Oxi, Oxi, Oxi – democracy beats the Euro for now

I hold this truth to be self evident. People are happier if they are self governing.
The choice for the Greek people was a simple one. Did they wish to sign up to another period of the same policies that delivered a cut of one quarter in their incomes and mass unemployment, especially for their young people, or did they wish to try something different?
We now know the Greeks by a large margin voted for their democracy. They voted for change. They voted against the policies a German led Europe has imposed on them. And yes, it was a vote against German influence, as the explicit posters of the campaign with pictures of the German Finance Minister and unflattering words made clear.
I think all should respect the strong view of the Greek people. If the Euro area wishes to keep Greece in the Euro it has to move swiftly to help. If it wants them out, it needs to tell us urgently how it can be done sensibly with least damage.
Those who still have something to lose, particularly those with jobs from the EU, may have voted for more of the same. Those who have already lost probably voted for change. Those who are optimists probably voted for something different, whilst some pessimists accepted the German led EU’s strictures. Those who believe in Greek democracy voted for their government and those who believe in the EU scheme voted for the deal which may be back on offer.
To some in Greece it was a vote for the dignity to disagree with The Euro bosses. For others it was a vote to conform, to show they are trying to be good Europeans.
This is a seminal moment for the whole EU/Euro project. As Greece votes No the EU has to rethink its approach to national democracies. Other nations will want and need the ability to change EU/Euro policies they do not like.
It is not a pleasant sight watching the group of Euro area Ministers and their Central bank gradually throttling the Greek economy by refusing it the cash it needs through the commercial banks. If these are solvent banks they should be sent the money they need. If a bank is no longer solvent it should be recapitalised under the agreed procedure. Any advanced economy needs a fully operational banking system. It is a prime duty of sovereign government to maintain a freely traded currency that allows all legal transactions.Why doesn’t the Eurozone do that?
If today the European Central Bank does not re-open the facilities for the Greek banks we will witness the extraordinary sight of the European Central Bank refusing to help damaged banks within its own zone, and refusing to behave as normal central banks as lender of last resort and provider of liquidity to commercial banks under its supervision. This may force the Greek state to issue its own money to pay bills and to re-open the banks.If the Euro area refuses early and urgent talks with Greece then it makes crisis more likely. It should also lead other members to ask what kind of a common currency is it, if people with deposits in banks in the zone cannot get their own money out, and if businesses in Greece with money are not able to pay their bills with other parts of the zone.

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  1. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure that the now strengthened Greek government wishes to join this anti-EU rallying cry. They actually wish to stay inside the euro and have some support for that from the Greek people also among some of the Dutch political parties. The problem for them will be to propose credible (enforcible) reforms in order to achieve a credible and sustainable alternative within the eurozone. The Greeks have not voted for the kind of EU or euro disintegration some British are hoping for.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Why do they need credible enforceable reforms? What they have voted for is for eurozone taxpayers in solvent countries – such as yourself – to send them more money without reforms, which they don’t like.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 6, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: Maybe my English was unclear, the Dutch and the other Eurozone countries need the enforceable reforms in Greece.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Peter, sorry to be a pedant – I quite understand the Dutch and other Eurozone countries want reforms in Greece. But what Syriza are telling Greeks – and they might be right -is the political price for the eurozone of a bailout with no or v weak conditions maybe worth paying. They are blackmailing the eurozone.

    • Hope
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      PVL, the Greeks voted for demo cachaca whereas Shultz wanted the elected government ousted and replaced by a technocratic EU replacement! The threats, lies and bullying of the EU failed.

      Let us all hope the UK people will have the strength of character to mirror the Greeks in face of all the threats and lies to come. They were wrong about the UK joining the Euro and they are wrong for the UK to be in the EU. It is too costly and no one ever voted to be a region of an EU superstate. No politician had authority to give away our sovereignty. Our forebears fought for independence and that is exactly what we should have. Friends and trade with European countries, nothing more.
      Good article by Hannan in the DM, a must read.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 6, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        @Hope: How can anything in the Daily Mail possibly be a “must read” !
        It does explain some of the rest of your contribution above.

