Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of ‘Vote Yes or else’?

No Cards - Public Domain

So the Greeks are going to vote Yes on Sunday. Fear. Humiliation. Patriotism (pro-European or pro-euro, we shall see). Or pragmatism, that great industrial powerhouse of European politics. And so the EU, the IMF, the ECB, the lot – they will have won. Greece – nil. Delete the Second World War.

The problem – and let’s forget for a moment how many millions the profligate Greeks owe us – is that the No voters will vote for the same reason. They are patriotic and they want hope. And they are also doomed by our version of their history. The 18th-century Greeks believed in nationalism born of civilization, an idea that Byron enjoyed but which left out the Ottoman Empire, the wonderful dinar (forget the euro) and a history that has no place in our present narrative.

The 1940s lies like a shadow over Greece today. Those who will vote Yes on 5 July are called traitors – Jermanotsolias (German shirt-soldiers is perhaps the best translation) – while the No voters will be children or grandchildren of the socialist patriots who fought on against the bourgeois-British rulers who took over Athens after Churchill and Stalin agreed that Greece would stay on our side of the Iron Curtain. The puppets and their masters are irrelevant.

(Read the rest of the story here…)