BREXIT – Grexit, what next?

Well, the Brits have voted – and they want out. Having been through a version of this in Greece last summer, I followed the debate with interest, without feeling in any way qualified to have an opinion about it. We decided to stay in – but Greeks see things from a totally different perspective, both historical and geopolitical. Was it the right thing to do for us? It is a costly solution, and there are still arguments against it.

L’union fait la force, as the French say. There is strength in numbers. We live in very bizarre, unsettled times. You would think we’d welcome a haven, a problem-solving support group, protection against common enemies. But no, we seem unable to see beyond our particular interests – you have to work together to make a haven.

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Of course, Europe has not been an unqualified success – far from it. The lack of leadership as a whole is appalling. Politicians have a peculiar affinity for irrelevance. The minute someone accedes to office, he seems to lose sight of reality, and of the practicalities of life. Or is it that politics attract precisely this type of person, because people who like getting things done cannot tolerate the endless red tape and manipulation needed? Difficult to say and of course, I’m generalizing here.

Be that as it may, Brussels has been putting far too much effort on stuff such as banning the use of chlorophyll  in Italian olives and unpasteurized milk in French cheese, and not nearly enough on getting a consensus on serious fiscal and legal matters, as well as on major problems such as the recent refugee crisis. It’s no wonder people are fed up. And I am one of them – I think their handling of the Greek crisis was atrocious (even, I hasten to add, if the Greeks were at fault as well.)

However, to my mind, when something is broken one should try to fix it, not scupper it.

The debate will go on, hopefully on a higher level than before. I must say I found the discussions before the referendum mostly disappointing – a lot of threats, scare-mongering and unsupported assertions on both sides. There is no doubt that this whole issue has caused a rift in England – but, on the plus side, it will shake things up, and perhaps some good will come of it (for all, not just the English.)

However, for the western world as a whole, I cannot help but feel this is a defeat – proving once again mankind’s inability to cooperate with one another.

We are going into unknown territory. What next, a Frexit? A Spainexit? Will Greece be pushed out now? Scotland and Catalonia want independence – maybe we’ll go back to city  states like in Ancient Greece, when Athens and Sparta spent their time fighting each other. Or Italy before Garibaldi?

52 thoughts on “BREXIT – Grexit, what next?

  1. It’s the same here in the states…the political process is broken. But as you say, what good is running away? The problems will still be there. Better to work to try to make things better. (K)

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  2. Yes, the deep division between people is happening, between the metropolis and the rest of the country, between the haves and the have-nots: wealth and insight is accumulating on few hands. Like it’s always been for HUMANKIND. Sad.

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  3. I think Britain has found the relationship with the EU uneasy for the whole 41 years it has been a member. As you say, it found the multiple irrelevancies difficult in particular (apparently they don’t eat ‘sausages’ in the UK, but ‘breaded meat tubes’, a Eurocrat decided), and I think if after 40 years they could not reconcile their differences in approach, goals and contributions to the satisfaction of all, then it would be fair to say they’d given it a damn good try. I don’t approve of the exit, I think it’s divisive, but then I don’t have to live there any longer, and if they want greater self determination, let them try it. Even Brexit is not irrevocable…

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  4. I agree with you on this issue. This Brexit affair goes far beyond political and economic considerations. The problem at the core is people’s lack of ability to work together. I remember there was a time when Europeans dreamed of living and working together after spending decades divided. Now that dream went out the window. Just remember, united we stand, divided we fall.

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  5. Oh, the mixed feelings after having stayed up most of our night to hear what all those around the world had to say! Living in Australia of a mixed Northern European heritage I CAN see both sides but am scared as to what could/would happen in the future. I do agree with Kate Chioni and tho’ I CAN u’stand BREXIT, I DO worry where this will lead . . . . both France and Germany are coming up to elections: quo vadis??? What about the weaker southern and eastern nations whose ‘undoing’ could have horrific consequences . . . as one our chief politicians last night said: in many ways we are ‘covered’ by the US and the Far East . . . no, the world keeps going around and around and around . . .prayers . . .

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  6. It’s a shame that such an important decision was reached by such a small majority, possibly even affected by such a mundane thing as the bad weather on polling day. If a political party was elected with such a small majority we would have had a coalition government yet a whole nation’s future is changed when almost half didn’t want it.

