Democracy

Greece votes 'Oxi' – the demos has spoken

 

There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.

As Hamlet defied augury, he surrendered to the inevitable. Everything will work out precisely as destined. Matters of life and death are beyond man’s control: it is God who determines such matters. The words echo those of Jesus:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Mt 10:28-30).

As with the sparrow, so it is with the Greek euro. There is an inevitability about its fall. If it be not now, yet it will come. Whether now or at some point in the future, Greece will leave the euro because her people will not bear the burden of interminable years of economic austerity and perpetual feelings of political oppression.

Chancellor Merkel of Germany all but ordered the Greeks to vote to stick to their agreements and remain in the euro: “I can only warn everyone against leaving the currency union,” she said back in 2012. “The internal cohesion of the euro zone would be in danger.” In this she was joined by Jean-Claude Juncker, who lectured: “If the radical left wins – which cannot be ruled out – the consequences for the currency union are unforeseeable.”

The “radical left” Syriza have taken the EU to the brink, but let us not fool ourselves about what will follow. The Franco-German axis will convene an emergency bilateral summit to agree the way forward, and then tell the other EU member states what it is. ‘Ever closer union’ precludes any restoration of national sovereignty: the answer to every crisis in the EU is ‘more Europe’. The Greeks have not voted to leave the euro. Nor have they voted to leave the EU. They have simply voted ‘Oxi’ to:

Should the plan of agreement, which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of 25.06.2015 and is comprised of two parts that constitute their unified proposal be accepted?

The first document is entitled ‘Reforms For The Completion Of The Current Program And Beyond’ and the second ‘Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis’.

To complicate things, they actually voted ‘Oxi’ to a deal that was no longer on the table. But that is, in a sense, immaterial. This referendum was about political feelings and national identity: it was about people, communities and their hazy priorities. Despite the formidable forces of establishment, church and media all bludgeoning the demos to vote ‘Yes’, they defied the kratos and roared ‘No’. If this expression of democracy is now seen to be subverted by external forces – either in Berlin or Brussels – the consequences will be civil unrest, political upheaval and revolution with the election of a Golden Dawn government.

There will now be enormous pressure for ‘cooperation’ to save the euro. When a deal is agreed (as it surely will), the resolution will be hailed as both Greek ‘national salvation’ and ‘victory for Europe’. That is how ‘Europe’ works.

And so the nightmare will continue: more bartering over terms, more loans from the ECB and the IMF, more debt, more recession, more burden, more bailout, more austerity, more job cuts, more salary cuts, more pension cuts, more unemployment, more poverty, more homelessness, more suffering, more social tensions, more protests, more civil unrest, more lectures from Berlin and warnings from Brussels.

There is nothing new under the sun: the sparrow will fall, as providence decrees. It is only a matter of time.