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Blog: 20h45 Paris time 1.11.11
As regards the Greek referendum announced last night by the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, developments are happening thick and fast, even as I write, with the Greek PM holding an emergency meeting of his cabinet.
As of now, this is what I am thinking:
There will be no referendum.
Papandreou knows full well that Greece is descending into chaos and that the Greek people oppose the externally imposed austerity “bail-outs”.
A wily fox, Papandreou announced the referendum in the full expectation that it will never be held.
This is why.
He knows that the pro-EU element in his party want to stay in the eurozone at any cost (to the people of Greece).
He knows also that the right-wing opposition New Democrats of Antonis Samaras – who have had the cheek generally to vote against the bail-outs in parliament (to curry popular favour, while knowing that they did not have enough votes to defeat Papandreou and that therefore the bail-outs would receive parliamentary approval) – are opposed to a referendum. They have said as much today, saying they wanted to stay in the eurozone.
So, producing a second rabbit out of the hat, Papandreou has called a vote of confidence this Friday 4 October in the Greek Parliament.
Since his parliamentary majority is paper-thin, this vote he will lose, as his pro-EU socialists are going to vote against him or abstain.
A new election will be held. Samaris will win it, since PASOK and the New Democrats are the only two parties with realistic prospects of forming a government (the choice is between tweedledum and tweedledee, as it is throughout the “democratic west”).
Samaris will say that his win in the election obviates the necessity for a referendum. Austerity will continue. And we shall see a great deal of political violence in Greece as the months roll on.
Papandreou will, in the meantime, bask in the warm glow of being the only politician who was prepared to submit the emergency measures to the wishes of the people. He will then return to power at the next election with the New Democrats taking the flak for the austerity that they have imposed (people having by then forgotten that Papandreou supported the very same measures).
End of prophesy. DON’T FORGET. YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!
It was a great pleasure to witness the reaction of the European elite today to the sudden announcement that the people of Greece were to be consulted. Guardian headline: “EU stunned by referendum plan” ! Stunned! The Guardian also quotes a certain Sony Kapur, the MD of an economic thinktank: “….a referendum would be good for democracy and legitimacy, but it’s very hard to see how it can possibly be won.” Won? I like it! Sums it all up. Politicians have been lining up all day in the French media to condemn the referendum as “a mistake”. Yes, yes, of course, it’s always a mistake to ask the people what they want!! Go on like this and the next thing is you’ll find people wanting democracy!!!! Imagine.