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  7. For me, when all came down to it, the refugee crisis was the major issue. in UK neither side ever even referred to it, and as far as I am aware, the only person, in the aftermath, who has done so is the Greek Prime Minister.

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    1. Definitely dissatisfaction with politicians. But it’s hard to know what to do about that except be conscientious about voting- and even then the choice is usually about deciding which is the lesser of two – or more – evils…

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  8. I can understand that people wanted to send a ‘strong’ message to politicians that they don’t trust them (and, to be honest, I was appalled at the mealy-mouthed Remain campaigners myself). But it’s like hating a subject at school simply because the teacher is not very nice… And, why did they not give that message more clearly at the general election just 13 months ago?

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  9. As a Scot, I’m devastated at the whole thing. Can’t believe we’ve done this to ourselves – and to Europe. And now no doubt the UK will break up. I wouldn’t mind quite so much if I really thought the debate was about the EU but so many people seem to have voted Leave just to protest against our current government – short-sighted and so selfish! It’ll be the young people who have to bear the consequences and they wanted to remain. Don’t give up on us, Europe – 48% of us wanted to stick with you and work through the problems we face together… maybe there will be a way to compromise if we can find the right leaders…

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  10. Nice debate. It’s interesting to read, for me that I’m far away but affected. This is so new and so fresh, and Great Britain is trembling, Scotland, Ireland and even London want to go away from it, that you are never sure what its going to happen.
    And, I guess, Spainaway sounds better!

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  11. I agree with your overall summary and comments on the situation..”Politicians have a particular affinity for irrelevance” is a beauty 🙂 I’ve read so much on Brexit these last few weeks, also posted in an overall irate mood at the nauseous farce a lot of it has been. Let’s just keep fingers crossed and trust it turns into a positive way forward for the rest of us… “non-quitters” (to paraphrase Cameron)….

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  12. When I was not busy with The Little Family and our own issues and contentions with our own red tape, have read, written, discussed the Brexit and other exeunt ad nauseam with British people, US people, pro, against, etc.
    I am fiercely pro-Europe because believe in its ideal of a common house with common roots, and because we need to be together in a world divided in blocks. You write It better than I do. The time s gone of the British Empire ruling over the waves and the world.
    But I fiercely believe that the European Union took a wrong turn with a neo-ultra-liberal economy, forgetting the social aspects that were in the minds of its “founding fathers”. The rules and regulations have divided instead of unifying.
    I am scared of the level of the debate before and after the Brexit in the UK and elsewhere. Lies and nationalism have already led the world towards wars.

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  13. WOW, ML, you sparked a heated conversation here. It seems that politics and politicians are disliked and distrusted everywhere, and along with that folks have thrown out the political process as well. It sounds like some people neglected to vote at all. Time will tell how this will play out. The consequences may not be what the Brits intended. Or the fallout may not be as bad as the EU expected. Maybe this will have a unifying effect in the long fun. One thing history tells us is that there will be a ripple effect, and the point of entry is the smallest circle.

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  14. Everyone is concerned about the future with Brexit. What if countries keep leaving till EU holds no significance. With advancing terrorism , unity is the only key tool . Such decisions effect not just a union but the entire world. Hoping for a peaceful tomorrow.

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  15. It was a great read. I am also against Brexit. It is a divided society and it will continue to be. Either the most educated people that Britain needs in its economy will definitely leave the country or have even started to be. It is not looking good either.

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  16. I am late to this one, Marina, but wanted to say what a thoughtful and intelligent post it was.
    As someone who voted for the UK to leave the EU, I fully understand the reasons for those who wanted to remain. But it has been a long time trying to sort out things from within, and it clearly has not worked. I had my reasons for wanting to go. After all, I voted in 1975 for the same thing, and have seen little improvement since.
    Leave voters like myself, are now vilified as racists and xenophobes by the disgruntled Remain voters. We have all been lumped into their convenient categories, so that they can explain why their policies failed to convince. Europe does indeed now face an uncertain future. But it always has.

    Very best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Pete. I do agree that Europe has failed dismally in a lot of the spheres it was specifically set up for; I just find it incredibly sad that, in a group of countries which believe themselves to be amongst the most ‘civilized’ and ‘cultured’ in the world, there were not enough leaders/brains to manage to preserve and improve what is one the main achievements of the 20th century. It makes me despair that humans who can be capable of outstanding achievements find it impossible to learn from their mistakes and keep being led mainly by political and financial interests.

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