Greece is at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis as austerity cuts grip the country, with one in every five workers unemployed and pensions and salaries slashed by up to 40 percent.
This comes as the outgoing coalition government has adopted painful spending cuts to secure emergency bailout funding from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
However, the parliamentary elections are set to be held in Greece on Sunday amid the country’s deepening economic troubles and the ongoing austerity crisis.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Paolo Raffone, secretary general CIPI Foundation, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Given what our guest from Athens stated and at the end there she talked about the banks, it seems like this vote is basically based on two options for the voters: simply for the Greeks to give a clear answer as to whether they want to follow this pro-European course which equals to deep cuts and austerity; or not, which is why it’s been called a protest vote.
Raffone: Yes, it is the unfortunate history of Greece, is that of continuing occupation from outside.
On the other hand, the disgraceful leadership of the elites within the country has been conducting the entire population and the Greeks as a nation to the point of no return.
What is happening now under the EU and the supposed way to save Greece from bankruptcy is, as it was said from Athens hidden type of occupation, people have to understand this.
The Greek people are not below the capacity and standards of others in Europe. On the contrary, their history, even their recent history, has proven that they can be avante garde to the others.
There is a protest. The vote of protest will come out. Unfortunately, even in extreme right-wing parties which do not promise any good. But of course it’s a protest vote.
Press TV: What type of government, then, can we look at to ensure Greece’s stability in that area? Hope doesn’t seem to be on the side of these two main parties in the coalition government.
Raffone: I would say that the issue of the coalition government that may come out is almost irrelevant.
The thing that is very important is that Greece has to get out of the situation of subjugation which has been put for a very long time, since the time of the British, over there.
I even see a sort of connection between the history of what is going on in Greece and what has been going on in Iran itself. There is a need of a people’s revolution in Greece to get rid of these foreign people muddling with their internal affairs, and using the country as their own garden.
Those representatives of the coalition government will not change anything. They are still coming from the same elite groups that have brought Greece to the brinks.
Press TV: What is going to be in the works given the fact that this coalition government is going to be elected? What are we going to be looking at as these troika, these three organizations, are going to come in, probably, right after the elections? What kind of cuts are we going to see for Greece so we can get perhaps a pulse on what lies ahead for Greece?
Raffone: In spite of the various specific situations of Greece which I have [implied] before, meaning that the leaderships of Greece have been rapacious, people taking the blood from the Greeks in Greece to put in foreign accounts, this has been done for decades. This is an issue that the Greeks have to resolve with their own leaders, kicking them out of the country if they want to survive.