Focus on Greece with Pavlos Georgiadis

Focus on Greece with Pavlos GeorgiadisJust a few hours after the Greek government announced a referendum over the fate of Greece’s bailout programmes, banks are shut in the country and capital controls have been set to only 60 € a day. ATM lines are growing throughout Greece, with an estimated €2bn bank run in just 48 hours. With banks to remain closed until July 7th, two days after the referendum, Greek society seems to be polarised around swift decisions that will define the fate of the country for  decades to come.

The dark clouds of uncertainty are becoming dense over European summer skies too. The Euro is shaken in the stock markets of Asia and many Italian banks failed to start trading on Monday. With projected losses on possible Greek default at €58bn for Germany, €42bn for France, €39bn for Italy and €26bn for the IMF, the European elites seem rather perplexed  -if not downright distressed – by the possibility of Greeks taking the “wrong” decision on next Sunday’s referendum.

This is not the first time this has happened. Something similar happened in 2004, with the referendum on the Euro-Constitution. Our political leaders seem to perfer decisions made behind closed doors. Greeks are not alone in feeling uncomfortable with having their affairs managed by unelected technocrats, lobbyists and ludicrously paid consultants of supranational institutions. The wide citizens’ opposition across Europe to the TTIP negotiations exemplifies this.

For six years now, EU, ECB and IMF technocrats -coupled by the press- offer not a solution but a narrative: the Greeks are in this situation because, supposedly, they are bad people. At the end of this road, Greece is being sacrificed to maintain a set of delusions that enfeebles everyone.

But this cannot be the end. It must not be! During this crisis, civil society has been building new connections and new ways. And I am sure that all true Europeans can see that what is happening in Greece,  may happen elsewhere in the near future too.

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