Nothing like a referendum to clear the air on bailout
What a scene: the mighty dealers in back-room bailouts and fiscal trickery, the wheelers of trillion-dollar barrels of cash through secret accounts and unfathomable routes, the foot-dragging political horse-traders who have been “rescuing” Greece for almost two years, the spinning factotums from monetary funds and central banks — all suddenly at the mercy of the thing for which Greece is world famous: democracy.
All are aghast, shocked, dismayed, running for cover. Stocks plunged, copper prices fell, disaster was predicted and the eurozone declared doomed — all the result of Prime Minister George Papandreou’s call for a referendum.
A referendum on what isn’t clear, but it may be the best thing that could happen to Greece and to Europe. Canadians should be especially alert to the benefits of referendums; Greece is to Europe as Quebec is to Canada. A good referendum, disruptive and divisive on the way through, clears the air quickly and decisively.
A referendum would certainly be preferable to the collapse of the Papandreou government and, by extension, the disintegration of the global effort to bring some order to the unwinding of Greece’s US$500-billion debt.