2007 - 2021

Ouranoupolis II

imagesAfter the Scottish Referendum a significant number of our limited acquaintance voted No but woke up on the day after feeling sorry at the result. They felt they had to be loyal to family and other cultural links with England or, more mysteriously, with ‘Britain’. But they seem to have had a sense that the rest of Scotland would do the job for them.

I think something similar is happening in Greece but the other way round. In the last few days people were saying to us that their heart told them to vote No but their head told them Yes. Greece’s luck is that, for these Yes people, the rest of the country really did the job for them. As we were told, a Yes vote guaranteed indefinite misery, a No vote had a least a glimmer of hope shining away inside it somewhere.

This morning we were considering the celebrations. There is dancing in the streets, Greek dancing, the kind where almost any number of people shuffle or dance according to age, ability and degrees of intoxication. You sometimes imagine that entire populations could do it all together. We tried to imagine dancing if the vote had gone the other way. We failed of course. There would have been no dancing after a Yes vote, we would have had the traditional fatalism of taxi drivers, a section of the population with optimism issues, and extra doses of the kind of political pessimism that has both led to the present crisis and been formed by it.

We are now looking with even more interest at our Greek neighbours as they return from voting – Greeks often have to return to their birthplace to vote. We will treat them softly, try not to offend them with premature optimism or any sign that we know better or hope more than they can. Then we expect to see signs of guarded hope peeping out here and there.

Greeks are not good at waiting. They are doing their best and maybe they won’t have too long to wait this time.


Comments (21)

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  1. sandy ritchie says:

    This vote will be a test for the future of the Euro….and maybe the European Union itself. Correct to say that the troika offer was another 30 years+ of austerity and misery. But what will be the fate of Greece if the EU aka Germany and France don’t blink. In my opinion ….misery for the poor elderly disadvantaged etc….but for a shorter period than the 30 years plus alternative. Greece should return to the Drachma forthwith…that way the country can determine its own interest rates …the Drachma will find its true value…and tourism and other industries will boom. This is indeed a lesson for Scotland when the next referendum occurs. Tied to the pound with Bank of England determining the rate of exchange is a recipe for disaster. Bite the bullet and let’s see the Scottish pund …or Eck if you must

  2. colin says:

    The biggest fear by far, the financial establishment has if if Greece, albeit with a devalued new currency, makes a go of it and prospers.

    What message will that send to the rest of Europe?……that indeed the King has no clothes.

    This thought contamination will spread through Europe as the citizens of the smaller countries ask themselves, “is this heaven ….or is this hell?” and “if Greece can do it, well so can we.”

  3. Bill Fraser says:

    Well done Greece.If I was contemplating a holiday I would certainly consider Greece and trust a lot of Scots would think the same.They deserve to make a go of it with their courage,and it is a lovely place to visit despite the present hardships.

  4. john young says:

    Oh that we had half as much spunk as the Greeks.

    1. colin says:

      Well they have had plenty of time to practise at democracy, now they are showing the world how it should be done.

  5. MLL says:

    I was talking to a financial advisor a few months ago. She told me that some debt forgiveness was inevitable. The big banks know it. The questions that remain is who and when she said.
    We’re about to find out I think.

  6. Don bradley says:

    This is an existential battle of two ideologies that cannot possibly coexist.
    The rule of the money, by the money, for the money, and the people can go to hell ?
    Or the rule of the people, by the people, FOR the people.
    The Greeks have chosen the latter.
    The massed ranks of the former must crush them at all costs.

    1. old battle says:

      Could someone out there offer a non-capitalist alternative model of development without gulags?

  7. Dan Huil says:

    That Yes in Scotland got 45% was remarkable after two years of non-stop scaremongering and a unionist media which printed lie after lie.
    I’m glad Greece voted No in their referendum.
    We in Scotland will get another chance, probably sooner that most people think. We must not let Project Fear triumph. Greece has shown the way.

  8. Donald McGregor says:

    Brave choice by the Greek people – bravo indeed. I’m slightly staggered that 39% or so chose not to vote at all.

