This time last year I was in Athens. One year ago today I visited the Acropolis and I went to the beach in Glyfada.
When I see the images of Athens in the news and hear about it on the radio, it just makes me want to be there even more.
Today, the Greeks are voting in a referendum. A referendum with a question totally incomprehensible to normal people, even in the original Greek.
Although it is not really a vote on whether to stay in or out of Europe, the outcome will be a decider in what happens next.
Whatever the result, things are bad for the Greeks. To vote yes and accept a new bailout deal is essentially taking out a credit card to pay off the debt on another credit card. To vote no means Greece could end up leaving the Eurozone, and probably the European Union; the transition over to a new currency would be painful.
To make things slightly more confusing, the No vote is effectively 2 separate camps: SYRIZA supporters who argue that a No vote means they can get a better deal from Greece’s creditors; and the Eurosceptics who just want out of the EZ and of the EU.
While I am no fan of Alexis Tsipras and his communist government, we both agree on one thing: That Greece should vote OXI today. For very different reasons – so that’s where the similarities end.
The idea of a single currency – the whole fiscal union thing – was a stupid idea in the first place. To put the Greek economy in the same category as strong EU economies – France and Germany – and give them all the same currency, was wrong. It should never have happened in the first place.
What Greece needs is not another credit card. Anyone with a brain can work out that borrowing money to pay off previously borrowed money is not sustainable debt. More poverty, less sovereignty.
The sensible thing to do is vote OXI.
The sensible thing to do is leave the Eurozone, and go back to your own currency, devalue, be more competitive and recover.
The sensible thing to do is leave the European Union.
Just remember: Greece has a tradition of saying “No”.
There is a national day of “No” on 28th October each year, celebrating when former Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas said “No” to Mussolini in 1940.
I don’t doubt that Greece will say “No” to the Germans today.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) July 2, 2015
Greece needs a fresh start; it might take a while to get back up on its feet. A chance for freedom from the bureaucracy of Brussels.
ΟΧΙ στην Ευρωζώνη. ΟΧΙ στην Ευρώπη. #πεςΟΧΙ
— The Bombsters (@thebombsters) July 4, 2015