And so it happened. Greece. Default. Greeks are living rough and historic moments. Moments that their ancestors prayed for them not to live.
As masks fall, and this intriguing game is coming to an end, odds are it is going to end more pugnaciously than it started, depending on the result of the referendum urged by PM Alexis Tsipras. Furthermore, as it was confirmed, Greece failed to make the repayment to the IMF fund. The country has reached a dead end. Evidently now, negotiations have ended as acrimoniously - and melodramatically- as they began.
Thousands of citizens gathered outside the Hellenic Parliament to support Greece's position in the Eurozone. (iEfimerida)
Maybe it is because I am young and I lack experience in the field, but I keep questioning myself about the rationale behind such a referendum. Being informed that the PM, after such pretentious struggles, suddenly throws all the responsibility to the citizens, is like watching the captain of the Titanic giving the wheels to the passengers as soon as he notices the iceberg.
For me, express of democracy is not abdication of responsibility to a terrified nation that has no complete and clear information of the consequences of their decision they are going to take. It seems unbelievable to me that such a controversial issue that not even the European executives can draw a decision upon, is thought to be solved by a Yes or No from the popularity of the citizens. We should not confuse democracy with deceitfulness. Clarity and completeness of information is key, and this is not even close to the situation at the moment. Citizens are pressurised to decide on such a complex topic in such narrow limits of time.
It's true, we were just pawns in a game of chess between the powerful, but our government dared to play us, and clearly lost. Chess is all about tactic and careful planning, not about fraudulent and illegitimate tactics that can jeopardise an already bleak position.
Sure, when it comes to blame, politicians are masters at blame shifting. In a magical way, everyone and no one can hold the liability for something at the same time. Admittedly, the cartel party that dominated the political arena in Greece for over forty years, considerably led to the economic crisis and powered the doctrine of frustration, but the contemporary government is damaging in a multidimensional degree.
The whole pro and anti EU separation that logically follows the yes and no votes in the referendum, creates a far more serious problem, an internal dichognomy. Surely, in a democratic system that had been bleeding due to increasing levels of cynicism and low participatory rates, political cleavages are affirmative in that they fuel participation. Yet, the ideological divide in which the current government put the Greek citizens through, is enormously hurtful since it forces the masses and stimulates perplexity and madness. Fanaticism and self-referential states of being create tensions in the inner structure of the society, eschewing social cooperation and endorsing polarization. I simply cannot comprehend how knowledgeable and socially endowed people can allow a referendum to break the social bonds and create detestation and such salvage behaviour.
A fresh example of this situation that fosters my fears is the tensions that rose in the meeting of the assembly of the chamber of Athenian lawyers for deducing their stance in the referendum. And I am asking myself, how shouldn't we be concerned about a dichotomist climate, when the executives of a legitimately constituted authority that allegedly promote and ensure justice and democracy are fighting? Wouldn't the same happen to all citizens, colleagues, siblings, friends and classmates that suffer the same dilemma concurrently? If individuals lose self-respect and dignity, what is next for them, how traumatic will the consequences be?
Since Greece fails to repay the debt, and apart from all the technical problems emerging in the inner economic sector, like temporary(?) capital controls, a more severe issue arises. The international creditors and partners lose their trust in a radical regression. And whatever is to happen in the Greek economy now, long run consequences will be waiting in the horizon. Once trust is lost, it can hardly be regained effortlessly and bloodlessly, and this is historically proven. After all, trust is the foundation of economics and politics.
Everything in news at the moment underlines the perpetuation of a vicious cycle of austerity, political and economic abyss. One cannot see any solution at the end of this bumpy ride, simply because the end is already reached. No clear alternatives are left. Yet, Europe does not want to cut Greece loose, to let her go. What is conceivably needed is willful and genuine acts. Sensibility. A swallow of our pride. A creative breath of a realized nation to rebuilt what is smashed and emerge from the ruin. A solid and strategic plan with the ultimate scope being the salvation of the country, under the auspices of the European Union. This can be a fairly small but pivotal step towards exiting the cicerone, towards overcoming the country's embattled problems.
I am far less concerned with insisting in my opinion and extensively penetrating the aspects of the economic crisis, than I am consumed with the thought of Greece trying to survive in this state of chaos, and my prayers and my thoughts are with my country.
I was born a Greek, I was raised a European. These two traits are the most substantial parts of my identity, and I don't want them taken away from me. Any of the two. Greece is undoubtedly the most beautiful country in the world. Inside Europe, it is even more stunning and precious. This is why I cannot see the future of my generation being in a Greece outside Europe. I deeply believe in Greece inside Europe of democracy, of altruism, of common institutions and firm relationships. Greece and its bond with Euro was born of respect and faith and by no means should it die of arrogance.