Greece's Referendum: One No, Many yeses!
A victory for OXI (No) would not just help restore a sense of dignity to Greece; it would strengthen the ground for anti-austerity struggles across Europe.
By Jerome Roos /

Today, Greece has an opportunity to make history.

The brave decision by Prime Minister Tsipras to call a referendum on the creditors’ inhumane ultimatums has turned the tables. The government’s steadfastness in the face of extreme pressures — both from abroad and from within — has given people across Europe a renewed sense of hope.

It would have been easy to cave in to the financial asphyxiation of the creditors and the terror campaign of the domestic and international media. But so far Greece has held its ground, and today it stands firm and upright as millions take to the polls for the most momentous vote in EU history.

The onus is now upon the Greek people to rise up to the occasion and declare a proud and dignified NO against those who seek to strip Europe of its very soul.

If you win, you will not just regain a sense of dignity and self-determination; you will also throw a spanner into the works of the creditors’ disastrous neoliberal project, thereby indirectly aiding millions of Europeans across the continent in their own struggles for democracy and social justice.

This is precisely why they fear you. The victory of people power in this “faraway corner” of the continent — the evidence that there is an alternative and thatanother Europe is possible — would challenge the very logic and operationality of neoliberalism in Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin. And so you have to be crushed under the millstone of never-ending austerity and buried under a mountain of unpayable debt.

Do not be terrorized by those who claim that a NO vote against such brutality and humiliation would somehow be “anti-European.” There is nothing more European than a democratic rebellion under the Acropolis. If you break with anything today it would not be with Europe, but with the sheer insanity that has grabbed a hold of its leaders.

As Tsipras rightly said in his televised address last week, a NO vote is not a vote to leave Europe but a “vote for a return to European values.” Even if this means that Greece is forced out of the euro, so be it. Since when did this great continent of artists, partisans and philosophers become synonymous with money anyway?

The truth is that Europe has long since lost its way. It has strayed into the darkness and degenerated into a monstrous, anti-democratic Moloch. Someone has to put her back onto the path of light. Ironically, but not without reason, that herculean task has fallen upon little Greece — land of artists, partisans and philosophers.

Collectively, you now hold the future of the European project in your hands. Will this project remain one of fiscal flagellation and technocratic terrorization? Or will it once again open its doors to the hopes and aspirations of its people?

This referendum marks a defining moment in modern European history. The choice is very stark: either you vote yes to a lifetime of austerity, allowing decades of darkness to descend upon the country, or you roar back at the creditors’ lack of humanity with a resounding “NO!” — thereby opening the way for a thousand yeses to a new, democratic and socially just Europe.

One no, many yeses. The stakes have never been higher.

Jerome Roos is a PhD researcher in International Political Economy at the European University Institute, and founding editor of ROAR Magazine. He tweets about the Greek crisis and referendum at @JeromeRoos. The Greek version of this piece was published in this weekend’s edition of Enthemata.

4.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 14,474 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 12,115 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 8,679 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 8,315 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 7,893 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 6,046 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 3,495 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 3,092 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 3,046 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 1,934 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,666 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 1,267 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,122 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 939 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 932 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 579 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 573 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Bird Watching on Lesvos Island - A Poetic Call to Stand With Refugees
3 min · 535 views today · Born in Darfur, Sudan and raised in Philadelphia, Emi Mahmoud is the 2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and the Women of the World co-Champion of 2016. From a young age Emi...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 423 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Sex, Lies and America's Deplorable Democracy
Peter Bloom · 392 views today · The country’s political system is increasing rotting from the outside in and the inside out—a disintegration exemplified by the respective nomination of these two candidates...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Greece's Referendum: One No, Many yeses!