Who wants a referendum?
Greece’s soon to become former P.M. and his decision to call for a referendum on the 26/10 deal, took everyone by surprise. There has been a variety of reactions to his decision:
Some call him a hero, for respecting the people’s voice
Some call him incompetent for jeopardizing the stability of the euro
Some call him an excellent “player”, for exposing the fact that Europe is terrified by the prospect of a Greek bankruptcy, thus counting on better terms on the deal while also pushing the opposition party ( ND) into an agreement
Some call him a coward, for not raising his objections while in Brussels
Some call him an agent, using Greece to destabilize the euro in favor of the dollar
Some call him a traitor, making personal profits on the back of Greece and Europe
Some call on him to resign
He might be all or none of these things, but what I would like to offer you, is an input on how the Greeks are responding to the referendum announcement and to the implications it has had, so far.
The response could be summed up as: “Too little, Too late”
The Greeks have been demonstrating since day one, against the first deal signed by his team. They feel they should have been given the right to decide much earlier, before any agreements were made, to begin with. They feel that his decision to do so, now, is an attempt to avoid responsibility and remain in power, avoiding the demand for elections that has been strong since two years.
They, also, see a referendum, now, as a trap.
They are not happy with their range of options. If they vote YES to the deal, they accept at the same time the sum of his politics so far, which hardly reflects reality. If they vote NO, they risk bankruptcy but also take upon themselves the catastrophic results this bankruptcy will impose to other EU states.
Many also, believe, that a referendum will anyhow not be allowed to happen. Neither by the EU, in fear of a “NO”, neither by the opposition parties, who wish to profit from an upcoming election. The ongoing propaganda from the media and officials, about the “catastrophic” results of a No vote, is supporting this argument.
This is what has happened so far: While announcing his decision, the Ministry of Defense was replacing all 16 high officers of the army, naval and air force. This has not been highly publicized, as it seems that ms Merkel’s reactions are more important. So how did they react?.First they said he is irresponsible and insane. Then French and German leaders announced that the deal will be urgently implemented, anyhow. We shall be “saved”, whether we like it or not ( which proves the “EU fear”argument)
Then the possibility must have struck them that P.M. Papandreou is on to something! His blackmail might work and the people will not wish to leave the euro, thus legitimizing all actions so far and at the same time putting an end to all protest, strikes and demos. Since Mr. Schäuble finally announced today that he finds a referendum a good idea, we are all getting a bit worried.
At the same time, EU leaders are now using this opportunity to enforce the P.M.’s blackmail, reforming and dictating the question:
“Do you want in or out of the euro?”
To make sure we do the right thing, all money transactions have been frozen until we vote!
For the Greeks this whole story is about : “Do you wish for us to strangle you or the markets when you are left alone?” It doesn’t look good..
A tiny detour here: A careful look into the measures proposed since day one, makes very clear to the informed reader that Greece is been used as an example for the rest EU states with financial debt, by imposing on her, way harsher demands than necessary (and hardly effective at all , at the same time..)The objective being that Greece becomes so humiliated that no one else dares to oppose to measures, reforms, wage cuts or to expect “ debt cuts” etc.
Of course, history will show if this referendum will ever take place. The proposed date is, since yesterday, the 4th of December, much earlier than first announced. While the Greek government is crumbling, there is a vote of confidence scheduled for Friday 4th of November. In the midst of talks in the parliament right now, there are calls for a united government to lead Greece to elections, after, of course, the deal is signed.
A cooperation government is something the Greeks do not wish for, either. The financial crisis is in fact a political crisis in Greece. People have lost confidence in all parties, since decades. A law, 7 years ago, that rejects the power of the “white vote” (which represents a valid vote that announces the voter does not approve ANY of the parties) and instead puts it in favor of the first party, did not help the situation. They actually wish for new faces to be able to participate and not to be ruled by a club of all the parties they oppose to and know to be corrupt or useless.
What is going to happen, we shall know really soon, as developments are rapidly unraveling, while I am writing this post.
In any case the future does not look very promising and No, the majority of Greeks do not feel that, through this referendum call, Democracy prevails.