        • Hope
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          Daniele Hannan is a very intelligent person and very articulate. He is ell informed on all EU matters. You could learn from him. It also shows how blinkered you are as a person and steryeo type without thinking. But labelling people to try to ridicule is typical of EU fanatics as we read each day.

          I read Michael Meacher blog, it is not because I am left wing in any way, but he is intelligent and it gives the opportunity to consider and learn from people who have different perspectives.

          Whereas Shultz wants to get rid of democratic govt and replace with EU imposters. That is dictatorship for you. The power has gone to his head and I object that my taxes pay for such a person to be in public office. junker’s comments should also be treated with equal disdain. Cameron needs to justify why he supports these people and the unelected dictatorship.

    • JJE
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      The problem for the Dutch and other governments will come when their people realise that they were sold a fantasy when being told they could have the benefits of the Euro zone without taking on the costs of supporting the poorer areas.
      It will be interesting to see how your favourite politician the hapless Mr. Djisselbloem explains away the costs of this disaster.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 6, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        @JJE: the leaders of eurozone countries have themselves to blame for not being clear earlier on about the unsustainability of Greek debt. There has been a lack of political courage. With the clear IMF position taken, they will now have come clean with their political parties and electorates. I still have complete faith in Dijsselbloem, who has two jobs. If he were to be sacrificed at the eurogroup, he is still one of the most respected ministers in the Dutch government.

        • Hope
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Ah, but why did the so called leaders of each country and the EU let the Greeks in the first place and they were prepared to sacrifice a nation state in 2010 to save a political project, EU currency and private French and German banks.

          The IMF now needs to be held to account for breaking its rules instead of helping a distressed state which is its remit.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 6, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Well, like the UK government the Dutch government could have vetoed the whole idea of the EU starting to issue its own currency, and failing that then like the UK government the Dutch government could have vetoed the idea that Italy and the Iberian countries should be allowed to join in the first wave of the euro, which they knew was a very bad idea, and failing that then unlike the UK government the Dutch government could have still vetoed Greece being allowed to join on what they must have known were false pretences, an even worse idea – that being “unlike the UK government” because after the first wave of the euro the decisions on the enlargement of the eurozone were taken just by the countries already in the euro, not by all of the EU member states.

        • Hope
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          Well said. It was all about expansionism again. Mor power, more land grab for the EU. These unelected dictators who play with our cash. Allowed by weak insipid PMs.

          As we saw/see the disaster in the Ukraine. Cameron should not be making provocative remarks or supporting the expansionism of the EU in this way. Why condemn Russia over the Crimea when he is silent when Shultz publicly declares to overthrow an elected govt for an EU imposter because it does not do what it is told! Cameron does not have the political back bone or the will to make changes in the EU.

  2. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    The cash is mightier than the sword.

  3. Richard1
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Not sure that’s quite the right take on it. Sure the Greeks voted to throw off the yoke of euro rule. But the Syriza case for which they voted was they can have their cake and eat it – vote no and the Germans will be forced to send more money. It wasn’t a vote against the euro, as it should have been. Greece still seems to be in denial – there didn’t seem to be voices arguing for getting out of the euro, restructuring the economy on market friendly lines and standing on their own feet. One side thought they must obey orders from the EU and play by the rules and the other that more blackmail would work. What’s going to be interesting now is the extent to which the eurozone is prepared to be blackmailed by a state and bend and re-write its rules for the political objective of maintaining the scope of the euro. It’s the acquis communitaire that’s about to be tested.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      “What’s going to be interesting now is the extent to which the eurozone is prepared to be blackmailed by a state and bend and re-write its rules for the political objective of maintaining the scope of the euro.”

      Yes, that will be interesting, given that in May 2010 they were prepared to violate all the rules to preserve the eurozone intact, on Lagarde’s later admission.

      But the French Minister for Europe Pierre Lellouche had tacitly admitted that even before Lagarde more openly admitted it in an interview in December 2010, he claimed that EU leaders had made “de facto” changes to the EU treaties:

      “It is an enormous change,” Mr Lellouche said. “It explains some of the reticence. It is expressly forbidden in the treaties by the famous no bail-out clause. De facto, we have changed the treaty,” he added.”

