When the constitutional process of a proud European democracy seemed to be leading, quite properly, to elections (as was the case in Greece since the Fall), the European Commission, various governments and the commentariat-at-large intervened, presenting the prospect of elections (the crowning moment of the democratic process) as a disaster-in-the-making; as a calamity to be avoided at all cost.
When the elections became inescapable, the same power brokers began to lecture the citizens of this small, proud nation on how to vote. And when these voters seemed eager to vote differently, European Union authorities began to warn any new government that might emerge that it should consider itself a caretaker of the agreements that the previous government had struck with the European Union – that any thought of re-negotiating them should perish instantly.
Is this what our dreams of Europe have come to? Has Europe come to a point where elections are seen as a problem, rather than the source of solutions? Have Brussels-based government appointees grown so stupendously arrogant as to imagine that they can tell electorates how to vote? Have we reached a point when a people is told that if they vote in a government that seeks to renegotiate an asphyxiating international loan agreement, they face non-functioning ATMs within days?
There is, indeed, something amiss in our Europe and Greece, the proverbial canary in the mine, has brought it to the surface. Europeans from Helsinki to Lisbon and from Dublin to Cyprus must now make it their collective business to resuscitate that which once inspired us: a penchant for democracy.