I don’t think it’s stretching a point to argue that the outcome of the Greek crisis will have repercussions across Europe and beyond. In the end the will of the Greek people as expressed through representative democracy is at odds with the demands of the neo-liberal zealots of the Troika. You will find below a number of pieces supporting this assertion in a more sophisticated vein, including one by a certain Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University, who was Chairman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank- hardly a wild-eyed leftie.
It’s worth noting too that in terms of the world of youth work the Community and Youth Workers Union has a staunch tradition of criticism re the Euro and the European Union. Indeed in his E.P.Thompson Memorial lecture of 2000 Doug Nicholls, the Union’s General Secretary, spoke presciently of “the overarching destruction of any meaningful democratic independence in trans national superstates like the European Union”. It is abundantly clear that the clash is ideological. If Syriza with the support of the ‘demos’ is able, even in a small way, to set the Troika back on its heels it would give hope to all those struggling to foster freedom rather than conformity of thought.
Europe’s Attack on Greek Democracy – Joseph E. Stiglitz
And, sure enough, what we are seeing now, 16 years after the eurozone institutionalized those relationships, is the antithesis of democracy: Many European leaders want to see the end of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist government. After all, it is extremely inconvenient to have in Greece a government that is so opposed to the types of policies that have done so much to increase inequality in so many advanced countries, and that is so committed to curbing the unbridled power of wealth. They seem to believe that they can eventually bring down the Greek government by bullying it into accepting an agreement that contravenes its mandate.
In Defence of Greece: 6 Myths Busted – Joseph Leigh, Lewis Bassett and Michael Walker
Events in Greece are coming to a head. Over the weekend the leadership of Syriza offered the Greek people a referendum on whether to accept austerity measures – including cuts to pensions and public sector spending, and labour market de-regulation – as the conditions for obtaining funds with which to service its debt repayments. However, by all accounts Greece may be forced to leave the Eurozone before the end of the week. As Syriza has been consistently represented in the mainstream media as an irresponsible and ideologically-driven leftist government, it is important to unpack the seemingly common sense arguments against Syriza.
In this respect, the creditors’ intentions are once again crystal clear: shocked and outraged by Tsipras’ unexpected move, they will do everything within their power to obstruct the democratic process and influence the outcome of the vote. Their goal won’t even be to keep Greece inside the Eurozone anymore; their number one priority right now is simply to prevent Syriza from being able to publicly claim a victory — for that would risk emboldening other anti-austerity forces across the continent, most significantly Podemos in Spain. They would rather see Greece go down in flames than cut Syriza some slack.