      The small problem being that the only legally valid procedures for changing the EU treaties are to be found in Article 48 TEU, and none of them would allow EU leaders to make any such change.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Agree with your post John, but the Greek people also need to realise that you cannot have it both ways.

    You cannot have reasonable government services and pensions, if you do not pay enough tax into the system in the first place.

    Likewise you cannot expect to have past debts incurred, just written off at a stroke.

    What a refreshing change that the Greek Prime Minister and Finance Minister are fighting very, very hard, in the interests of their people and Country, and not just accepting the first offers in their negotiations with those in the EU.

    • Hope
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      More political backbone and negotiating skills than Cameron could ever talk about.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Exactly right.

  6. Jerry
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    “I hold this truth to be self evident. People are happier if they are self governing.”

    Doers that mean there will be a (snap) referendum in the UK on what the people think of the Budget on Wednesday then?!… Democracy is OK just so long as the plebs do what you wish and hope for, I wonder if you would have written the same line had the Greeks voted to accept the EZ bailout – after all it would still have been “self governing”, a choice of the people.

    “We now know the Greeks by a large margin voted for their democracy.”

    Do we, that might be the spin the europhobes and the EZphobes put on it (with their wish for the not only the EZ but the EU to break apart) but Greece might have done the exact opposite, voted for “More Europe”, for there are only two possible outcomes surely, either Greece will be thrown out of the EZ (and perhaps even the EU, which will please the europhobes no doubt…) or the the EZ member countries need to accept that they need to start to behave like a true federation, not only a single currency but a single country on effect, the EU with the help of Greek democracy might well have just taken a leap towards a USoE…

    How is that strong economic case/plan for a UK Brexit coming along from the eurosceptics or Brexit grouping? Noted two interesting, in disturbing, automotive industry stories over the last couple of days, Jaguar Land Rover signs partnership to build cars in Austria (Reuters) whilst Bloomberg Business reports Jaguar in Talks on $1.85 Billion Plant With Poland, Slovakia, both respected and independent sources, still think the assembly of motor vehicles and all those jobs are still so assured post a Brexit John?

    Whilst I can see every reason for JLR to seek out manufacturing options elsewhere in the world there can only be two reasons for seeking such options in other EU member countries surely, either labour costs or fear of a Brexit, both of which are bad news for the UK, given that the UK automotive sector has both the best skilled workforce and productivity in the EU if not world, apparently…

    Reply JLR says it has a skills shortage in the UK.It shows that in the EU – or out of it – a country like the UK wins some new investments and loses other potential new investments.
    Yes I would have said if Greece voted to stay in we should accept their wish to be part of the Eurozone and all that implies on who would drive their economic policy.
    The UK budget and the ones which follow will be submitted to UK voters at the next election, who in the meantime can influence it through the usual national democratic process. How do Greeks influence the Eurozone? That was the issue in the referendum. They are trying a new way.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      What’s your take on it then Jerry – do you think the Greek fiasco is a good advert for Euro monetary union? Not sure what point you are trying to make on the budget, we just had an election and the budget will go before the newly elected Parliament.

      • Alan
        Posted July 6, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        It’s a good advertisement for making the point that the euro is for countries that can run their economies prudently. It isn’t good for those who want to borrow more than they earn.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Agreed, although it means a pooling of economic sovereignty in all member states

      • Hope
        Posted July 6, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        JR, the budget is shown to the EU before parliament or the public gets a look in. Why? The EU dictated to Eurozone countries to change their proposed budgets. Are their citizens aware this takes place? I fail to see why politicians want to be in the EU to become a region of a superstate where their voice is of no concern or relevance. Shultz makes it clear that national govt.’s in disagreement with the EU should be replaced! No thank you ever time. Forget any trade benefits it is not worth our freedom.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

          @Hope; A bit like complaining that the civil service sees the budget before not only the Cabinet never mind it is announced to the UK people… Silly rants about procedures are likely to damage the eurosceptic cause – “Is that all they can find fault with”, people will say, most people are intelligent enough to understand the need for ‘(EU legal) process’ whilst we are still a member of the EU.

          • Hope
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

            Nothing similar whatsoever and your comparison is stupid. The civil service creates the budgets for ministers! Wake up Jerry. Condensing and wrong, once again.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; “Condensing and wrong, once again.”

