Ideas Greek referendum

Democracy has junk status

He who submits a vital issue to a referendum is a public menace to Europe. This has been the message from the markets – and since Monday night, from the politicians too.

Published on 2 November 2011 at 15:23

Two days – that’s how long the newly won stability of the European elites lasted. Two days between Merkel as godmother, with the eyes of all the world on her, and that plunging feeling. A clinician could describe what this is: a pathology. He could describe how sick the collective psyche is, how untrue and self-deceiving the fantasies of omnipotence and self-confidence that it allowed to blossom.

Horror in Germany, Finland, France, even in England, horror in the financial markets and the banks: horror, horror, everywhere – just because the Greek Prime Minister, Georgios Papandreou, plans a referendum on a fateful question for his country.

**This content has been removed under request of the copyright owner.** Translated from the German by Anton Baer

From Prague

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A warped referendum

“We give them money, and it wipes away half of their debt – but the Greeks refuse these gifts by referendum? It seems an absurd farce,” deplores Mladá Fronta DNES, which anticipates a conclusive bankruptcy of Greece in the coming months. “The economic reality will not submit to the dictates of the state, nor to a plebiscite or referendum. The economic situation is a reality. It can only be hidden, delayed, denied or falsified."

The “impersonal debt” of the Greek state, which no one wants to take on, has become “a political football”, writes the Czech daily. “The Greeks now have only one solution open to them: falsifying the results of the referendum to please Brussels.”

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