Let the People of Greece decide

The people of Greece have managed to keep their language and culture intact over the last few thousand years despite constant attacks by foreign powers. They have successfully repelled attempts at domination by Latins, by Turks, by Venetians, by Genovese. And they preserved the Hellenistic way of being.

The Greek way of doing things is not the German way of doing things; Greek salaries are not German salaries; yet the European Union understands that it is fair to impose German convergence rates on the Greek economy, German constraints and German checks and balances on an economy formed over thousands of years, in Southern Europe, far away from the events taking place in Germany over the years.

Then when alien impositions are visited upon Greece and the Greek people, without anyone having asked them if they wanted them, the Greek government signs an austerity package with a delighted José Barroso and an ecstatic Brussels and an enchanted Berlin, stretching Greek society to the limit. Did anyone ask the people of Greece?

No, they did not. Did they ask the people of Ireland? Portugal? Spain? No, the European Union was imposed in an arrogant and anti-democratic top-down attitude, by stealth, cynically, imposing Maastricht and then Nice and then Lisbon, stitching up a monster before our very eyes...and when anyone dared to say no the reaction was an annoyed sigh, then a repetition of the vote under a manipulation of words ad nauseam until the YES vote won the day, often with the support of a fraction of the population.

This is not democracy, this is not the Greek way of doing things. So now, once again, the people of Greece have the chance to be a beacon of light for the rest of Europe and the choice is crystal clear: kowtow to the orders of Brussels, Barroso and Berlin (Barroso had arrogantly stated some weeks ago that the path of austerity is not to be negotiated, or words to that effect. What he said was the following: "The programme countries, they have no alternative - except disorderly default, which I think is not an alternative - than to pursue courageous fiscal consolidation measures. Growth and consolidation, we need both.")

For "Courageous measures" read "inhuman and inhumane draconian austerity measures which tear society apart, but which the political class, and the professional politicians who have created the European Union to create another echelon of jobs for the boys, have never felt because rarely have any of them ever done a day's work in their entire lives".

What choice do the Greek people really have? If they vote for the parties favouring the austerity measures, then they are selling the jobs of their children and grandchildren down the line because the Greek economy will shrink so much that the labour market will not recover and austerity will be an endemic part of the Greek reality for decades to come, or else they vote for the anti-austerity parties such as Alexis Tsipras' Syriza, which will give the Greeks control over their destiny, not Brussels, not Barroso and not Berlin.

They try to scare the Greek people into masochism, choosing the Euro path over any other because the professional politicians see for the first time in years their pathetic Fascist little pipe dream going up in smoke. Nobody wants the European Union, nobody asked for the Euro and nobody likes the austerity measures imposed on them as the Euro was imposed and as this stupid Union was imposed, to create jobs and sales for Germany.

If that was not the original plan, it is what the plan has become.

Going back to the Drachma ("handful") is going back to Greek solutions for Greek problems, Greek measures imposed by Greeks for Greeks. True, the path ahead is complex, but it will be the Greek Institutions deciding, not the German ones, not Brussels and not Barroso. And the path need not be any more difficult than the policymakers wish to make it. Let's be honest: how much worse could it get anyway? At least by rejecting the Euro, there is some hope.

Outside the Union, Greece is totally free to negotiate its own bilateral agreements. Inside, it is not.

There are things that can be done, there is something called social convergence and there is nothing that good planning and patriotic endeavour cannot surpass. People of Greece, have courage, remember your culture and history, defend it and show us the way!

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey