The author analyzes the events that caused Georgiou Papandreou to resign and advocates for the need to go back to politics as a governance tool for the prosperity of the people.
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Alfonso Guerra said some days ago that the world could not tolerate that the rulers do not agree on overthrow a dictator in Syria but could agree on preventing a legitimate Prime Minister from holding a referendum to ask his people about something that substantially affected their lives.
We have witnessed last week, a set of interpretations on the intention of the Greek Prime Minister, Georgios Papandreu, to organize a referendum on the so called Greek bail-out. That is a democratic commitment which, with the connivance of Brussels, has destituted the Greek Premier.
It seemed reasonable that such agreement should have the go ahead ant the backing of citizens. The year and a half delays estimated and which on some occasions are very lucrative for some European countries in the bailout, have created since May 201, in the Hellenic country, a 5.4% unemployment rate increase; the GDP has suffered a 1.5% decrease, the debt has increased by 16 points and the differential with the German 10-year Eurobond has increased from 549 to 2287 basis points. But, then there was a scarce month left to wait for the Greeks to get involved in their own future.
It could have been explained if it were a good agreement, if it was not, it could be justified as a consequence of the situation but, what was not possible was not to share it with its real actors. Europe must be erected on the foundations of a real solidarity, not on crumbs, paternalism and charity. People who live in Greece are flesh and blood people and the Franco-German hypocrisy in delaying the implementation of real economic governance measures to limit the financial tensions is worsening the situation in many European countries and harming Europe’s credibility.
I do not intend to belittle the demerits of the Greeks for having put their country in this mess, but blaming Papandreou, a honest and skilful socialist is a real felony. Hardly two years ago, Papandreou inherited accounts that were distorted by the very opposition party which now can afford to sentence him to the abyss with the connivance of the most powerful who fell that their commissions for democracy is threatened. It is not a secret that Greece needs structural reforms and seeing how Spain has evolved should have made them blush and they might hold accountable those who have misruled them, without forgetting the self-criticism of each Greek person for having squandered their access to the Union to turn Greece into a competitive country. But, this fatal situation did not justify the Greek tragedy.
Politics needs a partnership with societies in favor of which he works to fight the pressures from those who speculate with what belongs to all. Or do we want for our near future a government of rating agencies? Citizens their representatives to represent them and they should not shirk their responsibility because it would be prostituting the democracy itself.
I know very well that the European institutions work a lot and very well, but their behavior in the consummation of this tragedy should be a matter of deep concern for those of us who believe that democracy should never be perceived as a threat. The same modus operandi is being implemented in Italy. We must reject governments without democratic legitimacy who tackle decisions that will affect a whole generation.
No one would deny the short-term negative effects of the referendum in Greece, above all, on the funding of countries like Spain and the delays involved in frenzied schedules of the economy, but what was and is more serious is the disconnection with the people is happening between political representatives and those they represent due to a lack of explanation of the main agreements on the Euro. Greece needed that democratic referendum that measures up to what we ate, democracies of the 21st century and not simply hold true the endless meetings of the European Council with the mere validation of the rating agencies or, we should better call them vested interests, to use a terminology coined by Benavente, a Nobel Prize winner although he is now unknown. Reviving politics as an instrument to govern people with prosperity is the first of the measures to be taken and this call for signs like the one that cost Georgiou Papandreou his political career to the annoyance of those who believe in him and democracy.