The developments over the last 24/48 hours in relation to Greece are, without doubt a tragedy. What appears to have been missed by the media is that these events have been a tragedy for what passes as democracy.
Consider first, the background: From Bruno Waterfield, on twitter, we learn:
"#eurozone, from a very good source, double checked: the depth of EU anger at Papendreou's announcement was because he had threatened a referendum at eurozone summit on 23 Oct to try and win concessions. Merkel had demanded that Greece surrendered all fiscal sovereignty to an EU-IMF team led by a German official who "would supervise every moment of the Greek fiscal and budgetary process". The Greek PM said that such a transfer of power would require popular consent via a referendum. The German Chancellor backed down."
In what appeared to be a rambling speech to the Greek parliament today, a live-blog of which can be found here, Papandreou basically admitted that the referendum 'ploy' was only a means to force agreement from Greek opposition parties on acceptance of the EU 'package'. (Now that the opposition appears to support the EU austerity package there is obviously no need to get permission from the people.)
That Papandreou was bullied by Sarkozy and Merkel and put in his place, in no uncertain terms, is evident by the report from Reuters:
"Flanked by his finance minister and sitting across a white-covered table from French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he was told bluntly he would get no more aid until Athens committed to play by the rules."
It is also obvious that Greek politicians were 'got at' as we learn from Deutche Well:
"Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos appeared to have changed his mind on the referendum after talks with French and German leaders Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel in the French city of Cannes. Venizelos said in a written statement that "Greece's place in the euro is a historic achievement" and that "this established right of the Greek people cannot be put under scrutiny in a referendum." Development Minister Michalis Chrisohoidis appeared to echo those calls, saying, "There can be no… return to the drachma and the past."
It will be seen from those reports that at one point Papandreou was told that Greece couldn't leave the euro and remain a member of the EU. Intriguingly the European Central Bank has published a paper on just that question and it can be found here. That the EU and their elite do not like referenda is illustrated where at one point in the ECB paper it is admitted that:
"The advisability of a referendum is highly questionable, considering the grave political implications of such a step for the stability of the Union."
As an aside, it would appear that the British and Greek people are not the only ones who would like a referendum on matters EU, so would the German people - according to this report in Bild (translation via Google here). On the subject of matters EU and referendums, Ana the Imp has a well-crafted post, one which is worth a read.
Of course, standing on the sidelines of all this is David Cameron, who is attending the G20 meeting today and has a wee problem, one illustrated in this post from the New Statesman. (Dirgressing once again, the picture is not very flattering to Cameron, who looks as though he has been "toupé'd". Or, as a public employee and a politician who would fit into any of the current political parties whilst retaining all his perks, perhaps it should be "TUPE'd").
The whole situation is probably best summarised by Raedwald who predicts 'fury on the streets'. When comparing our situation in this country Raedwald is also totally correct when he states that our politicians are also are a class apart, willing to sacrifice their own nation and peoples on the altar of EuroFederalism and for their own deeply corrupt self-interest. He is also correct in his observation that now the referendum 'genie' has been let out of the bottle, it will be difficult indeed for our politicians to put it back in. I was yesterday slightly critical of Ukip, however a post from Alex Singleton is also worthy reading in that what he writes is correct - as long as Ukip manage how to put the ball into an empty net. Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.
Just a few thoughts on today's events..................