ‘club med’ their main competitors! That’s the simple truth! And they’ve got it into their heads that if they burst apart the Eurozone they’d create a ‘Mark’zone (or whatever they’d call it) with on one side slaves and servants (who’d come from Eastern Europe, and especially from Ukraine; where workers would be paid 100 euros instead of 130 for a Chinese worker) and with the pieces of this cheap labour mass which would then put together in Germany, Germany would become an even stronger export power. This is what they’ve convinced themselves. They’ve convinced themselves so well of this plan, that they’re preparing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is designed as a free trade deal between the US and Europe and some will obviously benefit more than others from this union, the large companies of the German chemical industry the car manufacturers, tool-machine factories, the intensive animal farming industry, and all the other horrors that poison Europe So, I ask you to understand this do not limit the debate to the question of the Euro. You must read up on geopolitics as well That you consider all the different factors. It’s not easy, we know. You should look at all the factors to understand that the Euro is like the culminating point the knot that ties together all the little strings that are the Budget Treaty the Financial Stability Mechanism, NATO and the alliance with the United States the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership All those pieces make a whole. It’s not the euro that we have to come out of it’s a straightjacket we must free ourselves from and the zip of the straightjacket is the euro! And to do that, Maybe some of you will be disappointed by what I’m about to say. Don’t hold it against me. It’s my responsibility, my duty, to ask myself: if I were faced with this task, how would I go about it? I can’t see myself tackling it like a university professor might when he gives lectures (which is, needless to say, an essential activity) when he can present things that may remain abstract. It’s about leading a great population of 65 million peoplE of whom the political involvement can change the History of Europe. If we, the French, decide to change our stand concerning the European Union we must do it held by a great project that will allow all the populations to come out at the bright end of the tunnel. Because our voice is powerful, and we have powerful means. Earlier, Yanis rightly said we have to frighten them once and for all so that we can stop being frightened. We have ‘nuclear dissuasion’ Let me reassure you – no-one wants to press the button But it’s useful for everyone to think we could. Because that’s the only way they’ll leave us alone We must have the following attitude we start with sensible proposals, the ones I explained a few minutes ago (plan A) and if they refuse our sensible proposals then we will show them that we the people will not accept to be anything other than free – that’s the plan B And there are different positions on the plan B and now’s the time to discuss them. This is a great moment, here at the Fête de l’Humanité For the first time in so many months, in so many years despite there being various organisations of course, (and I’d like to congratulate them on the work they do like the Party of the European Left, but there are figures missing from it) and we hadn’t succeeded in getting ourselves organised. You know, it’s very hard to get organised once you’re in power. you can all imagine the difficulty do you know why we can’t just pick up the phone and call eachother? Because our phones are all tapped. I can’t just call up Varoufakis, Finance Minister, and say to him “So, are you all set up? Planned and ready to do the Grexit? Have you got the currency en bis? all ready?” And he replies “Yup, no worries, we’ve got it all ready, there are X millions. Of course we can’t We can’t email eachother So we’re using the old-fashioned but trusty method: carrier pigeons! You see, we have to prepare ourselves through other means It entails a psychological preparation, to stand firm, to not give in, to not be afraid to be filled with the feeling of strength that we embody thanks to our size in number and our knowhow and expertise. we must be confident in our strength we are not afraid of a People’s revolution! We are not afraid to spark phenomena that can make changes all across Europe thanks to our own efforts We must not be hesitant. We must go forward, forward, forward! That’s the plan B: we never give in. Right! Now you understand it all! Today we’ve got together, we’ve talked today is an important day for me Politics stems from human encounters. Don’t believe those who tell you that politics is still like in olden days when impersonal politicians would say ‘one thinks’ instead of ‘I think’, instead of ‘us’ they’d say ‘the party’ and we thought we were in the right back then and felt stronger for it, but we all know now that with that kind of language we end up not knowing who we’re talking to! We lose sight of who’s in front of us We just see a puppet, a number, a statistic. t’s important to talk with people who have experience in saying ‘no’. It’s very important that these two, and the other, Oskar Lafontaine. When the time came to leave the Socialist Party and found the Left Party, with comrades (who had never been in the former) I visited Oskar Lafontaine several times. Not just to talk politics. But to talk man to man. what would happen? what should I be prepared for? what would I be made to go through? how would I be treated? and Oskar listed a number of unpleasant things that he said I should