The Greek crisis—trapped in the Eurozone


Wolfgang Streeck over at the Verso blog:

There is progress in Europe after all. When the then Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou wanted to hold a referendum in 2011 on the austerity demands of his European colleagues, they summarily dismissed him.

As his successor, Brussels and Berlin appointed a certain Loukas Papademos, an agent of international finance who in the early 2000s, as head of the Greek central bank, had helped to make his country ready for Europe with the help of Goldman Sachs. There was no repeat this time round – precisely thanks to the remnants of national democracy that German Europhiles want to suspend in favour of a future “European democracy”.

No one can say in detail how things will go after the overwhelming “no” from the Greek people. The situation is too volatile, too much is happening at the same time, the causal connections are weak and untested, predictions are still only guessing games. What we do know, however, is that the whole unspeakable campaign of intimidation was unsuccessful, not even the widely distributed advice of the unanimous German press, which has always known better what is good for Greece than the elected Greek government itself. What has also been shown is that in southern Europe referendums as well as elections can be won with posters of Merkel and Schäuble.

The self-proclaimed “Europeans” in the secure north underestimated the despair of the Greeks after the collapse of the frivolous experiment of their membership of the currency union, as well as their anger at being made the object of secret Brussels negotiations. Whether the Brussels professionals will learn something from their defeat at the hands of the Athenian amateurs is something we may well doubt. They will rather try to make up for their failure to remove the Greek government beforehand.

More here.