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Let the Greeks Vote!

With Greece’s government on the brink of collapse and its economy straining under the crushing weight of debt, many have reacted hysterically to the country’s decision to put the EU bailout to a vote. The Economist’s Buttonwood’s Notebook, on the other hand, has opted to coolly lay out the remaining options for the Greek people. Voters have “every right” to “vote away [their] debts”—but they’d better be ready for the consequences. If they refuse bailout money from their European neighbors (with accompanying austerity agreements), they will either have to raise taxes, massively cut spending, or default outright. Of course, in their ideal world, Greeks would choose to take the money without any austerity measures. “But the Germans have to satisfy their own voters,” the author writes. “Democracy cuts both ways.”