OK, so now the people of the Hellenic Republic won’t have a referendum on the Big Fat Greek Bailout. PM George Papandreou has done a remarkable backflip in the last couple of days. Reading his rhetoric of four days ago, at which most of us cheered (but not the Guardian),
Citizens are the source of our strength and citizens will be called on to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the agreement. It is not for others to decide but the Greek people to decide … we have faith in the people. We believe in democratic participation. We are not afraid of it.
It sounds inconceivable that it came from the same man who last night meekly demurred,
The referendum was never an end in itself.
Or for that matter, from the leader of the nation that gave democracy to the world in the first place.
So: who has dialled his mobile phone in the last couple of days? The transcript from his phone company would make mighty interesting reading. As a possible clue, the American-raised Papandreou is the current president of Socialist International, so at a very minimum, his commitment to liberal democracy must be highly suspect.
I’m currently working on a couple of new articles (and we will get back to organic farming), but in the meantime, I’d be interested in your speculation. Is the Greek government about to fall? And could we see the return of a military junta in Athens? Or will Bruxelles swallow its Greek poison pill, with all that portends?
UPDATE 04 NOV 2011 10:01 AEDST: Papandreou’s government survives no-confidence vote in the Greek parliament