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A first comment on the Greek referendum

July 7th, 2015

A left-liberal news portal compares the victory of the ”no” in Greece to a referendum held against co-payment in higher education and the health service in Hungary in 2008 which sealed the defeat of the Left.

On Hír24, Zsolt Kerner and Richi Tóth find it quite natural that people are not inclined to say “yes” to austerity measures which directly bite into their family budgets. This was precisely what happened in Hungary seven years ago when the left-liberal government attempted to introduce tuition fees in universities and co-payment in the national health service. A Fidesz initiated referendum swept those plans away, along with the government itself – two years later. Thus, the outcome of Sunday’s referendum in Greece was quite logical. The problem is that if all actors also behave logically, Greece might find itself in a chaotic situation. It is logical for the leftist government to revolt against Brussels, since it was elected on an anti-Brussels platform. It is also logical for Brussels not to give too spectacular concessions to Greece, because if they do, many other countries may follow suite. In Spain, the authors remark, Podemos, a carbon copy of Syriza is already a major political factor. “Democracy has won, but who will pay the electricity bill?”, they ask.

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