Message to DiEM25 members: The summer is over, let’s seize the day, let’s seize 2019

Yanis Varoufakis
Mon 09, 2018, Articles
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To all DiEM25 members

Friends, comrades, DiEMers,

Today I am writing to you in my capacity as Secretary of MeRA25, DiEM25’s Greek electoral wing.

Today, we begin voting on MeRA25’s electoral program. This is a remarkable moment. Think about it: DiEM25 is developing transnational democracy for the first time in Europe’s history, indeed globally. We are all (Germans, Greeks, Italians, Brits, Portuguese, Irish etc.) shaping, together, the electoral program of our Greek electoral wing. It is a moment to savour independently the outcome: DiEM25 is trailblazing.

Over the past weeks a debate seems to be brewing amongst some of our members regarding DiEM25’s internal democracy. Such debates are important. But equally important is the recognition of what we have achieved and the remarkable democratic culture that DiEM25 has created across a huge, diverse, difficult continent – across Europe. The all-member votes – six different ones – that are commencing today are the best proof of this.

Six months after the inauguration of MeRA25, and following a period of consultation with Greek citizens whom we met in person, in venues and on our site, DiEMers across Europe are now being called to play an active role in finalising MeRA25’s electoral program. Why ‘active’? Because this is not just a YES/NO plebiscite on MeRA25’s electoral program.

The MeRA25 Political Secretariat has not only produced a splendid, comprehensive, progressive and innovative electoral program out of all the ideas we collated but has, also, identified five areas that are controversial in Greek society. As a result, you are now being asked to:

  1. Read the complete document (that was beautifully and heroically translated into English by Erik Edmen)
  2. Vote in each of the five separate all member votes on specific contentious issues – akin to five ‘referenda’
  3. Vote on MeRA25’s Electoral Program in its totality

Before specifying the five ‘referenda’ questions, let me conclude by stating once more the pride that we all feel about our internal democracy, along with our determination to improve it again and again.

2019 will be a key year in the history of our countries (including Greece), of our Europe. As I keep arguing, we DiEMers have a historic duty that is coming to a crunch in 2019.

MeRA25 depends on each and every one of you for its electoral program as well as its capacity to put it across against the better efforts of an oligarchy determined to silence us.

Please read the proposed electoral program in its entirety before participating in the six votes. (If you can also contribute to MeRA25’s finances, that would be an added bonus!)

Onwards (and never inwards)!

Yanis Varoufakis

THE FIVE ‘REFERENDA’ TO RESOLVE FIVE ISSUES IN MeRA25’s ELECTORAL PROGRAM

The draft of MeRA25’s Electoral Program is a coherent whole, whose parts are closely integrated. The five different issues below (reproduced here for your convenience) cannot, and should not be, taken out of the context of the complete document. Please read the whole document before voting on the five specific issues below – and note the recommendation of MeRA25’s Secretariat.

1st Vote – EDUCATION: Converting Greek University Medical and Law Schools into exclusively postgraduate schools

CHOICE: YES/NO

MeRA 25 proposes to convert Medical and Law schools to exclusively postgraduate schools, according to the US and Australian models, with students being obliged to complete another undergraduate program before joining the Medical or Law Schools. The aim is to relieve 18-year-olds from the social pressure of becoming doctors or lawyers just because they were admitted to these schools, and to open up the possibility for other young people, who hadn’t been admitted to these schools at 18 years old, to take the place of those who no longer wish to pursue a medical or legal education.

Recommendation of MeRA25 Secretariat and DiEM25 Greece National Collective: YES

2nd Vote – CANNABIS-DRUGS: Legalising marijuana and the provision of heroin to addicts in a clean, safe environment provided by the National Health Service

CHOICE: YES/NO

To end the scourge of drugs that takes lives, pushes young children to robbing their parents, friends and neighbours, empowering various mafias and gangs, MeRA25 will legalise marijuana and create many small National Health Service units that will anonymously provide heroin to anyone who asks for it, in a safe and hygienic environment, while at the same time strengthening rehabilitation centres for those who want to use them. In this way, drug dealers go bankrupt, meaningless deaths cease, and the addicts’ motive to abuse themselves, their relatives, friends and neighbours disappears

Recommendation of MeRA25 Secretariat and DiEM25 Greece National Collective: YES

3rd Vote – OIL & GAS EXTRACTION IN EASTERN MEDITERRENEAN

OPTION 1: MeRA25 opposes the extraction of fossil fuels from deep sea facilities (oil and natural gas) in joint ventures involving the Greek state, other states – some with highly problematic regimes – global oil companies etc. Development cannot be based anymore on fuels that enrich oligarchies and destroy the planet. Instead, MeRA25 is dedicated to economic development based on renewables and green energy innovations in cooperation with all countries of the region

OPTION 2: MeRA25 supports the extraction of fossil fuels from deep sea facilities in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean, Ionian and Cretan seas (oil and natural gas) in joint ventures involving all countries of the region

OPTION 3: MeRA25 supports the agreement of the current Greek government to extract fossil fuels from deep sea facilities in the Eastern Mediterranean in a joint venture involving Israel, Cyprus and Egypt

Recommendation of MeRA25 Secretariat and DiEM25 Greece National Collective: OPTION 1

4th Vote – MACEDONIA: MeRA25’s position viz. the Athens-Skopje agreement to resolve the name dispute and other matters

CHOICE: YES/NO

OPTION 1: MeRA25 welcomes the agreement between the two governments to resolve the dispute around the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to be named ‘Republic of Northern Macedonia’ as one that is advantageous for all peoples of the region, including Greeks. MeRA25 calls on Skopje to cease any attempt to monopolise the name of Macedonia and condemns any form of irredentism or hysterical, nationalist narrative. At the same time, MeRA25 will oppose the hysterical nationalist narratives in Greece that divide our people and prevent the people of Greece to ally with their northern neighbours, despite our common interests.

OPTION 2: MeRA25 opposes any name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that involves the name Macedonia

OPTION 3: MeRA25 proposes that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia be known as ‘Republic of Macedonia’

Recommendation of MeRA25 Secretariat and DiEM25 Greece National Collective: OPTION 1

5th Vote – MILITARY SERVICE: Legalising marijuana and the provision of heroin to addicts in a clan, safe environment provided by the National Health Service

CHOICE: YES/NO

OPTION 1: MeRA25 will abolish Greece’s mandatory military service, while creating new positions and educational/training opportunities for young men and women in the armed forces in order to balance the armed forces’ loss of conscripts with improvements in quality.

OPTION 2: MeRA25 will reduce the length of Greece’s mandatory military service from 12 to 6 months but extend it also to women

OPTION 3: No change to present mandatory military service

Recommendation of MeRA25 Secretariat and DiEM25 Greece National Collective: OPTION 1

So head over to your DiEM25’s Members Area and let your voice be heard. Vote and help us push forward.

 

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