As we have heard over the last week George Papandreou has been told to stand aside as leader of Greece. He offered his people a voice, a vote in weather or not to stay in the European Union. If they had voted no and Greece had pulled out of the EU there would have been a means for them to postpone their debt repayments indefinitely, The debt would still be there but they could put if off. This worried France and Germany....more specifically Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarcozy, who are to receive the majority of the repayments, It was they who lent an incredible amount of money to a country who was living beyond its means and had no realistic way of repaying a debt of that size. So these two massive european powers have applied the pressure and the reforendum has been called off. In all probability the people of Greece would have voted to remain in the EU as no country would ever lend them money again and that would result in a far worse state of affairs. Polls have consistently shown that the Greek people are pro-EU.
My problem is this - Papandreou was giving his people a pure democratic path. It turns out democracy is to be discouraged in the EU(Gods know we cant have that sort of thing spreading!). He had shown more political integrity and courage than any of our prime ministers since Churchills last war-term and he has been pushed aside. Even in this he is working in the best interests of his people, at this point he could just walk away but he is staying in office, effectively without power until a new government has been decided so he can safely hand over the rains with a minimum of choas.
Give the people power and you have governments running scared, Its fortunate for our parlaiment that we have an effective system for denying the people any chance of unity. We have three parties and most people agree they all have significent imperfections, however as long as no party appears that finds a unifying political interest for the British people we will all be divided in voting for what we individually perceive as the "lesser of three evils", I know there are other parties however many of the less laughable ones will only ever attain a couple of seats and thus never be loud enough to effect big change in the House of Commons.