Greece’s national sovereignty is at risk

Kostis Damianakis, member of the Kreta Struggle against the industry sources of renewable energy, in interview with Mab’s communication sector, reports how private energy companies are advancing in Greece and […]

Kostis Damianakis, member of the Kreta Struggle against the industry sources of renewable energy, in interview with Mab’s communication sector, reports how private energy companies are advancing in Greece and increasingly profiting with energybusiness, since its generation until its distribution. Says also about the perspectives in Greece and his expectations regarding The “International Seminar, Water, Energy are not commodities!”, which happens at 29 until 31 of October, in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spanish State.

Read the interview with Kostis Damianakis.

MAB’s Communication Sector: In summary, at this conjuncture in Greece how is capitalist system appropriating natural resources of this country?

Kostis Damianakis: In this time of economic and political submission to the troika commandments of the capitalist financial system, Greece appears one of the colonial countries of Africa and Latin America of decades and centuries ago. National sovereignty has its worst level since the Nazi occupation in the 40s, the society is facing an unprecedented onslaught of natural resources and public services which have been built by workers with their blood and sweat for decades.

With the privatizations, priority mandatory described in the memorandum signed between the troika and the Greek governments since 2009, and with the false promise of economic recovery through a new extraction-sack of all natural resources, politically conscious society feels like thieves have entered home trough the front door with the shovel.

It’s absurd, but it is true that at this moment the only option presented to Greece by the capitalist system is selling air and sunshine for large renewable energy projects for crumbs prices; land for large multinational agribusiness and for the exploitation of minerals, the coasts and islands for operators of tourism industry. Large multinationals are circling like vultures over public companies as municipal water and sanitation, the state-owned energy, railways, ports and roads. Everything is for sale and for a ridiculously low price.

In the same logic, within the lowering of workers’ wages to levels of two decades ago and the highest unemployment rate in Europe ensures that this program offered for the large capital, also includes the workforce in this country, now weak, terrified by poverty and disjointed by a depoliticized and disjointed trade unionism.

What is the central role of energy at this conjuncture in Greece?
The issue on energy regarding the process of privatization of public services and the granting of natural resources for large multinationals plays a central role. Meanwhile many countries in Europe are experiencing an inverse process of re-nationalization of energy services and water, gaining back the social control in some cases, central governments of Europe are forcing Greece to fully release the power system for the capital. This process began in 2009 with the division of the industry into generation, transmission and distribution and the entry of private actors, in first moment, at the generation and distribution of energy. These private actors have entered the market favored by many benefits and tax evasion by the program. It is absurd these companies gets a lucrative monopoly for itself, and still require the state through laws and rates on the bill subsidies.

At the same time, under the pretext of the country’s contribution to combat climate change, the mountains and valleys of Greece has flipped field installation of renewable energy industries that are not leaving anything for the country in terms of employment and of supervalia. On the contrary, the fact that these facilities are colliding with traditional sectors of the economy such as agricultural production, tourism, etc.

Just to imagine the size of the absurd, while the national energy consumption does not require more than 11 GW of installed capacity, at the moment we have 17 GW between thermal and renewable energy projects with nearly 55 GW of generation licenses or evaluation process.


And how energy companies are appropriating wealth?

The way always have done. Corrupting officials, imposing policies through the European bodies and deceiving people and local authorities that this offensive in the environment and in traditional sectors of the economy is the only way out of the recession and unemployment. Of course this process, any speech or act of opposition is faced with brutal force by the State and its organs and smear campaigns by the mainstream media.

What are the main contradictions that appear in the relationship between workers and energy companies in Greece ?

Workers of Greece at the moment are the main victims. Their wages have fallen drastically, taxes increased without logic, labour law does not protect over its subject and has become a commodity, and above all, trade-unionism is experiencing its worst historical moment. In this context, the relationship with energy companies is a relationship of submission and empty hope. Some even expect that the process of privatization of the sector will benefit them, but this is short-sighted. Only social movements against renewable energy projects or tax increases are leading the ideological battle in the streets right now.

What are your expectations on the International Seminar which will be held in Bilbao at the end of the month?

Are hope is timid, but existent. We know the extreme importance of international articulation which is the union of forces of organisations that struggles against neoliberal capitalist model and transnational companies, against privatizations of public services and the destruction of environment and transformation of natural resources and labour force into commodities. But, meanwhile, we are conscious that each place, each country is tower at the fortress called society and social justice. Defend our position is our priority at this time in which political-financial system is concentrating its attack upon us and making Greece a guinea pig for a new colonialism. We can not and will not go down. And this determination is the message we want to leave this seminar.

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| Publicado 21/12/2023 por Coletivo de Comunicação MAB PI

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