Thursday, July 16, 2015

Greece, The European Union and Democracy

We all know the EU ignores referenda that don't go their way. But what about Greece, supposedly the birthplace of democracy?

Six months or so ago Syriza were elected in the Greek general election on an anti-austerity platform.

Less than a fortnight ago Syriza, strangely considering their election victory, called a referendum on the proposed EU bail out plan which would impose more severe austerity on Greece.

The Greek people voted No (or oxi) as the government wanted.

So the Syriza government went back to talk to the EU and accepted an even more severe bailout deal, ramping up the level of austerity with tax hikes, pension cuts and privatisation.

Can anybody explain how any of that can be described as 'democratic' please?


Jim said...

I think its a case of the Syriza politicians becoming grown-ups and telling the children (the Greek electorate) they can't have what they are demanding - namely more spending (end to austerity) AND stay in the Euro. The Syriza guys have played their hand as best they could, taking the EU to the brink, hoping the EU would blink first and give them a good deal, but the EU didn't blink. It was sign the deal on offer or leave the euro, and the Greeks had no plans in place to deal with that, so they took the sensible way out. You can't condemn your people to a catastrophe in a fit of pique, especially when those people don't really know what would hit them if they did leave the euro.

Sometimes its necessary not to give the people what they are demanding, because they really don't understand the consequences of their demands, particularly when their demands are as conflicted as the Greeks electorate's are.

Gregg said...

I think you missed my point.

I don't understand how Syriza were elected on an anti-austerity platform, argued for a no vote in a referendum only 6 months later, got the no vote then reneged on the election promise and the referendum result. Ignoring your election promises, and the result of a referendum that went the way you campaigned for is not only undemocratic it is also immoral.

Ultimately it shows that socialists have little principle or decency.

Gregg said...
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