Since the beginning of this current crisis we have watched crisis meetings, major EU/IMF/ECB summits, and many times, the people of Europe and the world have been told that there are now measures in place and decisions are made to fix the system.
Drama continued on, and 3 years later after yet another summit of the political/economic powers, Greek Mythology kicked in. The Olympian Gods, from Zeus to Hephaestus are upon Euro-Zone. Germany, France, EU, IMF, ECB are all baffled. One can almost hear them whispering WTF?
Have the Gods gone mad?
George Hook, in his radio show (that is sponsored by a financial corporation) went bananas. "How dare" he said (Paraphrasing), "the Greeks can ask the Greek people what to do about the banking debt of Greece". He continued: "Greece may be the birth place of civilisation but they are certainly not civilised now and should be sent to bottom of the sea to Atlantis".
What is there more democratic and natural than Greeks asking Greeks about Greece’s solutions? (Not just problems)
I guess, if Mr. Hook was faced with a situation where Irish were asking people of Ireland about Ireland’s solutions (problems), he would have a heart attack due to absence of IMF/ECB in this affair.
No credit to Greek government for deciding to ask the Greek people about what to do? No credit because they did not come to this decisions using their political judgement and will. The Greek rebels went against to gods and fought the Trojan War on streets of Athens and everywhere else. They used their weapons skilfully: Work stoppages, occupations, resistance and of course national and local strikes. The gods had no choice but to sit down and ask people what they want about their country and their future. Zeus had to come-down to earth and face the people. However there may be a lot of uncertainties about this emerging referendum and the days leading up to it, it is a victory for Greek people who fought the austerity measures for so long and so hard. They may play with the wording of it, they may try to blur the issue, but Greek people will know what this is all about.
Now the other gods of Europe, the IMF and ECB found themselves fighting against their loyal friends in Greece. They feel betrayed. They feel the heat. The idea of a referendum scares them. The idea of ordinary people taking on the task of economic decision making makes them nervous. They cry from Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Ney York: How can ordinary people know what’s good for them. We have our experts, we have our leaders, and they should tell people what to do. Why should people decide for themselves?
George Hook screams in the background: “Who they think they are these Greek people? They should be punished.” His ability in political/economic analysis is similar to the traffic on N3 on a rainy evening. All chaos no movement... While carefully avoiding the root-cause analysis of this crisis, while constantly attacking the elected left-wing public representatives, he jumps back and forward from ancient Greek history to current days and tries to build up an argument while acting genuinely concerned and angry... No Mr. Hook, you cannot attack the drivers on N3 because of the traffic. The jam is there because lack of public transport, lack of investment in infrastructure and a political push for car ownership. Now go home and study the N3 case as an example for the crisis you talk so much about.
Europe and EU are defined as “a collective grouping of sovereign, free nation states. The ideal setting for democracy where people elect their governments”; that’s at least how they want us to see EU as. We can always vote for presidents, prime ministers, senator etc. Sure that’s our political democracy. But when it comes to economic democracy, where we the people also decide on how our nation’s economy should be run, they get very angry. When people realise that you can’t have political democracy without the democratic control of your economy, powers of Europe worry. And they worry a lot.
Suddenly, a simple question to the nation with a simple answer of YES/NO invalidates all their serious meetings, their overpaid, under accountable bureaucrats and their cosy deals behind steel doors.
Suddenly, when democratically elected governments are re-called (forced) to ask the nation about policy decisions, fear strikes! They realise that they can’t hide behind election promises and parliament walls. Suddenly their term may not be a guaranteed 5 years in power. The men in expensive suits staying in luxurious hotels and telling the finance ministers what to do are lost. A referendum? That becomes their nightmare. They wake up in the middle of the night screaming: “A referendum...? Oh my gooood....”
Suddenly, Paris, Berlin realise that they may be under pressure. They may lose their control over their own people.
Well, if your banks can affect Greek people’s future, surely their referendum must affect your political future?
However much Mr. Hook wants to punish the Greek people, his options are limited. Greece is not a house or a car that you can re-posses. Greek beaches are not hospital beds you can shut down. You cannot build a big thick wall around Greece and fill it with water. You cannot undress an already naked man to take away his clothes.
So, Berlin, Paris, London, EU, IMF, ECB:
What are you going to do? Are you going to invade Greece? Sure 2nd World War is not a million years ago. Are you going to boycott Greece and not go on holidays? Are you going to refuse to eat mezedes? Are you going to kick Greece out of Euro, EU, maybe NATO? Are you going to ban Greek people from travelling? Are you planning to deport them out of other countries?
Or are you going to sit down and think again (and hard this time)? To burn the bond-holders, private investor, bank speculator and gamblers... Are you going to decide that your model did not and will not work and therefore needs to be replaced? Are you going to start taxing the ultra rich and use national resources for generating public works programs, create jobs and a sustainable, and need based economy. Are you going to write off the un-payable debts and start clean again? Are you going to stop spending billions on warfare and invasions and start using this money for building proper infrastructure? (Remember N3?)
Whatever you decide to do, be aware that other nations are also angry... They may be slow, they may be listening to drive time radio, they may be afraid, they may be demoralised but all of these have limits. Suddenly they can strike, they can occupy and they can refuse to comply
So, Berlin, Paris, London, EU, IMF, ECB:
Whatever you decide, think carefully. So far one minute you have appealed to people of Greece softly and gently and threatened them next minute. You are playing bad cops / good cops with them. But your harm is real. Your damage is long lasting... And people of Greece and of Europe and the world will see things as they are...