Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Well, here's to democracy... I guess

Nominal socialist George Papandreou is referring the current Greek bailout deal to the Greek public in a referendum. The pundits seem to think he is "tossing the dice," hoping the Greek public will back his negotiated deal, and thereby shutting up the voices of opposition. That interpretation seems unlikely to me.

Could it be that Papandreou remembered that he is, at least nominally, a socialist? I sincerely hope so. I hope he returned from the negotiations asking himself, "What have I done?" From a political perspective, he might very well be asking himself how the Socialists let the Greek center-right seize the issue. Don't political labels mean anything?

(These days, probably not. Hell — Obama is accused of being a liberal.)

I would like to think that Papandreou's decision to put the bailout plan to the Greek people arises from pangs of socialist conscience. Most Greeks seem to understand that while austerity may be good for European banks, it is not necessarily good for Greece. Whatever chaos an "uncontrolled" default might cause around world financial markets, for the Greeks, following in the footsteps of Argentina seems like the best bet to me. I've already posted my unsolicited advice.

I just hope the rest of us survive it.

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