Who are the Independent Greeks?

This is how you do it.

Once again, the election results in Greece represent what I have been pushing for years, i.e. the creation of a radical left that eclipses the center-left and then builds a coalition with the populist right against the establishment center, the global elites and the transnational ruling class.

The primary obstacle to replication the Greek model in Western Europe and North America is totalitarian humanism, i.e. the fact that the radical left in the West is dominated by the cultural left (the “pink and green” left) rather than the traditional economic left and is usually more than happy to back the center-left establishment against the cultural right. The solution is to build a “new radical left” of the kind for which ATS is a prototype, and that subsequently pushes the cultural left towards the center and eclipses it.

Of course, I am neither a conventional socialist nor any kind of right-winger. I am considerably to the left of Syriza on most questions. I regard the cultivation of a radical left/populist-right convergence as merely a transitional stage towards the development of a popular base for a revolutionary anarchism.

The Guardian

Rightwing party differs on many issues with radical leftist Syriza, but they are united by a mutual hatred for bailout programme.

Panos Kammenos
Panos Kammenos, leader of Independent Greeks (Anel). Photograph: Michael Kappeler/dpa/Corbis

Syriza just missed out on the 151 MPs it needed to govern alone after Greece’s election, winning 149 seats with a 36.3% share of the vote. The party has formed a coalition government with Independent Greeks, who took 13 seats.

The populist, rightwing Independent Greeks (Anel) would at first sight make for a strange bedfellow for the radical leftists Syriza and the deal makes an unusual alliance, but they are brought together by a mutual hatred for the bailout programme keeping Greece afloat.

The two parties have vastly diverging world views, standing well apart on issues such as illegal migration, Greece’s ever-fractious relationship with Nato rival Turkey, gay marriage and the role of the Greek Orthodox church.

Under their leader Panos Kammenos, who defected from the centre-right New Democracy party to form Anel at the height of the crisis in February 2012, the group has proved to be rabidly nationalistic in foreign affairs.

The politician is particularly virulent on the issue of the need to reclaim war reparations that he argues were never properly dealt with after the Nazis’ brutal occupation of the country. He was accused of being antisemitic when he claimed last month that Greek Jews paid less tax than other citizens.

His party is part of the European Conservatives and Reformists political group in the European parliament, which was founded at the behest of David Cameron.

Both Syriza and Independent Greeks agree on the need to end austerity. And both hold strident views on the especially sensitive issue of Greek sovereignty having been denuded as a result of six years of stewardship under Athens’ hated “troika” of creditors. Anel, like Syriza, says foreign lenders have turned the debt-crippled country into a “debt colony”.

In opposition, the two political forces collaborated to block the election of a new head of state, which ultimately triggered Sunday’s snap polls. With Syriza and Anel outright rejecting the commitments the previous government signed up to with creditors – outlined in the onerous bailout accords that Athens agreed with the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – they will make an extremely tough negotiating team when stalled talks resume this month.

Kammenos’s appointment will not be welcome news to Berlin, which has provided the biggest share of the €240bn (£180bn) in rescue funds to Athens.

Leave a Reply