            Indeed you are.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1; “do you think the Greek fiasco is a good advert for Euro monetary union?”

        Of course not, my point was that it has proved you can’t have monitory union without also a federal union, which means unquestioned support for member states, just as the Federal Reserve in the USA have supported states that have all but become bankrupt, in not actually insolvent. A Grexit from the EZ [1] will allow other “PIIGS” to think the previously supposed impossible should their citizens or politicos decide that they have had enough, thus bringing about the death of the Euro and perhaps even the whole EU project, hence why I suspect that the end result might be a move to actually speed up a Federal EU as a way of reconciling the transfer of debt from Greece to the whole of the EZ – or of course Greece being kicked out of both the EZ and EU [1].. We have already had Mr Juncker claiming that ‘his life’s work is ruined’, the eurocrates will not give up without a fight…

        As for referendums and the coming UK Budget, funny that, I thought that Greece has a (relatively) new government too, thus the EU’s bailout proposals could have simply been put to their parliament in the same way, the the Plebs having a say when ever the next election is? Surely “self governing” is more than just who, when and were a government sits but the people being able to have a voice beyond just elections – after all many on our hosts site pleaded (during the coalition years) that we should be more like Switzerland, allowing the people to have a direct say via referendums – I guess referendums are only popular when the proposers think they will win, not because they build a better democracy!

        [1] but will they, and NATO, risk Greece being courted by Russia as their saviour

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      JLR has been exploring its manufacturing expansion options for some time. Other countries looked at have included Turkey and the USA. I read in the Bloomberg article you referenced that Polish labour costs are 8.79 euros per hour versus 25.31 euros per hour in the UK; the attraction of looking at this option are obvious.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      @JR reply; Sorry but I don’t but the “skills shortage”, we are talking assembly, not so much design, the most skilled jobs within manufacture (such as building the actual bodies or machining parts are now done by robots or CNC machines. There are areas in the UK, not necessarily associated with intensive motor vehicle production, that have proved they can provide quality staff.

      But if JLR really are suffering from a shortage of assembly line staff there can only be two reasons for that, either JLR do not wish to invest money in training for anything beyond that required for their specific vehicle models, which again I don;t but, or it is a total condemnation of the UK’s policies towards schools and colleges curriculum, even more so that mistaken idea that 50% of the school leavers should will go to Uni and then expect nothing less than high paid, clean, white collar, degree level jobs.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        You forget Jerry, there is, as just one example, a huge engine plant in the UK built by BMW which sends engines all over Europe.
        Should BMW only make engines in Germany?

        Do you dislike the Toyota and Nissan plants in this country?
        By your logic they should be importing from Japan not setting up in any other country.

        Your vision of muli national car companies is still back in the sixties Jerry.
        Nationalised car firms making vehicles for their loyal customers with little or heavily restricted imports.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          @Edwarde2; “a huge engine plant in the UK built by BMW which sends engines all over Europe.

          Your point being what exactly other than to point out once again that factories such as the engine plant you talk about is a German owned plant and thus any decisions about future investment etc.will not be made in the UK but in Germany – more so post any Brexit, even more so if other factories are dependant on having engines to install. Oh and no I do not dislike Toyota nor Nissan or any other non UK owned (car) factory plants in this country, I dislike people like you who seem to have a dream that the UK has control over the fate of such factories, we do not.

          “Your vision of muli national car companies is still back in the sixties Jerry. Nationalised car firms making vehicles for their loyal customers with little or heavily restricted imports.”?

          Very funny, but you must be thinking of Germany again, with their then state owned VW (and the one engine, three model line up), the UK didn’t have any state owned car industries in the 1960s. Perhaps we should have been more like Germany, just look at their motor industry now…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

            Still fixated by ownership nationality as if we were back in the sixties. .
            How would you stop world wide trading and world wide ownership of companies.
            Laws making UK companies having to be owned by UK passport holders?
            Your vision is one based in the past.
            The world has moved on from when you were at work Jerry
            Its a small world now.

            UK individuals and pension funds and businesses have holdings in companies all over the world.

            You are right BMW did make a decision.
            To invest millions in a UK plant which employs thousands.

