Emotional and not technical choices (day 4)

Halandri, day 4

Both the yes and no campaign don’t appear to engage in any serious elaboration on “what happens next.”

There is no obvious discussion of the practicalities of establishing a new currency, how to deal with the collapsing banks, the legal status of the assets used to guarantee the capital injections, how to allocate the remaining euro reserves for importing essential pharmaceuticals, fuels, etc.

If yes wins, there is no substantial discussion of what how the demanded reforms will happen and at what pace and what additional compromises could be made if it all must be renegotiated.

Rather, and rather frighting, is the way of that the discussion of options in the forthcoming referendum is dominated by emotional language.

This is a flyer from the yes (to accepting the bailout agreement). The flyer presents itself at first glance as a balanced position saying, on one side: “Yes to freedom. Yes to dignity. Yes to growth opportunities for us and our children. Yes our European future.”

Yes campaign flyer, "yes" side
Yes campaign flyer, “yes” side

On the other side, “No means uncertainty. No means humiliation. No means division. No means isolation. No mean the drachma.”

Nai campaign Oxi side
Yes campaign flyer, “no” side

The no campaign uses just as emotive language: “Vote no to the creditors proposal that: Undermines the recovery of the Greek economy and society. Attacks the world of work and the healthy forces of society. Bequeaths debt and its catastrophic consequences for future generations.”

No flyer for the forthcoming referendum.
No flyer for the forthcoming referendum.

And on the other side:

“Reply no to authoritarianism and tough austerity with  democracy, temperedness and determination.  Vote no for the dignity of the Greek people and the peoples of Europe.”

A no flyer for the referendum (second side)
A no flyer for the referendum (second side)

Oxi flyer one no

As for impact and presence. The no campaign started stronger, their base of activists better equipped and prepared for grass roots activism and mobilisation.

Wall of 'no' posters
Wall of ‘no’ posters

The yes campaign made a later start and has much lower presence.

Yes poster on a pole in Halandri
Yes poster on a pole in Halandri

The communists want to see Greece leave Europe and are encouraging citizens to cast an invalid vote.

The Greek Communist Party says 'no' to the European Union
The Greek Communist Party says ‘no’ to the European Union

It would seem a vote either way is a vote for dignity and a vote against humiliation. A vote either way would seem to be a vote to ignore the realities that need to be addressed quickly. To be fair, these observations are just based on the material in flyers, discussion on television and radio could be far more engaged with technical matters.

[Updated 5 July, 2015 to correct Communist party position]

New blog

Previously this site was used to document some of the thoughts about China, especially when taking students there. Unfortunately, I’ve been taken off the module and so am planning to use this to document some of my thoughts about higher education more generally (teaching, research and administration). I’m prompted to do this because the UK is going through considerable change in the sector with introduction of high fees for home UG students and restructuring of research funding.