The Greek situation has crumbled, but none of this was unexpected. It was a tragedy waiting to happen. Their own Greek tragedy, yet this time the EU had a part to play in it. The focus is now on how to resolve things. Bailouts don’t work; they prop up the banking system, but does very little in promoting businesses or in stimulating the job market, both crucial for a country to grow economically. There is little point in paying off banks when no one can afford to live, it was a short-term solution that patched things up, but the wounds were never healed.
The question is; is the bailout in the interests of the people or the businesses? Have the Greeks voted for democracy and reform? One could say yes, they don’t want to be in the EU and under the control of others, while realistically leaving the Euro is a process and cannot be done overnight. There are two camps of thought;
- The ‘yes’ campaign who are people with businesses and assets who wish to remain in the EU as they will benefit with favorable taxes and import and export charges. These are the well off with homes abroad that send their children to schools abroad and staying in the EU favors them. Even if Greece left the EU, they could still afford all these things. This is the minority.
- The ‘no’ voters are those who are unemployed, as they have lost their jobs, or people whose savings cannot keep up with the exaggerated value of the Euro, and a generation where they cannot see a future. These people have nothing to lose; all they have left is their pride and dignity.
Pride is a key factor for the Greeks; they have lost it and want it back. They may say they wish to remain in the EU, however they must say that as they owe the EU billions and even if they left the EU and the Euro they would still be tied in until things were resolved. If they wish to remain in the EU they must agree to what the EU tells them to do, something that wasn’t originally anticipated when all member states signed up. They were always told there was room for negotiation, however that seems to be one-sided these days.
Should Greece decide to stay in the EU and negotiate terms, who is to say this situation will not arise again? Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister called a referendum to give the people a say in what they want, but really it was a message to the EU that the Greek people have had enough of the EU bullying tactics. The poor have had a chance to have a say and they aren’t the well-educated business people who give interviews and who speak English. The EU has faced challenges from member states before, but concessions were always made to keep them in the EU. What can they offer Greece to keep them in when clearly many want out? Do they have the best interests of the citizens or are they concerned with stock markets? The banks have been closed for over a week and the banking system is unstable, affecting all of Europe. Maybe it’s time to admit the EU isn’t working.That is what the EU is afraid of, that they must admit failure and to allow Greece to leave sends that message to the world. While many have known this, Greece is now proof of this.
Democracy and pride comes at a price, so are the Greeks brave or do many realize they have nothing left to lose? Even if an agreement is reached, the problem still remains that Greece (and other member states) don’t have control of their country when they need it. What can the EU do? Take them to court or force their hand? When a country has nothing left to lose, there is little point in these kinds of threats. All it does, as it has shown is make a country more united in fighting for its freedom and democracy, something they had lost, but what gives them faith and hope for the future generations.Those are things money cannot buy.
First published on GreatMindsandThinkers.com