OPINION

On referendum, Greek politics

Referendum

What hope has Greece indeed when all the political parties are so grossly irresponsible and inept?

Papandreou, with his ridiculously badly timed call for a referendum, has now trumped the almost incredibly self-centred Samaras, who, unlike any man who actually sought the best for his country rather than for his own self-aggrandisment, would have helped Papandreou through this crisis and earned credit for his actions rather than press for early elections when his own party was responsible for a great part of the mess that Papandreou and Pasok finds themselves in.

As for Papariga and the KKE, their brand of political nonsense could only survive in Greece, where contact with the real world is as far away as Greece?s wonderful history 2,000+ years ago.

I live here, and love the Greek people and the Greek nation but the protestors on Ohi day had it right when they turned their face away from the bunch of immoral, hopeless and corrupt idiots that they voted for.

No one has any vision for the future save blaming other countries and talking about an American- or German-led conspiracy to take over Greece?s assets and destroy Greece?s independence. Well, if the Greek citizens continue to vote for clowns such as they have for the past 30 years then I say great, let the Germans, British, French and Americans run the country for a while; for a start they won?t waste all of those wonderful ?assets? but will make something of them and will return the greater part of those proceeds to Greece… even if they didn?t, I?d rather see them take them than another load of ineffective Greek politicians steal them in return for votes and, secondly, maybe the Greek citizens might learn just how other countries can run the business of their country better… and learn how to do it themselves in the future.

Sorry my dear Greek friends, who I love so much, wake up, but wake up with something positive to say rather than the negative nothingness of anarchy and criticism with nothing to add.

Life is still beautiful here — do your own bit and don?t count on the politicians for anything, they are nothing but wasters and scoundrels.

Simon Morgan

Papandreou referendum

Of course Papandreou is totally crazy. If he had asked for a referendum two years ago and Greece decided to leave the Euro there would of been upheaval in the world economy and the Greek people would have gone through turmoil. Yet we have seen the Greek people go though two years of hardships and now he wishes to let the Greek people decide. If the Greek people decide to leave the Euro, again there will be economic turmoil around the world but the Greek people will suffer a lot.

Fist there will be very high inflation and this will surely lead to even bigger protests than we already have. Greece imports most of its things, so everything will become unaffordable. As for the benefits: Greece exports little of interest to the rest of the world. The only bright spot is tourism. Now a hotel room costs a lot more than one in Turkey but people from Europe like to use Euros. If Greece no longer has the Euro they will all go to Spain and Greece will actually have a decline in touism. Hardly anyone will lend any money to Greece for the foreseeable future and so no credits. Basically Greece will become and island cut off from the mainland and it will become poor. It will be Greek, but poor.

On the other hand, a haircut and selling of Government property will mean the debt will be between 60-70% of GDP, which is manageable. Greece will have to comply with European standards and this will mean modernisation and a loss of the Greek way of life. In other words, becoming more European. Working harder.

Elroy Huckelberry

Letter from a Canadian

This is a letter that I wrote to your Prime Minister. I would appreciate any feedback.

Dear Prime Minister George Papandreou,

I am Canadian citizen, living in Canada, and have been watching the European debt crises with much attention. I wanted to first tell you that my thoughts go out to you and your countrymen in this time of great hardship.

I also wanted to tell you that I fully support your decision to have a referendum on whether or not Greece should default on its debt. Canada has also used with some success referendums to decide complex and divisive issues of national importance.

I would, however, also like to offer a thought. Perhaps it is simply my lack of understanding of the Greek language, but I have yet to hear from you a simple, eloquent explanation of the issues to be faced by Greek voters at the ballot box. I think much could be gained by explaining to voters the history of the debt crisis and the consequences of a Greek default. I believe that doing so could have the same calming affect as President Roosevelt’s fireside chats had on the American people at the height of the Great Depression.

Furthermore, I believe two narratives present themselves as to the importance of remaining in the Eurozone and not defaulting on debt. First, Argentina’s 2001 sovereign default clearly demonstrates the great suffering a default would have on ordinary citizens. Second, the incredible hardships that Estonians willingly endured before finally being admitted to the Eurozone, in January 2011, demonstrate the incredible length countries are still ready to go to be part of the Euro.

There is no doubt that your citizens will have to endure considerable hardship in the near future. However, I am optimistic that by clearly explaining the issues to voters directly, they will make the right choice.

Yours sincerely,

Eric Shalom

Ottawa, Canada

These are just a few of my thoughts about the recent call for a referendum. When I was in Greece in May-June of this year, I read the Greek Constitution. I would go home and tell my aunt, who lives in Nea Smyrni and is a hard worker, Greeks should invoke their right to a referendum. I saw my fellow Greeks protesting in Syntagma Square and was proud to be Greek. I?m even more proud to be Greek now and I?m delighted this is going to a referendum vote.

John Botos, BA, MA, School of Marine