Everyone seems to have an opinion on Greece these days, don’t they? Those living there, expats, journos, heads of state, people who vacation in Greece and those who’ve seen pictures of the country. In history books, at least. And of course great minds of our time in the fields of economy, political sorta science, philosophy. I’d hardly like to be left out of such a beautifully rainbowy group, so here goes.
First of all, I don’t live in Greece and have not been in the country in years. I try to keep that in mind. My perception of the situation is based on what I read and see televised. From here, guys, there seem to be no winners, either existing ones or showing promise of gaining such status in near future.
If not so long ago you’d have found me rooting for the current Greek government, the referendum posing a question about a deal that has meanwhile expired, in which not all Greeks can vote but only those present in the country on the day that was announced a week ahead, puts me off. Badly.
To my mind, had the Greek government truly wanted a show of democracy, the referendum should have been set to take place at a later date, pose a meaningful question and involve a series of prior debates. Oh, and allow all citizens to vote, even those who might be out temporarily or might not have been living there for a length of time. Why should expats have a say, you say? They are citizens and they can vote in national elections, why not on a crucial issue as this may be. Here’s your ball back… Why should nongreeks campaign? Either way, that is, not just the way you may not be keen on.
Instead, what seems to be taking place is an emotional roller coaster where even not so subtle references in this nonferendum to the oxi day, Mussolini and a military ultimatum are fair game.
On the other hand the harder-than-rock position by the ice lady comes across as equally deploring. The point of negotiations is to have concessions on both sides, isn’t it? Germany was once on the receiving end of extensive help when in dire need. Uncool to be this hard when it’s time to help others. Also, any declared Christian politicians in this story might want to search their souls and write off all interest. Charging an interest used to be considered quite sinful, wasn’t it. Time to get in touch with the old ways. Enough with the cherry-picking, guys. Goes for all of you.
It’s particularly interesting and at times unnerving if somewhat understandable, that the great nonmusical pop stars out there are saying things like “the creditors don’t need their money” and rallying or writing letters of support for the what-exactly-are-they-voting-on event. They won’t be living in Greece anytime soon, will they? And if it’s not a deal they want, but a new world order, they should be completely honest about that in the campaign as well. Knowing that new world orders are hard to come by peacefully. Oh, and move to Greece and get paid in drachma should it come to that stage.
Could you please focus on striking a deal? Arm-wrestling, changing ones mind every few hours and straightforward lying that’s too obvious even for a complete outsider to miss are hardly constructive. Same goes for not giving an inch.
There is no Wall and there are no Others in this game.