“YES: Greece belongs in Europe”

The current transformation of a reasonable "Euroscepticism" to a dangerous trend of European rejectionism is the result of the lack of visionary European leadership in conjunction with serious institutional defects.

I describe it as “dangerous” because such a trend leads, inevitably, to national isolationism, the revival of ideological fanaticism and forces citizens towards the extremes of the political spectrum, either it being to the left or to the right. Such extremism destroys the fundamental principles of a European vision. To the extent that this vision is being abandoned by European nations, it actually degenerates from a vision of “the common interest of nations and States” as it should be, to a reality of the interest of a cynical Brussels-based bureaucracy which might be practical in its methodology but at the same time utilitarian and guided by technocratic arrogance.

Now that we are all faced with problems, and especially the Greeks, we seem to have forgotten what the original idea of the United Europe has achieved since World War II.

  • The EU brought an end to the bloody wars, securing peace in our continent.
  • The EU left no room for dictatorships, oligarchies and totalitarian regimes, instituting the principles of democracy and human rights.
  • The EU defeated poverty and achieved growth and prosperity for all at a national, regional and sub regional level. This growth permeated the companies, the households and finally the individual.

While Europe may have grown, it didn’t mature respectively. The enlargement of the Union did not go hand in hand with an institutional and political deepening that would bring an ever tighter and efficient union. Subsequently, today this imbalance has mutated into a threat for Europe's unity.

Greece, became an inseparable component of the core of the European family, thanks to the relentless efforts, systematic work, international credibility and vision of Constantinos Karamanlis. To this day, Greece has reaped the fruit of this relationship, mainly the democratic principles, national security and prosperity that Europe had to offer. These benefits should not be taken for granted, given that Greece experienced a bloody civil war after the end of World War II.

The European option has benefited us, and continues to provide support for our nation, not only in the fields of finance and development, but also in the political, ethical, cultural and political realms. The statement by Constantine Karamanlis “We belong to the West” in no way indicated dependence. It is a national choice which confesses that Greek cultural identity constitutes the ever-lasting basis for the European identity.

Poor political choices, made by Greek governments or the European leadership, do not justify unwise clashes, nor a catastrophic logic that would force us to exit the Union. It is an unreasonable behavior, the one we have been experiencing the last few days, that nullifies the greatest successes of our political trajectory since 1974, while at the same time undermining our very own future.

I am not aware if this government is being guided by its leftish, anachronistic ideology or the skew and irresponsible perception with regards to the negotiating rules of the EU. Whatever it is, it is dangerous for our state, our people and our nation. Our state is on the brink of bankruptcy, our people in danger of a national division and our nation on the verge of a tragedy.

The invocation of democracy, in the form of a referendum, is used as a pretext by SYRIZA in order to disclaim the responsibilities of an elected government to shoulder the weight of the difficult decisions. The citizens are called upon to make a decision based on a non-existent dilemma, given that the proposal by the EU institutions, since Tuesday, is no longer available option. Our nation is thus on the verge of an inconceivable adventure without return. Even if the "negotiating process" doesn’t end at this stage, regardless of what the Prime minister indicates, it will cease to be of any importance as the room for maneuver for Greek diplomacy is being eliminated.

If voters don’t realize what is at stake, they might vote in favor of NO, thus putting an end to a "European Greece". A vote in favor of YES on the other hand, will not allow for a margin of reaching a better agreement with the EU Institutions, given that we negated our option to achieve something better when we withdrew from the negotiations.
Finally, the greatest danger that looms in this process is that the referendum of 2015, unlike the one of 1974 which united us towards a solid Democracy, will now lead to a new national division and maybe Greece's exit from the Eurozone.

Thus the critical question at this pivotal moment of a looming disaster is: Do we have time left? Is there a viable solution?

If the government truly believe that “Greece belongs in Europe” the solutions would be:
A) consultation between the heads of all the political parties.
B) Annulment of the call for a referendum.
C) Return to the negotiations, using as a base the last improved proposal of the institutions and an agreement with the institutions for debt restructuring or reforming.
D) Immediate return to normal operation of the banking system.
E) Appointment of a group of experts that will draft an “Integrated National Development Plan” which will constitute the basis for discussions in view of the necessary 3rd package of financial aid that will be required before the Fall in order for the Greek economy to survive.

If however, the government, as some have claimed, “has a plan to lead Greece out of the Eurozone” then there is no other option, for those of us that believe that “Greece belongs in Europe” but to fight the "YES" battle with the ultimate goal to retain our position in Europe where we rightfully belong.

We have no time; There are no margins for personal agendas, vendettas and internal political factionalism. No one has the right to place their individual interest, or the interest of their political party above that of our compatriots'.

United we stand, divided we fall...
YES to Greece!
YES to Europe!

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