Monday, October 31, 2011

Finally Some Democratic Moves in Europe

Since the start of the European Union and the Euro, it seems that a lot of European policy was taken out of the hands of the people and given to the "elites." (That's the politicians - with a side order of bankers thrown in.) Seems to be changing. Greece to hold referendum on EU debt deal - Telegraph
Responding to the riots that followed last week’s proposal, as well as dissent from within his own Socialist party, Prime Minister George Papandreou said: “The command of the Greek people will bind us. Do they want to adopt the new deal, or reject it? If the Greek people do not want it, it will not be adopted.”

Staging a referendum, reportedly to be held in January, threatens to throw the eurozone further into crisis as the majority of Greeks object to the bail-out, according to a survey published last week.
So Greece won't adopt austerity. (That's OK, really. They haven't implemented all of their promised reforms from the LAST go-round on their debt. "Say Anything.")
If Greece were to reject the plan, which requires deep spending cuts, it would risk a full-scale default and possible ejection from the euro.
They aren't looking at the longer term of course. If they don't abide by this plan, no one - in their right mind anyway - will lend them money. Their newly-reinstated-currency will tank. And all those public service unions complaining about cuts will get no pay. Ditto for the retirees.

But the Germans will breath a collective sigh, and go back to beating the odds.

(The UK promised a referendum on the latest encroachment of the EU on British sovereignty, but when it was clear the average voter would reject it, it never came to pass. Similarly, one of the Scandinavian countries did vote to reject that round of EU expansion, but that plebiscite was just swept under the rug. The elites knew what they wanted and a little think democracy wasn't going to stand in their way.)

(Of course "what they wanted" was the end the unending series of wars fought on European soil. The grandaddy was probably The Hundred Years War, which actually lasted more than 100 years. Even in more modern times major wars were fought about every 50 years or less. Instituting tyranny isn't a good alternative, however.)

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