Reports are coming in now that the Greek people have voted No in the referendum by over 60% of the vote. That vote is powerful as it is, but add on that young people in Greece voted No by 67% according to news reports and you can see the leaders of the EU have a big problem on their hands. They are the future and they don't like what they see.
What lessons can we take from this situation in Greece?
- despite a strong desire to stay with the Euro as their currency, the Greek people wanted to send a clear message to the Euro group that trust in the system is at a low ebb
- there is growing distrust in the system all over the world. I see this all the time in doing research for this blog so this vote is not that surprising to me. Many people believe the system is setup to benefit the 1% and that those running the system are more interested in preserving their power than anything else. This seemed to be on full display with the situation in Greece.
- putting blind trust in the government or central banks to insure the system will stay stable is naive at best. When things get tough, those in charge move to protect themselves first and foremost. They are quite willing to gamble with the lives of the average citizen.
-having an emergency fund at hand in case there are systemic problems is NOT an extreme idea. It's a wise idea unless you enjoy standing in line at an ATM machine hoping to get enough money to eat next week.
Of course, we all know that Greece is a relatively small nation in terms of GDP. Many will just ignore the lessons that are available to learn here because the idea that "it can't happen here" are quite powerful in the minds of many people.
Just one thing to keep in mind. The powers that be here assured us for months the problems in Greece would get resolved. They assured us that the banks would never close. That it would never come to that. They told us "it can't happen here". They were dead wrong. Those that blindly trusted them have found out that their promises can be quite empty when push comes to shove.
Now we will find out how the powers that be in the EU and the Greek government will respond to the vote of the people. Will they move quickly to get this mess resolved and the banking system functioning again?
Will the Euro powers try to punish the people for voting "the wrong way" and not removing the Greek government as they wanted?
Will the Greek government be able to work with the EU to deliver on their many promises that the banks will be back open very quickly after the vote?
Are the statements of either side credible or just more empty promises to the people standing in lines?
Here is where we find out what kind of people are in charge. They either care about the people first or they don't. It shouldn't take too long to see what the truth is. Just keep an eye on how much longer the lines at the ATM machines last. The whole world is watching.
Added note: Reuters article on the Vote. Here are quotes from the article:
"This is an imprint of the will of the Greek people and now it's up to Europeans to show if they respect our opinion and want to help," said Nikos Tarasis, a 23-year-old student."
. . . .
"But euro zone officials shot down any prospect of a quick resumption of talks. One official said there were no plans for an emergency meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday, adding the vote outcome meant the ministers "would not know what to discuss".