Comparing and contrasting Brexit (2016) and the Greek Referendum (2015)

I’ve just been watching Inside Europe: 10 years of turmoil and it documents in its 3 programs :-

First the immediate background leading up to the momentous decision that is Brexit,

Second the events around the Greek financial bailouts or Grexit as some reports named it and

Lastly the refugee crisis that came to dominate the headlines and the entirety of Europe.

Therefore I decided to write an opinion piece as I have spent a considerable amount of time in both Greece and England over the last 10 years along with visiting places like Morocco, Canary Islands, Italy, Denmark and America.

Brexit

Britain leaving the European Union has been debated for a long time before we were given the chance to decide whether we still wished to be part of it. I wasn’t around when we first joined the eu but from what I have heard, there was a great debate over that too.

I think it’s part of us being an island that makes us so insular and so reject a closer union with our neighbours.

This video debates languages but has references to the British attitude to being closer to Europe.

British people are notoriously cold and I believe it’s not only our weather that makes us like this but our traditions as well. This is why we are reluctant to have any closer ties to what can colloquially called “Johnny foreigner”. This is a rather outdated concept but responsible for a lot of the anti immigration feeling that led to Brexit. If you analyse the statistics you will find that it is older people and people from the heartlands of the uk who voted for Brexit. This is almost like trying to put the milk back in the bottle after you have spilled it. It can’t be done but if you try to risk contaminating the rest of the milk.

Brexit reminds me of Pandora’s box as we have allowed all of the contents out yet in our efforts to close the box and attempt to go back to the way things were, we have left hope trapped inside.

Nothing good can come of us returning to a place we last
inhabited in the 1970s. The world has changed too much and we all know we were sold a pack of lies as to the benefits of Brexit. The daily news relates each new case of a business quitting because of uncertainty surrounding the rules that are going to be in place and the trade deals that will be used to help enforce these new criteria.

Grexit

The Greeks on the other hand are in some ways still in the 1970s as you can here the way they spoke then if you go past a cafe (kafenon) and listen to the old men chatting.

Greece is a place that still has traditional values which can seem to some rather backward because mental health is not a buzz word nor is gender identity or trans rights. These are all good things but they are not splashed all over the media. People have common sense so they don’t need to have an oppressive stance to get across to them that these sections of the community need respect. They are private people who get on with their lives and don’t worry about the opinions of others. They don’t follow fashion as they know it changes so quickly and they don’t have the income to keep up with that.

The Greeks are very hard working and you can find studies online which show how they work the most but this not sufficient to prosper in today’s society. You need to work in a profitable way and this is often the opposite of the humane way.

This is why the Greeks rebelled against the austerity measures as you can only take so many cuts before its impossible to continue. They changed their government to elect members who would vote against anything more from the Germans. So understandably they were not happy that when their prime minister Alexis Tsipras gave them a referendum and they rejected it by 61% which is a lot more decisive than 52%. However their PM decided to ignore “the will of the people” as Teresa May is so fond of calling it as he needed to remain in Europe. He like all Greeks likes money and will do what is necessary to ensure a constant supply of it.

We could do the same as the Greeks as I think they set a precedent there but no, we have Teresa May saying Brexit means Brexit means Brexit. What actually does that mean?

Immigration

Is it that we can’t cope with immigrants? We didn’t have the same number flooding in from Syria that the Greeks had to deal with. Admittedly we are the final destination unlike Greece being the first stop but the English are famous for being monolingual and our European counterparts are multilingual. This means we have a limited way in terms of thinking and connection. We are inflexible and not open to other avenues simply because they don’t exist for us. We cannot comprehend there way of life so they cannot integrate into ours. There will forever be a distance culturally, ethically and linguistically.

I wrote a follow up to this and here is the link to it :- Brexit: The unholy war

What do you all think of this situation? Please let me know by writing in the comments below.

Best wishes

Angela

Published by

Athena Minerva

A place for me to write about things that concern myself and the world around me. Please check out my page on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01G9629BG after you have finished my blog or drop me a line at theenglishintrovert@beyondtheenglishintrovert.com

4 thoughts on “Comparing and contrasting Brexit (2016) and the Greek Referendum (2015)”

  1. I’m not expert in UK political matters, but we keep hearing that they want to leave the European Union and logically speaking, I guess it’s not so wise decision…I’m sure there are lot of benefits to be a part of a community and exchange experiences, culture and also be open to each other’s…such as the Schengen agreement and maybe there are more benefits that I’m not aware of..
    Thank you for sharing this, it’s informative and the learning language video is also great, I agree that one language is not enough!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. An interesting idea, that there’s a link between monolingualism and xenophobia. Having lived in Scotland, however, I’ve found that the Scots (who are also monolingual) were far more tolerable toward foreigners than the English. Maybe that’s because of the secondary parameters you mentioned: I didn’t really talk to many old-timers or people outside Edinburgh, so there’s that. Still, I also think that history plays a part, particularly the Auld Alliance.

    On a side note, I think that the English nationalism which led to Brexit was resurrected by the Scottish referendum.

    Liked by 1 person

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