Europe’s leaders are “horrified” that the Greeks might be permitted a voice in their own destiny:
Greek prime minister George Papandreou horrified other EU leaders by announcing that he will ask voters to approve a deal struck last week that would see 50 per cent of the country’s debts written off – but harsh austerity measures imposed for years to come. A ‘no’ vote would prove catastrophic for the EU and could prompt a disorderly default on the country’s debts and an exit from the euro.
Of course, as Iceland has already proven, a ‘no’ vote would be much, much better for the people of Greece themselves. Bad for the parasitical bankers and the EU elite, to be sure, but why should that be any concern of the Greek people?
Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament, puts it in context:
I wish I could convey the sheer writhing horror that George Papanderou’s referendum proposal has provoked in Brussels. Eurocrats instinctively dislike referendums. They feel that their work is too important and complicated to be vulnerable to the prejudices of hoi polloi (or, to be truly pretentious about it, vulnerable to the των πολλων prejudices – for once, the Greek phrase seems apposite).
A referendum at any time would be regarded by European leaders as irresponsible. But a referendum when the euro is teetering on the brink is seen as the height of ingratitude, selfishness and recklessness.
Ingratitude… for what, one wonders?