“Democracy,” as H.L. Mencken said, “is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Well, in Greece, they don’t seem know what they want—and so they might be getting a few more doses of democracy. Open Europe reports:
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told Italian daily Corriere della Sera yesterday that, if Greek proposals on debt restructuring and investment were rejected by other Eurozone countries, “We can return to elections, [or] call a referendum.” The Greek Finance Ministry later criticised the newspaper for suggesting that the referendum would be on euro membership, and stressed that the vote would be on “the content of reform and fiscal policy.”
Fundamentally, Syriza’s internal confusion reflects the conflicting desires of the Greek people. The Greeks want an end to austerity, but to stay in the Eurozone—which is not tenable as the currency union is currently constituted.The Germans have their own version of this paralysis, whereby they want to keep the eurozone both running along current lines and intact at its current size. Long term, this is no more tenable, but right now, it’s the Greeks who are in the hot seat. They’ll have to jump one way or the other first.So expect to see calls for further referenda, Parliamentary elections, and/or street protests until the Greek people realize the necessity of making a choice, and make clear what they really want.