NOV
2
2011

Greece – is it so bad to offer the people a choice, and why are Eurocrats so terrified of Democracy?

(Mish) Great article by Mike Shedlock on the Greek/Euro Dilemma – “Is there any reason Greek voters should not be given a choice? I think not. They may not make a wise choice but what is the likelihood that political hacks and political opportunists will?”

“Take a good look at Iceland. In repeated attempts, political hacks (with banker’s interests in mind) attempted to sell Icelandic citizens into debt slavery. A referendum saved the day. Sadly, voters were forced to repeat the referendum, and once again voters made the correct decision. .. Iceland is now in full recovery simply because it told the EU and IMF to go to hell.

“Greece does not have an easy way out. However, its problems are no doubt far worse than if it told the EU and the IMF to go to hell two years ago.  Greece should have gone bankrupt long ago. Heck, it should not be in the EU in the first place, and the EU is primarily to blame even though Greece lied to get in.”

“(PeterTchir) If a leader in the Middle East finally gave into months of protest and decided to give the people a real say on an important issue, the Western leaders would be rejoicing. .. But if a fellow Western leader dares let his people express their wishes more directly than via “their representatives” they are all shocked and outraged. In the meantime other Greek politicians are busy taking advantage to gain power rather than helping their citizens.”

“(PaterTenebrarum) The eurocracy is at its heart deeply undemocratic – if it were up to the ‘technocrats’ leading it, national subsidiarity would have long ago become a relic of the past and democratic interference with their plan to erect a socialist super-state would be kept to a bare minimum. .. This can be seen by the fate suffered by previous referendums: when the Irish and French e.g. said ‘no’ and ‘non’ respectively to the Lisbon treaty, the referendums were simply repeated to get the ‘right’ result. As Stalin once sagely remarked, it doesn’t matter who votes for what anyway – what matters is who counts the votes. So far, the eurocrats have always gotten the results that they wanted, by hook or by crook.

Shall I tell you the truly terrifying thing about the EU? It’s not the absence of democracy in Brussels, or the ease with which Eurocrats swat aside referendum results. It’s the way in which the internal democracy of the member states is subverted in order to sustain the requirements of membership. ..

I wish I could convey the sheer horror that his proposal provoked in Brussels. The first rule of the Eurocracy is “no referendums”. Brussels functionaries believe that their work is too important to be subject to the prejudices of hoi polloi (for once, the Greek phrase seems apposite). Referendums are always seen as irresponsible; but, at a time when the euro is teetering on the brink, Papandreou’s proposal was seen as an act of ingratitude bordering on treason. ..

Eurocrats are prepared to pay any price rather than admit that the single currency was a mistake – or, more precisely, to expect their peoples to pay, since EU officials are exempt from national taxation. The peripheral countries are to suffer poverty, unemployment and emigration, the core countries perpetual tax rises, so that supporters of the euro can save face.”

“(DanielHannan) Euro-enthusiasts in Brussels and in Athens are ready to bring down an elected government rather than allow a referendum. Yet the funny thing is that Papandreou is a Euro-enthusiast. He fervently wants to remain in the euro, and had been planning to campaign for a Yes vote. His sin, in the eyes of Brussels, was not to hold the wrong opinions, but to be too keen on democracy. ..”

Whose Skin Are We Saving? No eurocrat or politician outside of Greece gives a rat’s ass about helping Greece. The only skin they want to save is their own.  That realization coupled with my earlier proposal that Papandreou was tired of beatings, meetings, and riots is by far the most likely reason Papandreou decided to “walk away” from the mess via referendum.

Full Story: In Praise of Papandreou’s Referendum Decision; Eurocrats Terrified of Democracy; Parade of Cowards (Mish)

As usual, this is more about bailing out the banks and protecting those who made foolish investments above all else.  It’s also interesting to note that while private bond holders of Greek debt was expected to take a 50% haircut, my understanding is that the ECB (who currently owns about half of all outstanding Greek bonds) would still be holding their Greek bonds at par.

This is not to say Greece is not also at fault.  There’s plenty of blame to go around.  However, to this day the War Reparations forced upon Germany after World War I are still largely blamed for leading Germany into hyperinflation and the eventual rise of Hitler.  And perhaps Germany eventually owning and/or controlling most of Greece’s key assets to pay back its debts is not something those “pesky” Greek citizens are willing to accept quite that easily.

Regarding Papandreou’s recent changes to his top military staff, while only Papandreou and his closest confidants know exactly what’s going on, given he called a referendum to offer the people a “say”, it would seem unlikely he is considering a “military coup”.  I would speculate his motive would more likely be to assure that the military will remain loyal to the “best interests of Greece”, as opposed to the “best interests of the European Union”.

(MartinArmstrong) “The most important aspect is the economy. Screw that up and you get war, depression, and starvation. We then elect a whole bunch of people to posts and automatically assume these people have the (1) real intelligence ABOVE average to comprehend such complex subjects, and (2) they understand the right thing to do. Where did we ever get these ideas? Most of the staff members employed by politicians are smarter than the people they work for. But unless they believe an economic crisis is possible, they will not even look at the issue.” — Martin Armstrong, Happy Days Are Here Again

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