            They make decisions based on good business sense which in the long run helps develop more profits, more well paid jobs and more investment,

            You are so out of touch it is staggering.

  7. Excalibur
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I find it astonishing that Merkel and Hollande are to meet this evening to determine the Eurozone’s course of action. This, before a full meeting of European leaders on Tuesday, and after a clear denunciation of German leadership. Given that the Greek people have voted overwhelmingly against current policies, we could provide a sensible escape route for everyone by providing through a company like De La Rue credit facilities for Greece to print its own currency.

  8. David Edwards
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Whatever happens the EU elite are now in great difficulty. If they help Greece to leave the Euro and it becomes successful again, as it surely will, it will provide a beacon of hope for the people of other states. If they are obstructive it will fan the flames of the nation state. Either way, the Euro zone will need to restructure and will require the help of the UK to do so, giving DC plenty of scope to achieve a satisfactory negotiation. Then hopefully we can, as a continent, return to a free trade region, because it is trade that brings people closer together, certainly not politics.

    • Alan
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure Greece has ever run a successful economy in modern times. It has had a while series of devaluations. If it leaves the euro now and introduces the drachma I imagine it will have few years of ‘success’ before eventually having to devalue again.

      The UK is, I think, in a similar situation, unless Mr Osborne can succeed in raising productivity and balancing the budget. We should not underestimate the difficulties he faces, even if things appear to be going well at this moment.

    • Hope
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      The EU will try to force other. Ou tries to ct against Greece, a bit like the U.S. did to Cuba.

  9. Gary
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    oh goody! The “money grows on trees” crowd are positively besides themselves. Now Greece can print themselves into the final destitution faster than they got into the current one.

    If Greece backed the new Drachma with gold, as they should, that would ruin the party of the “money grows on trees” crowd. The serial devaluers to export, instead of increase productivity and quality, would have a cadenza.

    PS. there is ALWAYS enough gold, the price/value will rise(ration) to meet the amount, for any amount

  10. Old Albion
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Crikey! you mean the Greeks have voted and got it wrong ! There’s only one EU answer. They’ll have to vote again, until they get it right.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      The EU Commission has already dismissed the referendum as invalid.

  11. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    “We now know the Greeks by a large margin voted for their democracy. ”

    Not really, they voted not to pay their debts, we’d all vote for that given the chance. They’d also vote to stay in the Euro which is a vote “against” their democracy according to you. It is a good idea to try to spin this into a UK anti-EU story but doing it by supporting the antics of a bunch of nationalist Marxists is not the right approach.

  12. Ian wragg
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I think Murky is on very thin ice. If she bails out Greece again in a couple of years we will be back to square one. The Germans won’t want to finance the generous Greek pensions and the bloated public sector. Methinks Germany may exit the Euro.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Was it not the case that the EU has tried to bully the Greeks into accepting their demands and voting against their own government?
    The tragedy of this is that the Greeks had a choice of evils. Those politicians and bankers who over the years have brought the country to this position should pay the price but as normal it is the ordinary Greek who will suffer, at least in the short term. When as seems inevitable much of the Greeek debt is written off the people of the countries from whom this money was borrowed will bear the brunt of those losses, not those who conspired in the events which have led to this.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      The politicians, and their active propagandists and willing fellow travellers across Europe, should pay the price, and personally; but of course they won’t, it will be the millions of ordinary people who they led astray that will foot the bill.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    The Greeks have voted against the constraints of the EZ and have taken their chances of opting out of the EU as a result . All credit to their resolve and determination to go their own way if necessary . They are in for a rough ride one way or another but , as things stood , the reality of 50+ years of being beholden to creditors and the sort of austerity that is entirely foreign to their way of life , they decided it was better to suffer by themselves .

  15. NickW
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The UK’s negotiating position has been radically changed by the Greek referendum result.

    The offensive threats from the EU politicians and bag men were completely ignored, and the non-State Greek media which fully supported the EU line were ignored too.

    For me, it was the completely unified media onslaught on UKIP before the EU elections which made me see the light and understand that the media no longer functions in the public interest, it has openly shown itself to be a tool of the elite to buy votes and influence public opinion.

    The EU now has to understand that regardless of any propaganda campaign, there is a very real chance that the UK will vote to leave the EU in the absence of any meaningful reforms.

