It’s the night of the Greek referendum, a landmark affair that could determine the future of Greece. Locals have gathered in Athens to feast on roasted corncobs, souvlakis, and socialize. No Molotov cocktails, no anarchists, not even so much as a scuffle. The few anxious faces belong to a few dozen foreign correspondents. They have crossed the globe to cover a story about an economic disaster – only to crash a Sunday grill party.
For outsiders it seems that the Greek response to five years of austerity measures is “Opa!” – a versatile Greek word for “whoops,” “let’s celebrate” and “shit happens.”
But the reality underneath this casual veneer is much more complex than anyone can surmise.
The referendum itself is about EU bailout conditions. But what it is really about is dignity: an opportunity for Greeks to have a say in their destiny. The “oxi” (no) voters want an end to unconditional austerity measures.… Read the rest