This is a many-layered cartoon… if you know your ancient Greek mythology (dust off your Golden Bough, kids) and anything at all about the Aeneid. Obviously, Eurocoönte is a satire based on the figure of the Trojan priest Laocoön. He attempted to warn the Trojans about the gift horse left by the Greeks. Athena sent serpents to crush him to death, which they duly did. The imagery is from the famous sculpture Laocoön and his Sons. Virgil has him speaking the famous lines Equo ne credite, Teucri / Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, or “Do not trust the Horse, Trojans / Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts”. This is the source of the cliché, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”.
On Sunday, the first round of talks between Greek President Karolos Papoulias and political party leaders on the formation of a coalition government following last week’s general elections ended without a deal. Papoulias summoned the leaders of the top three parties in the 6 May polls for one-on-one meetings after all of them failed to reach a deal over the past week following elections that produced no clear winner. Most observers see the talks as a last-ditch effort to form a cabinet and avoid a second round of polls, which analysts warn may endanger Greece’s membership in the Eurozone.
Disagreements over Greece’s bailout deal were the main obstacle to reaching an agreement on a new government. Centre-right neoliberal New Democracy (ND) chief Antonis Samaras and socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos back the plan, but Alexis Tsipras, who leads the radical left coalition SYRIZA, refused to join any government that doesn’t reject the harsh austerity measures imposed in return for billions of Euros in international rescue loans. Samaras, whose party was just two seats short of a governing majority, told journalists after the talks, “Deliberations will continue”. However, Tsipras, whose SYRIZA coalition came second in the elections, appeared uncompromising, saying, “For the sake of our responsibility before our fatherland, we won‘t become accomplices in a crime being committed against Greek society”.
Late on Sunday, Papoulias also conferred with leaders of the other four parties that won seats in the new legislature in his presidential mansion in central Athens. Panos Kammenos, leader of the national conservative Independent Greeks, was the first to see the president, followed by Aleka Papariga of the communist KKE, then, Nikolaos Michaloliakos of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn. The last party leader to meet Papulias was Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis. He quoted the president as saying during their talks that “there’s still been no opportunity to form a government”. Kouvelis proposed forming a national unity government with a two-year term that would enable Athens to renegotiate some tough austerity terms with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
If the Greek party leaders fail to come to an accord, the President would dissolve the newly-elected parliament and hold another election in mid-June, which analysts warn could strengthen the standing of the anti-austerity coalition and, therefore, threaten Greece’s Eurozone membership. On Thursday, European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso added his voice to warnings that the Commission could force Greece to leave the Eurozone if it didn’t fulfil its financial obligations to the EU.
14 May 2012
You can also see elements of William Jennings Bryan‘s Cross of Gold speech in the cartoon posted above… Laocoön’s being crushed to death by the DOLLAR… NOT the Euro. That’s to say, the culprit’s not social spending… it’s the Neoliberal Pro-One Percent apparat and their bankster paymasters who’ve been regnant since the early ’80s. As Bryan said:
We’ve petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we’ve entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we’ve begged, and they’ve mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them! … We’ll answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them, “You shall not press down upon the brow of labour this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”.
This is what SYRIZA’s saying, nothing more, but nothing less, either. The affluent effluent’s three-decade free ride on the backs of the working people is about to hit the solid rock of ordinary people’s refusal to subsidise the One Percent’s unending rapacity and leeching greed any further. Look at the McMansions in a gated community near you. It’s not only the affluent effluent’s grasping appetite that’s corrupted our society… they’ve brought evil into all sectors of our lives (using the rhetoric of “individual freedom”).
Reflect on this… George Zimmerman killed an unarmed teen, and it took WEEKS for him to be charged… a black woman fired a gun to discourage an abusive husband (she did NOT hit him), but she received 20 years in the slam… both in the state of Florida. The real law in the state of Florida appears to say that only right-wing whites can “stand their ground” (Zimmerman’s no “Hispanic“… he’s Cuban, which means that he’s a hard righwinger)… but “niggers” had best not even try to defend themselves against attackers… that’s the message that Florida’s sending the nation. That’s how evil and perverted the “conservatives” in the West have become. To think that they wrap themselves up in filthy rags purporting to be “patriotism” and “religion”… what stinking hypocrisy and blasphemy. Thank God for Alexis Tsipras!