    With respect to our own choices made last year, I too recognise the description of some offered in the first paragraph of the article. Who knows how you can measure the numbers though, or even if those numbers might approach the magic 6%. (Really need a 60/40 minimum though to avoid all doubt that might be cast upon the next result)

  9. Paul says:

    The ordinary Greek people are to be commended for their courage in voting no under an onslaught of propaganda to vote yes to foreign enforced austerity. If Greece is forced to leave the Euro the Greek government should consider issuing the Drachma and they, the government should be under control of the currency not private banks. The new Drachma should be issued without ‘interest’ thereby removing control from the private banking cartels which have caused so much damage to many economies. Get Steve Keen on the case and design a new financial system (MMT) that could change things dramatically and positively for the Greek people and set an example for others that the stranglehold of private/central banks can and must be broken.

  10. Peter Williams says:

    The Greek Prime Minister had a simple and unambiguous comment to make yesterday.
    “Democracy has triumphed over fear”.
    Let those who wish for independence for the Countries of the British Isles, understand that those who peddle fear and lies, do so to maintain their positions of power and wealth. Think back to last September, and recall the drooling bilge that emanated out of Westminster, but which fooled enough Scots to vote “no”.
    Where is Scotland today, even with the size of the SNP representation in Westminster?
    The braying Tory benches are grinding Scotland’s face into the mud. Labour are wimps.
    How different would things be today if those “no” voters had not succumbed to the shite that came from the Labour/Tory/Libdem lie machine.
    To their credit, the Greeks-despite the misery they are in, under the jackboot of Germany-have shown what can be achieved when they tell the fearmongers to shove their message where the sun doesn’t shine.
    Good on them!

  11. meaghan says:

    The parallels between Greece’s wonderful anti-austerity vote and what happened in our referendum here are many. No accident that the only European leader to call for debt relief for Greece is Nicola Sturgeon. And, surely, for Germany to pay the 278bn euros in war reparations to Greece ( including the 10.3bn loan it extracted from Greek banks to fund Hitler’s Africa campaign). How can a country ( Germany) which benefitted so greatly from debt relief post-war deny poor Greece a chance? Thanks for this article, Kevin. Bravo Greece!!!!!

  12. arthur thomson says:

    My heart and my mind are with the Greek people. This is truly democracy and the common people in a conflict with greed. We must give the ordinary Greek people any support we can.

    I wonder how much money the financial interests in London stand to lose if Greece exits the Euro. Fingers crossed on my part.

  13. Marian says:

    It was interesting to note comments made by one of the Greek Government ministers after the referendum when he claimed that during the week long campaign some European Governments had been indulging in unspecified underhand activities against the Greek Government, and that some journalists had received payments from abroad, in order to try get a YES vote as well as bring down the Syriza Led coalition Government.

  14. Darien says:

    Our fellow Scots (plus those dubious postal votes!) voted to continue to be Cameron’s Colony. It shows now more than ever with 56 SNP MP’s powerless to do anything apart from giving pointless ‘maiden’ speeches.

    1. robert graham says:

      Oh silly me i have read your post a few times and still don’t get it , in other words what’s your point ,what point are you trying to get over ?

    2. colin says:

      What should be investigated are the people registered to vote in the referendum, who magically disappeared from the register of electors during the following months, presumably to be re-registered elsewhere in the country in time for the General election. l wonder how many of those used a Scottish address as a short time convenience?

      l am not suggesting that anything illegal went on,just that it did and easy to check out.

  15. Jane Gray says:

    I have directed many friends here in Greece to Bella in the hope of giving them a wee boost in these tough times. To a one they have been delighted. However what they (and I ) need now is something more concrete than words. Please raise the issue with your elected reps/trade union/ pals etc. If you are coming here see above for direct support to hospitals/clinics. Please don\t forget we are also dealing with a huge influx of refugees from the middle east and so donations to the organisations that help them (MSF being the most obvious) also ease the burden.

    1. Jane Gray says:

      Sorry. My advice for donating health care essentials is on the thread associated with the Bella article “Liberation – the multitude speaks”.

  16. Albajock says:

    This kind of passive aggressive projection is pretty stomach turning.

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