M. Komninou, S. Dimitriou, Τ. Βenas, N. Paraskevopoulos: Comments on the Greek elections

Alekos Fassianos, "Poet's little house" Alekos Fassianos, "Poet's little house"
Maria Komninou:A message full of hope against austerity
SYRIZΑ’s great victory carries a message full of hope for the Greek and European powers who fight against the one-way route of austerity and against the disastrous recipes of neo-liberalism.
Especially for the sector of culture, which had suffered catastrophic effects, SYRIZA's victory could serve as a new beginning, having on its side important artists and institutions which support new trends in cinema and the theatre and, despite the asphyxiating conditions, they produce critical work. Institutions which, despite the adverse circumstances, they manage to keep the audience in close contact with ground-breaking and politically innovative trends.
Translated by Giorgos Kazantzidis
Maria Komninou, is a Professor at the University of Athens, the General secretary at the Film Archive of Greece
Sotiris Dimitriou:The victory of Syriza is an echo of National Resistance
The historic victory of the radical party, Syriza, means a lot.
First of all, it is an indication for all of Europe, if not for the world, that during the current crisis – possibly the worst in the history of mankind as it threatens the planet itself - the people decided to resist and to take on responsibility as active subjects, as makers of their own history.
Secondly and most importantly, it shows that the great struggles fought recently in Greece, for social justice and for national liberation, reflect one another and form part of the same historical whole, even if unconsciously so. In other words, Syriza's election win in spite of intense intimidation and terrorization is an echo of the great National Resistance of the Greek people against the rapacious spread of Nazism in 1940-41.
Thirdly, it reveals a once marginalized dynamic in society -- expressed through the Indignants movement of the squares, in the creation of social clinics and in other ways – suddenly playing a directing role in the unfolding of history.
The electoral win is not the end of a series of efforts, of struggles and hopes. It represents instead a new beginning for our people, through which they can begin to recover their dignity, to make their voices heard and to participate responsibly in building their future. This election victory is the starting point for the return of morality –in the broadest sense of the term –  to politics and to our lives.
Translated by Dimitris Ioannou
Sotiris Dimitriou is an anthropologist and cinema theorist

Takis Benas: We are reaching the clearing of a major change
Today, the people spoke. The people of this country who have been condemned to poverty, need and humiliation for so long, the people who have had to leave, or seen their kids leave, these people gave a very decisive answer. They gave the political power of the Left, that is SYRIZA, the mandate to govern Greece towards change.
Because SYRIZA has both the political will and the political program to lead us to the clearing of change, to liberate us of the bondages of austerity that were imposed on us by foreign economic oligarchies in the name of their own interests.
Despite the difficulties of this struggle, we are optimistic because this time we know that their lies are over. No matter what they do, our people have disarmed them, and we are heading with confidence towards our future.
Translated by Ioanna Meitani
Nicos Paraskevopoulos: We have hard struggles in front of us
This moment, when the Left has come into power in Greece, may be historical, and the urge to celebrate and be enthusiastic may be intense, but our shoulders are heavy with responsibility. There are vital, hot issues to be dealt with: in the economy, in international politics. There are acute and accumulated problems in society: unemployment, poor health care, inadequate education.
Despite the urgency of these problems, it is extremely important not to forget to ensure a democratic Public Administration. This is the precondition and means to everything. Bureaucracy lurks in the shadow like a monster with long tentacles. One minister is not enough to tame such a beast. Public Administration has to be reformed from the start, so that it may serve the new policies. If one link of the chain breaks, hoisting becomes impossible. Today's joy should transform itself into optimism and strength, because the struggles to come are harder.
Translated by Ioanna Meitani
Nicos Paraskevopoulos is a Professor at the University of Thessaloniki

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  • The original text was first published on: Written for AnalyzeGreece!