In a parallel universe, when we were given the memorandum five years ago, the Greek people were asked by our government what we should do. All aspects of it were thoroughly discussed. By the time we had to cast our vote, every citizen knew of the risks of voting for a YES we sign or a NO we’d rather not.
In that parallel universe, people thought long and hard. They wondered, how is it possible to ever get out of debt by borrowing more money? How is growth possible, when salaries and pensions are cut? What if we sign this agreement now and then the troika comes back with more severe demands? What will happen when the taxes keep rising, the prices of houses keep falling and in the end it will all be sold off for a quarter of its value, just to pay for those taxes?
In that parallel universe we were worried about the pensioners even if we were not pensioners ourselves, we were worried about the teachers and the nurses and the cleaners and we protested along with them, because they were treated unfairly, even though at the time we weren’t doing so bad ourselves. We studied what had happened in other countries with similar problems. We started to suspect there was a bigger plan in place. We were to be boiled like frogs. Slowly, so by the time we realized it, it would be too late to react, we would have given away all of our freedoms.
But as I said, in that parallel universe we held a referendum. And because we weren’t just thinking for ourselves, but of our neighbour’s children and also of our grandparents who fought and suffered for us to live in a democracy, we voted NO. We did suffer, it was a very difficult time for all of us, but five years on and the worst is over. There is hope of growth in the horizon, we can just about start making out somewhere in the distance the end of the tunnel. And it looks like we might actually be alive to see it.
In this universe where no one ever asks us anything, this opportunity has finally come. We are being asked to vote in a referendum about the long term future of our country.
And even if it is five years late, it’s not too late.