Declaration by Mikis Theodorakis concerning the elections of 20 September 2015

It goes without saying that elections usually take place in order to bring to power the parliamentary force that will lead the people during the next four-year parliamentary mandate and implement its programme. But after the upcoming elections, what is the programme that the winning party will implement?

Yesterday, Mr Juncker reminded us that it has already been voted by the SYRIZA government and Brussels, our “national” programme, meaning the Third Memorandum; and – like a real gauleiter – he threatened us that if we did not put it into practice we would be severely punished.

I think back to the days of the German occupation and wonder how the Greeks would have reacted if the then gauleiter had decided to call an election. Meaning: Would they have agreed to take part in ridiculing democracy by forming parties with a “government programme” in their hands, or would they have taken to the hills, as had already been the case. Because, as it has been proved, Greeks in those days were still proud patriots, who confronted the heavily- armed gauleiters upright and ready to sacrifice their lives for the honour and dignity of their country.

And I ask the question: Is democracy not being ridiculed today, when a powerful entity, with 100% control over our country, over our heads, “gives us permission” to have parties with different opinions – in order to safeguard appearances and for the 8 o’clock news –, on the condition that the one that wins the elections will be obliged to carry out the same programme, meaning the one the gauleiter would have forced on us, since he had succeeded beforehand in obtaining a Greek agreement.

And let no one contest the comparison I am making of the two occupations – that of today and that of the past – on the grounds that weapons were involved then, whilst now they are not. Because what is financial strangulation if not a weapon? During the occupation, if you left the Germans in peace, they left you in peace. So then, why did the Greeks rise against them? They rose for moral reasons. They were ashamed to be ordered around by others, ashamed that others made decisions about their lives. They rose for their honour! For that honour which for us, and for all proud and free patriots, was the essence of their existence.

 “Spitha” and I will continue to consider honour and dignity to be the essence of the Greek patriot; and for this reason we hold these elections to be a tragic irony, a game played by Mr Juncker and Co., to force us to be good, well-behaved children, with the illusion that we are the sovereign people! We will not help foreigners put a noose around our necks!

Athens, 11.9.2015

Mikis Theodorakis

English translation by Ariel Wagner-Parker