Thoughts on the Greek Referendum…

On the eve of a referendum in Greece, that a large majority of people have voted against help from the European Union banks, it is shocking how little they seem to care about the impact this is going to have on the economy. There is no cash in the country to pay salaries, get the health system to work, the power network to light up homes and the public transport map will not function anymore. So, what does the public want to do then? It is not a definite that Greece will leave the Eurozone, for this political decision but there is no denying the very stark choices the public is left with now. Does it want Greece to start printing it’s own money? Is that what they would like to see, rather than the deadlock that conversations had reached amongst European lenders and the new Greek government, headed by Alexis Tsipras.

This is a loss for European confidence, a further blow to an already strenuous relationship over the last few weeks now. Patience has grown wafer-thin because it has been five years and there is still such a difficult financial hurdle to cross for the country’s economy. It’s hard to imagine what could happen in the talks stage but personally, I would still hate to see the Eurozone country leave the collective currency, because the Euro has been a positive factor in the country’s life, when recession struck it, hard. Naturally, this has been a two-way relationship, but there is no arguing that the contribution that the EU has made on the currency-level has been, for the most part, beneficial for Greece, for it’s stock markets, for government bonds and for it’s banks. We could get a new government in place in Greece to negotiate the deal, with creditors, better but that would ofcourse come after a change of three successive governments, unable to solve the crisis.

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All this debate about the monetary union reminds me of another debate that has made itself into the pages of a fine story – it is the debate over virtual reality: is it good, is it important or is it something meant only for science fiction novels, for Asimov’s universe? Meanwhile, there has been also been widespread debate on the “Blood Telegram” – a controversial piece of work, during the Nixon administration, which demonstrated the perils of not talking it over at the negotiations table. The telegram was about the atrocities of a war in one of France’s former colonies, that only Nixon will be able to elaborate on why he chose to never believe or comment on – my best guess would be that he had his reasons to disbelieve the war got that ugly, because the country was already, at that point in time, mostly empty marshlands, underdeveloped and very weak, despite it’s longstanding commitment to being on the side of what’s right. On the eve of this referendum, I would just like to add that let us all hope that there is a greater understanding of the complexities of the political situation, unfolding in Greece at the moment, on all sides – it is what is required to make the European country prosperous once more!


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