This euro is destroying the European dream

The deficit fetishists of Brussels and Berlin must cut Greece some fiscal slack and work to promote growth.

On Sunday the Greeks vote while the rest of Europe holds its breath. No matter how clunky the wording on the ballot paper, everyone knows what’s at stake. This is a moment of great peril, not only for the euro but for the European project itself.

If Greece votes no, it’s hard to see how it can stay in the euro, which will represent the most grievous blow in the 16-year history of a currency whose momentum was always meant to be irreversible.

If yes wins, and Syriza duly falls, the victory for the European powers could prove to be pyrrhic. Too many will believe that Brussels, and more pointedly Berlin, engineered the toppling of a democratically elected government. Once Alexis Tzipras had, admittedly, put a gun to his own head by calling Sunday’s vote, the EU in effect told the Greek nation that the leaders they had chosen just six months ago were unacceptable and had to be removed. The moment will be cited ever after as proof that the EU’s approach to democracy is akin to Henry Ford’s view of consumer choice: you can have whatever colour you like, “so long as it is black”.

Lees deze column van Jonathan Freedland verder op The Guardian >>>