Today I, along with the rest of the Greek people, am called to make a decision; to vote either “YES” or “NO” to a question that I do not understand very well. A decision that may very well determine the fate of my country for generations to come.
I’m trying to make sense of the situation for months now by reading books, articles and papers written by world famous economists, even Nobelists; I’m trying to be as informed and objective –if we assume that such a thing even exists- as possible.
We all are. During the past few years the people of Greece have been force-educated on macroeconomics; from the average 10-year old to the average 80-year old, the Greek people can (more or less) analyze with exceptional detail why our country took such a hit on this crisis.
But now that crunch time is here, we are all at the same loss. Some are more confident than others, but most of us are just puzzled. Puzzled of what the consequences will be if we all shout “NO” together.
Am I afraid? Yes
Will I back out? No
And this is simply because I am much more afraid to say “YES”.
Some people would argue that it’s much better to deal with the devil you already know. I have a different opinion.
Because if I choose to vote “YES” this Sunday, I will have to go back to the devil I was dealing with 6 months ago. The current government will surely fall –probably due to their own decision- and our former right-winged familiar devils will rise once more bearing ‘I told you so’ flags. They will continue the devastatingly destructive austerity policies and, this time, there will not be a way out for many years to come.
And what about “NO”?
Does voting “NO” also mean that I don’t want my country to be a part of the European Union or that I want to stop using Euros?
Let me assure you here, it certainly doesn’t.
It simply means that I understand that the measures enforced in Greece are not working and we should make a change for the better instead of continuing down this path. It means that I have seen with my own two eyes that the people who have suffered the most during the past 5 years are the poorest ones; we have been imposing even more cruel measures when we should be helping them.
There is no more room for austerity in Greece and that’s exactly what “NO” stands for.
*Let it be noted that the Greek people have never been asked to be a part of a major decision in the country for the past 41 years. Governments shouldn’t be afraid to ask their people to vote on important matters, but that is exactly what has been going on in our country for a long time.
Source: Leela Papadioti
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