2020 in Greece marked the first full year of MeRA25 in the Greek parliament.
In the face of continued smear attacks and a hostile media landscape, a very active parliamentary group of 5 women and 4 men stood their ground in support of Greek democracy, economic sovereignty and social justice. They showed that giant leaps can be readily taken in that direction, by tabling a comprehensive legislative proposal that would liberate the Greek state from the grip of the oligarchy-without-frontiers.
Like other parts of the world, Greece witnessed growing government authoritarianism under the pretext of measures to combat the pandemic. After the police proclaimed an unconstitutional blanket ban of assembly throughout Greece ahead of the anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising, MeRA25 asked its supporters not to take part in the customary demonstration and decided that 7 MPs would represent them instead. In the event, hundreds of police cordoned them off and restricted their mobility for hours, in a clear violation of the constitution.
Greek parliamentary democracy saw another setback when the ruling majority voted to waive the immunity from prosecution of MeRA25 MP Aggeliki Adamopoulou, simply for stating a well-documented fact from the chamber’s podium, namely that plain clothes police have been known to infiltrate demonstrations to instigate violence. These two developments led Yanis Varoufakis to warn that the government, following in the footsteps of its Hungarian, Polish and Turkish counterparts, is turning Greece into an illiberal democracy.
Apart from the pandemic, the other issue that dominated Greek headlines in 2020 was escalating tensions between the Greek and Turkish states over the delimitation of maritime zones which would grant them ownership of hydrocarbons under the East Mediterranean seabed. DiEM25 issued a transnational joint statement of its Greek, Turkish and German NCs in support of peace, cooperation and shared green prosperity. MeRA25 took a principled and firm stance in favour of multilateral diplomacy without mediators and against any and all extraction of fossil fuels.
Caught up in the Greco-Turkish tension and the EU-Turkey cynical and inhumane dealings were the asylum seekers in places like Moria. After the infamous detention center was burned to the ground, the government decided to house them in tents for the winter. The new camp floods everytime it rains and it has no running or hot water. As the plight of refugees and migrants continues, the shame of Europe grows.
Notwithstanding the historic verdict against the leadership of the nazi Golden Dawn party, Greece in 2020 saw a rise of government authoritarianism, police brutality, far-right rhetoric and racist migration policy. MeRA25 estimates that the government is preemptively hardening its stance in anticipation of popular resistance to inevitable new austerity. Having adopted new statutes and elected its 1st Central Committee, they stand ready to lead the progressive opposition to fascists and oligarchs alike.
DiEM25 in Greece, having spontaneously diverted a lot of its resources to MeRA25 after the latter’s entry in Parliament, has remained relatively dormant, understandably overshadowed by the electoral wing’s success. The formation of a new Provisional National Collective and the People’s Gathering initiative are hoped to redress this imbalance.
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