prepare myself for. and, listen to this, in my case it has always been the worst things that I’ve had to endure To put it in other words, concerning the cruel treatment, they made sure I received my dose, and made sure it lasted a good long while. But I always felt strong And you do too, I imagine? And now even stronger, four years on after bringing together 4 million people [in the last presidential elections] around the fundamental values that we defend. And the People’s decision makes us feel strong. The other day I was reading the newspaper (which doesn’t happen very often because it’s a rather depressing affair) I read Les Echos to keep informed of the opinions of the capitalists and business leaders and I read L’Humanité to be sure to keep up to date with the various social battles within the country With regards to the other newspapers, it depends. If I’m in a good mood, I read them all. If I’m feeling a little peaky, I don’t, because the bad vibes get too heavy. And I must say I don’t agree with the caricatures of me they publish Firstly they always make me look fatter than I am! And on a more serious note they often make ‘me’ say things I would never say Anyway, a few jokes before reading a couple of lines never goes amiss I said earlier that the root of the problem with this Europe is that it turned away from democracy and what the people want. All the examples I’ve demonstrated have consisted in putting one behind the other. The proof is that decisions are made without and against the people! In French we call it the ‘Europe austéritaire’ this word is a mixture of ‘austerity’ and ‘totalitaire’ [totalitarian – in English it might be ‘Austeritarian Europe’] Because this is what a totalitarian regime is: a regime that gets into your private lives, decides that you won’t eat this, you’ll eat that, that you won’t go that way, you’ll go this way Yes, the difference between authoritarianism and totalitarianism is that step taken into people’s private lives. The system has got into your private lives to make you powerless. Right! See the president you have Here is a statement he made in a newspaper at a Press Dinner. He says: “The electorate votes, even when they don’t und erstand.” It must be said you don’t really understand anything they tell you to vote YES and you vote NO. “The electorate votes, even when they don’t understand.” says François Hollande. “And when they vote, we don’t always understand them.”! So you vote ‘no’, he doesn’t understand, and takes it for a ‘yes’! You vote for a renegotiation of the budgetary treaties he understands ‘everything’s great with the budgetary treaties, no probs!’ Now, I will finish off by citing Zoe Konstantopoulo she’s the president of the Greek parliament. Zoe, as Yanis, and all our Greek comrades, have straight faces with the occasional ironic expression but they have lived through painful moments. Now they are here at the foot of a wall, a wall they would’ve preferred inexistent. A wall where comrades are caught off-guard The one was signed even thought we had said we will not One where we know that no lessons are to be given. and that, of course, one cannot say that Syriza is now in power and they’re the same as the right, of course they’re not and it would be stupid to claim they’re the same. But at the same time, it’s difficult to go much further with them, because comrades from Popular Unity have built a resisting force, and we feel close to their resistance Why?
Because we are loyal to political programmes and not to people! Because we believe in the ideas, and reject personality cults. Alexis Tsipras is our friend…but but we are not his clients. We support Tsipras’s programme – the one for which he was elected and the one for which the Greek people voted against the memorandum. Dear comrades, Zoe, just as the others, had to make a decision. You know that Syriza was at least as eruptive as the Left Front Maybe a touch more, because there are only 9 parties in the Left Front whereas there were 16 in Syriza. I don’t know how they managed! (When I see how it is with nine!) Sixteen, who end up creating one party. And then later, there’s the breakup. Popular Unity leave. Yanis says to them ‘well I understand you leaving, but he doesn’t want to contribute to a fratricidal battle, he supports a programme. And here he is with us, to discuss the Plan B project. It’s a noble party, the Plan B party. And Zoe decides she’ll be candidate, she wanted to be here today. She will be candidate, she’s not a member of Popular Unity but she’ll stand with us. She’s the president of the Greek parliament. Comrades They way she’s been treated despicable Not only because she’s left-wing, but because she’s a woman! And they lay it on thick! Us men, they represent us as monstrous animals, with an untidy beard, mouth wide open, with claw-like hands, bloodshot eyes Like they did with the great Jaurès, before me. And myself after him,
and a few others in between. But with women it’s worse! They’re shown as beasts too, but they’re brutalised also through their sex. They’ve called Zoe a ‘sexually frustrated orangutan’ in the Greek press. There are timeslots on Television entitled ‘Zoe’s deliriums’ In which they always show the worst images of her with her mouth wide open, with an angry expression (angry just like any human being is when they are worn out by such a complicated situation as Greece’s Well, Zoe does not ask you to shed any tears for her, nor express compassion. Zoe’s message is this, a one-sentence message, and it will conclude our meeting. Listen up out there! All of you! Keep Zoe’s oath Everyone has the right, and the duty, to resist.