Jürgen Habermas on the Greek Crisis

The Philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote this commentary in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 23:

Juergen Habermas“[Greece’s] lacking fiscal sovereignty is just one of many vulnerable aspects. The monetary union will remain unstable as long as it is not complemented by a banking, fiscal and economic union. But unless we want to come right out and call democracy nothing but decoration, that will involve developing the monetary union into a political union….

“What we are really lacking is a focus for joint political decision-making on the part of the people regarding key political issues in core Europe. But the veil over this institutional deficit has still not been fully lifted. The Greek election has blown sand in the mechanism of Europe, because the people themselves decided over a political alternative that they are keen to discuss….

“The political elites in Europe may no longer hide from their voters and themselves the alternatives with which a politically incomplete monetary union faces us. It is the people, not the banks, who must have the last say on the vital questions facing Europe.”

Neil Irwin, in The New York Times, June 28:

After an intractable series of negotiations over a bailout extension with Greece’s creditors, the nation’s left-wing government left the table Friday and said it would hold a referendum on July 5.

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