The Greek referendum is a lesson for us all.
Nearly two-thirds of the Greek population refused the austerity and reform program demanded by the country’s international creditors. The reaction to all attempts so far to economically restructure the over-indebted country could hardly have been clearer.
The Greeks’ clear “No,” this loud call for more autonomy and against the interference of European partners has to be respected.
Of course, the decision makes negotiations about a third bailout practically impossible. Greece is so far removed from the ideas of the other euro countries that it is hard to imagine how a Grexit can be avoided.
What Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hailed as a “victory of democracy” could prove to be a fatal mistake. The country’s European partners now know that Greece clearly rejects a continuation of the bailout policies pursued up to now.
That is understandable in view of the fact that two bailout programs amounting to around €250 billion have not been able to solve the country’s crisis.
In that respect, the creditors, especially Chancellor Angela Merkel, should also be asking themselves what mistakes have been made handling the Greek crisis over the last five years.