Friday, 20 February 2015

Democracy goes both ways

I've read quite a few comments in the last few weeks saying something like "how can the EU possibly refuse to respect the Greek people's decision of refusing austerity measures?" This, obviously, leads to: "EU is not respecting Democracy."
Now... To grant or no to grant a loan to one country inside the eurogroup is a decision taken by unanimity of its member states. All of them have democratic legitimacy and they may decide to use their taxpayers money in some other way. If they consider that the choices of the Greek government compromisse their taxpayers' money and will still not help Greece or the entire Eurozone, they have democratic legitimacy to say so.
They may be right or they may be wrong. But it's their choice to use their taxpayers' (and voters') money in the way they wish to. After all, a treaty is a commitment of two or more states and each state has to decide on whether they commit themselves or not. The Greek government, whose leaders have been very clear that they accept the EU only because at the moment they have no other choice, needs to consider that the other governments may also think that they accept to negotiate with them only because the Greeks elected them and they have no other choice.
My personal choice...? I would rather negotiate with the stuborn Schäuble than with his coleric and radical counterpart, Varoufakis.

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