The article is prepared by Viktor Stoilov
After long hours of negotiations, debates and voting, the Greek parliament finally approved a bailout worth €85 billion on August 14 (Friday). 222 MPs approved the deal which will bring new austerity measures for key Greek sectors, while 64 voted against, and 11 abstained. This voted showed one more thing – the majority of Greek people, 60%, who voted with “OXI” (“No”) on the referendum are actually represented by only 64 MPs in the 300-seat parliament.
Traditionally for Greece, the vote came with a lot of fierce debating, accusations and drama. 44 of Syriza’s MPs voted against the new measures, with one of them, Panagiotis Lafazanis, saying directly to Tsipras: “I feel ashamed for you. We no longer have a democracy … but a Eurozone dictatorship.”
On the other hand, Germany has backed down its opposition, easing the whole process of signing of the deal, which means that Greece will probably be on time with its payments for the IMF and ECB.
From everything going on with Greece – all talks, referendum, and failed attempt to show a sovereign position which may have caused a financial revolution in Europe we can conclude one thing – Greece failed and got humiliated. But there is another Greek factor in this situation which is the standoff between the classic Greek culture and the new culture of money and greed. That’s the reason why the referendum was so important. It has this existential nature in it, as well as some political. It was political in two senses – for the national sovereignty and the destruction of the democracy.
On Brussel’s ultimatum Tsipras was clear and said that a matter like this one should be decided by the people – a true indication of democracy which we hadn’t seen for ages in Europe. The people said ‘OXI’ (‘NO’). That meant that the ongoing for decades policy of destruction of the national sovereignty in the EU was about to be stopped. But Tsipras sent Greece back in the huge debt hole, from which the country cannot escape.
The referendum was to defend democracy. Its purpose was to show that Greeks had invented democracy and they are going to be the last nation standing and defending it before it collapses. However, they failed.
These are the main political issues and lessons we got.
On the other hand, looking at the financial side, it wasn’t a surprise that Greece wasn’t going to be able to pay the money. Everybody knew it 5 years ago because when they entered the Eurozone the whole industry was destroyed there.
From this we get that this system is faulty and it should be replaced. Greece was destroyed but its ‘OXI’ may spark some other countries which are next on the list of destruction – Italy, Spain, Portugal and so on.
But now, we can only wait. Tsipras probably wants some time, and to try again in 2-3 years. His problem is that people don’t trust him the way they did before. But if he is still in power after that period he’ll probably try to escape this European jail once again.
It’s a saga in a traditional Greek way. Greece is the Achilles’ heel of the deadly wounded European Union, and is also the Trojan Horse of the Eurozone. In both cases, Greece brought back the hope of the people, that they can fight against the evil bankers’ system.
We’re yet to see, how this typical Greek saga is going to continue.