FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Beware The Greeks Bearing Votes
The Euro May Die Where Democracy Was Born
Brett Stevens of Amerika.org theorized that human societies can have two forms of culture; Managerial and Organic. He describes these two options below.
• Managerial. Like attending a job, days at an American high school or going to a mall, the managerial state consists of people who have nothing in common except wanting to make money and not get murdered. As a result, a strong nanny/police state is needed to make lots of little laws, enforce them, and subject children to intense propaganda for the “morally right” way to behave.
• Organic. More like an extended family, this society has an organic values system arising from culture in the form of shared values, customs, language, heritage and beliefs. As a result, less police enforcement is needed and commerce is restrained by what the people value based on their shared ideals.
Nothing short of the Politburo of The Chinese Communist Party represents the Managerial culture better than the Eurocracy attempting to govern a continent from the smug, baronial confines of Brussels, Belgium. Greek Prime Minister George A. Papandreou is nearly a walking caricature of that entire school of morality. Yet recently, despite his Socialistic ideology, Greek Prime Minister George A. Papandreou, has decided to reassert the old Athenian Democratic ideal. He will put the latest EU Bailout plan for Greece up to a national referendum.
A “Yes” vote on the referendum would require Greece to govern their affairs in accordance with a harsh austerity compact dictated by the other co-members of The Euro Currency. In return for that, Greece would be allowed to skip out on repaying billions of Euros in borrowed money without technically going into default. A “No” vote would scuttle the entire deal and probably catalyze Greece’s expulsion from the Eurozone.
This has led to a major crisis within the Eurozone. Greece had joined the Euro, a unified European currency, and then proceeded to borrow way more money than it could reasonably pay back. They then used this money to buy industrial goods from Germany and thereby help German firms attain high levels of profitability. This equilibrium was metastable at best and led to a Corzine Event failure of leverage. Greek sovereign debt rollovers became impossibly costly when some of the short-term bonds expired.
Nobody linked to the Euro currency could afford to have Greece admit honestly that they were incapable of handling their debts. The amounts of CDS payments that would trigger would lead to bank failures throughout the European Union. With Greece unable to pay, and the banks that insured Greek bonds unable to survive egregious exposure to this fundamental truth, both the borrowers and the lenders showed up broke at the doorstep of the Eurozone governing body. This led to the EU bailout plan that offered to let Greece blow off 50% of its recent sovereign debt and not trigger CDS payments.
In return for which, EU officials would have de facto veto power over how Greek Parliaments spent future monies. When the Greek Prime Minister returned home with this result, his Parliament informed him that he could expect a no-confidence vote. This would be followed with permanent administrative leave from making decisions about anything else that really mattered. As a desperate gambit to stay on his horse, Papandreou’s referendum proposal shows what an awesome politician he truly is. He announced a referendum to let the Greek people decide, and then somehow sold this proposal to a Parliament that wanted his head in a basket.
Papandreou sold his cabinet the idea that the referendum would reaffirm Greece’s commitment to the Euro.
“The referendum will be a clear mandate and a clear message in and outside Greece on our European course and participation in the euro,” Papandreou told the seven-hour cabinet meeting…”No one will be able to doubt Greece’s course within the Euro.”
He then sold his opposition a totally different bill of goods.
“Citizens are the source of our strength and citizens will be called on to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the agreement. It is not for others to decide but the Greek people to decide … we have faith in the people. We believe in democratic participation. We are not afraid of it.”
Prime Minister Papandreou may or may not believe in Democracy more than the current Governor of North Carolina. He has acted with the same level of principal and integrity that inspired the Athenian Senate to go make Socrates drink hemlock. However, he had his ear to the ground and sensed the headlights of an approaching freight train in time to get out of the way.
He gets that the twin forces of democracy and ethnic nationalism within Europe are rising. This will make it difficult to continue Germany, France and Belgium’s subinfuedation of old and traditional European sovereign countries. He figured out that the Eurozone will probably disintegrate. Thus, despite Papandreou’s personal bias in favor of the Euro, he knew it was time to cut his losses and let the people speak.