What is basically happening now is that EU leaders want to show Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza-led government who the boss is. Tsipras had to swallow a number of snakes up until now, and probably will have to give in a lot more
If one can get rid of all the cliches that embellish the no vote in Greece, the whole picture can become more understandable. We are not talking about a country where there is a risk of invasion by the armies of Mussolini. Greece today is a small country whose governance structure has totally failed. Statehood has failed to meet the expectations of its people and it has totally failed to reach the average standards of an EU member state. For the first time in EU history, a member state has established a kind of "omerta," where the opposition party, when it comes to power, continues the biased system of falsification on national accounts to chisel EU budget funding.
Greece was unprepared when it joined the EU 34 years ago. Greece was not fulfilling the necessary conditions when it joined the euro back in 2001. When it became obvious that Greek national accounts did not reflect reality at all, it was too late, Greece was already in the eurozone and nothing could be done to reverse the situation. Greece blackmailed the EU on the eve of the 2004 "big bang" enlargement, by declaring that it would oppose its veto to any enlargement if Greek Cyprus, having rejected the U.N. plan for reunification, was not made a member alongside with other candidate countries.
All these developments played a very abrasive role concerning the patience of main EU countries, so when the crisis detonated in 2010, there was a clear will to punish Greek authorities once and for all. Then Prime Minister George Papandreou, who by the way, wanted to organize a referendum, was almost fired and replaced by Lucas Papademos, a technocrat, to implement the austerity policies to absorb the Greek debt. He did not last long, very much like Mario Monti in Italy, because if the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) needed technocrats, the voters needed leaders. In Greece, the government was replaced to give Andonis Samaras the Prime Ministry, where he wanted to play the game according to the austerity rules. For five years, Greece suffered. The banking sector has been salvaged, but its terrible debt was made public, so the Greek public had to pay the debt, and failed to do so. The economy shrunk one-fourth, unemployment skyrocketed and the purchasing power of the low-wage earning masses went down badly.
No improvement of the economy is in sight and there is a populist government in place that thought and promised the voters that Greece would remain in the eurozone and not abide by the austerity rules. What is basically happening now is that EU leaders want to show Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza-led government who the boss is. Tsipras had to swallow a number of snakes up until now, and probably will have to give in a lot more.
Whether Syriza remains in the government, whether Greece remains in the eurozone or has to go back to a national currency, the dilemma remains intact: Greece cannot pay back such an incredible debt within the parameters of the imposed financial policies.
The EU, by consistently delaying acknowledging the fact that its policies are, at best, totally inadequate and, at worst, criminal for the low-wage earning masses in Greece and elsewhere, is playing with fire. It is one thing to ask Greece continuously to face its past errors, it is another thing altogether to see that what the EU with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the lead is trying to implement can be extremely dangerous for the future of the EU project as a whole.