Greece: Democracy in Action

The Greek people expressed themselves with utmost clarity. In response to an incomprehensible question posed to them by their fairly elected Prime Minister, the Greeks voted by a wide margin for the precipice instead of self-discipline. They also voted consciously for blackmail, because their government had explained to them that the “No” vote they gave would put pressure on Greece’s creditors (which include ordinary European Union taxpayers and, to a small extent, through the International Monetary Fund, US taxpayers as well.) The Greek government cynically campaigned for the same “No” vote.

Greece just joined Argentina to form a group of countries where the population deserves what’s coming to it because of its deliberate dishonesty, articulated through perfectly legitimate democratic channels.

As usual the urban poor in Greece – those who have no hens and no apple trees (like my parents in the fifties) – will be the ones to suffer the most as a result of irresponsible collective choices.

When was the last time anything good for the poor ever came out of an election won by any Left at all, anywhere, at any level? Please, remind me.

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6 thoughts on “Greece: Democracy in Action

  1. I just returned yesterday from a week in Athens for an academic conference. There seemed to be a big socio-economic divide in voting intentions. The unemployed and menial workers were definite No votes. The Yes votes were physicians and a few academics. Personally I think they should bag the euro and go back to the drachma.

    Brandon: how long do you think it will be before Putin is making deals in Athens? Might be nice to have a friend in the EU when sanctions come up again. Port privileges for the Russian navy would be very conveniently located as well.

    • Leaving the Euro zone does not require leaving the European Union. The latter still offers advantages – in trade in particular – that an economically declining Russia can’t match. A return to the drachma would allow Greece to play devaluation games that would make its products competitive within the EU large free trade area. The game would impoverish the Greeks further but it would put them on the road to recovery. The products include tourism, of course. Even a 10% drop in the cost of a vacation is enough to shift many European vacation plans from some other destination to Greece. The Greek demagogues have not been able to dissipate the country’s historical treasures. They might be unable to do it at all. Economically, Greece was always close to being Bulgaria. It was accepted in the Euro zone for sentimental reasons. Don’t think classical Athens but the long agonizing Byzantine Empire and Ottoman rule.

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