Greeks show they have not forgotten they invented democracy, vote 'No' to austerity | What's Left

The Greek people sent a strong message to the powers of Europe along with a stinging defeat to capital, finance and liberals pushing for more cuts and suffering. A total of 61.5% voted against economic blackmail and creditor imposed austerity. This was driven by a massive turnout of youth, nearly 70% of whom voted Oxi ('No'). This resounding vote – in the country that invented Western democracy – will bring interesting weeks and months ahead. In many ways, the vote was the easy part.

Page content

Click here to get What’s Left in your Inbox every Sunday

European liberals have a history of violent and unprofessional behaviour when they do not get their way. It will not be easy going – especially if the European Central Bank stops providing support to those in Greece.

Many predict vindictive actions from the leaders of Europe’s “centrist” governing parties, many of whom made antidemocratic statements in the lead-up to, and moments immediately following the referendum. The German government went so far as to suggest that this act of democracy represented the end of any possibility of productive working relationships between the two countries and did not know how they could find common ground again. Centre-right and old Social Democratic parties will be looking to vilify the Syriza leadership further since its success may lead to similar mobilizations elsewhere in Europe. Unfortunately, forcing financial hardship has been an easy tactic to employ. This vote shows it has failed in this circumstance, but that doesn’t mean neoliberals won’t double-down on this policy.

Greeks must now unite to develop an alternative vision for their country, one that continues the transformation of their economy so that it meets the needs of all people, and not just the rich.

More: How Europe Played Greece

More: Greeks defy Europe with overwhelming referendum ‘No’

More: [[][Greece Contemplates Nuclear Options: May Print Euros, Launch Parallel Currency, Nationalize Banks]]

More: What Comes After Oxi?