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Beloved Hellas on the road to Hell

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 16 June 2012

As you cannot fail to have noticed there is yet another Greek election on Sunday. The choice is clear: one of the two “old” parties (Pasok and New Democracy) which are both run by crooks and who will sign up to more austerity/another bailout or a variety of fruitcakes who will reject the EU’s kind offer. Some of the fruitcakes have some utterly repellent views on other matters.

It is the same old story: the establishment in every EU vassal state always signs up to every diktat from the Death Star and usually hoodwink the electorate into going along with it. Even back in 1975, when the UK last had a vote on this matter – the establishment was overwhelmingly on the Yes side. My Bennite paternal grandfather spoke on a No platform (and so family Winnifrith handed out flyers for No) but as a Bennite he was one of the more moderate fellows on the No side and Sir John was very much an establishment man. But he was unusual.

Greek politics is complex. My father’s best Greek friend is Mike (known as Mike the Vlach). To find out what a Vlach I recommended a number of learned tomes on the Vlachs by Tom Winnifrith (my father). Mike comes from a very poor village , Anelion which has only joined the road network in the past two decades. But his whole village votes en masse for New Democracy (the Tories). Dad’s second best friend, Natasha, is incredibly rich. But she votes the same way as her whole village, for Kapa Kapa (the Communists). Like Ireland, voting has been dictated by which side your ancestors were on in the Civil War. In 1948 Anelion was Royalist, Natasha’s village was not.

The fat old crooks from ND and Pasok tell the punters that it is a simple choice: do you want the Euro or not (vote for them to keep the Euro-rouble). The assorted loons say that it is a vote about austerity – do you want it or not. Of course they are all lying – they are politicians after all. What the Greeks want is to keep the Euro (it is associated with vast grants in the past but it is also a matter of misplaced National Pride) and the bailouts but to curb/scrap the austerity. That is having your Baklava and eating it. That option is not on offer.

What should Greece do? Leave the Euro, devalue and then reform the economy but the loons will not undertake the much needed reforms should they win and the old crooks will not leave the Euro. It is Hobson’s choice for a Greek Punter and were I to have a ballot paper I cannot think how I would vote. On balance I think for one of the less unpalatable loons. How will Greece vote, I fear that by a narrow margin we will see a ND led Government. But we shall also see open riots and the return of the drachma is almost inevitable.

Folks tend to forget that although democracy is a Greek word, modern Greece has enjoyed democratic rule for less than 40 years. The Military remains very powerful. I do not think it is a total given that Greece will be a democracy at all in 12 months time. Interesting times.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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