    The media has lost all credibility and trust, neither of which will be rapidly regained.

    • Alan
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Media onslaught against UKIP before the European elections! You must have read different newspapers to me. Most of the ones I saw were mad keen on UKIP doing well. Most mass circulation newspapers in the UK appear to want us to leave the EU.

      I think that’s why they want a referendum – it moves decision making away from those who have to provide reasons for their votes to those who can just decide on the basis of how they feel at the time.

      I doubt most Greeks understood what they were actually voting for or the possible consequences. They probably just voted emotionally to support the government they had recently elected which they saw as being pressurised by Germany and other Eurozone nations.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 6, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      There is something in what you say, but you have to take into account that in this case the national government campaigned for one result while the foreigners and their Greek fifth columnists waving their EU flags campaigned for the opposite result. It is very unlikely that the UK government and the external forces will be in opposition during the UK referendum, if/when it happens, rather they will all be on the same side trying to keep us in the EU prison by all possible means.

    • Handbags
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      You’re right.

      The way the media and our ‘free press’ all targeted UKIP on the same day was shameful.

      Luckily we now have the internet – and so for the first time ever the metropolitan media propaganda can be bypassed if one is prepared to make the effort.

      I watch RT (whose anti-western output is indistinguishable from the BBCs) and also Fox News whose anti-socialist take on things is remarkably refreshing to hear.

      I think, because of technology, the stranglehold of the ‘free press’ is on a downward spiral – and individual bloggers and websites are on the rise – and, would you believe it, it’s all the previously suppressed opinions that are coming to the fore.

      The future looks bright.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    If you have not already seen it, this critical SpiegelOnline article on Angela Merkel`s position throughout the Greek crisis is worth a read:

    The next few days will be very revealing about which Merkel policy will prevail and where the ultimate power lies.

    FWIW my view is that the EZ leaders should now facilitate a Greek departure from the EZ. Attempts to sticky plaster over the flawed enterprise will be obvious to all. I would have thought it extremely difficult to get all the other EZ members to agree to continued Greek membership with all that implies.

  17. Richard
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The referendum result shows that the Greeks either wish to remain in the Euro with money transfers from the northern European taxpayers or to be ejected from the Euro by the EU.

    They cannot make this decision themselves as there is no process for leaving the Euro. There is only the TEU article 50 available to leave the EU completely.

    Posted July 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Interesting Mr Varoufakis Greek Financial Minister has resigned to enable none Greek negotiators for the EU to feel more comfortable. Some may find this unusual. But no. The leader of one of the Russian new republics in eastern Ukraine voluntarily resigned before the Minsk talks including Ukraine, Russia and the “terrorists” could commence.

    Few people have the philosophical mind-set to be professional negotiators, who can look way beyond personalities. Certainly not in the EU-backed Ukrainian regime, definitely not in the EU as Mr Varoufakis’ resignation shows.
    EU negotiators, despite being in relatively secret closed meetings are afraid to lose face, afraid to see the person of a victor. How pathos (sic ).

  19. Handbags
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    You’re right.

    The way the media and our ‘free press’ all targeted UKIP on the same day was shameful.

    Luckily we now have the internet – and so for the first time ever the metropolitan media propaganda can be bypassed if one is prepared to make the effort.

    I watch RT (whose anti-western output is indistinguishable from the BBCs) and also Fox News whose anti-socialist take on things is remarkably refreshing to hear.

    I think, because of technology, the stranglehold of the ‘free press’ is on a downward spiral – and individual bloggers and websites are on the rise – and, would you believe it, it’s all the previously suppressed opinions that are coming to the fore.

    The future looks bright.

  20. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 6, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Now that the Greeks have had their referendum, the German electorate should have theirs, in a 3 way choice:
    – Reschedule Greek debt repayments with some debt relief
    – Greece to leave the Euro zone
    – Germany to leave the Euro zone

    How does Mr Redwood think the German electorate would vote?

    Greeks due some sympathy but let us remember two things:
    – They cheated to get into the Euro zone by getting Goldman Sachs to raise a loan for them and keeping it secret.
    – They have steadfastly refused to create a competent tax collection machine so that everyone pays their taxes.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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