It was inevitable that a tipping point for Greece would manifest eventually through the debacle which characterises the Eurozone now.
This time is a tipping point for Prime Minister Papandreou who seems exhausted by the incessant need to appease the EU and also his own political party, and by the resistance over many months of the Greek people to the harsh requirements being imposed upon them. The latest demands for further severe austerity measures are the tipping point for a restive population which is suffering greatly, and it has been clear for some time that the constantly increasing pressures on Greece for more debt reduction plans would become uncontainable let alone unachievable.
While political considerations play a part in Mr Papandreou’s decision to hold a referendum to let the people decide their future, the strategy is high risk: if it is a clear choice about Greece’s future in the EU, the result is likely to be in favour of withdrawal; if attempts are made to dilute its terms so as to be meaningless, there will be huge anger; and, on the wider world stage, the prospect of a Greek referendum will create great uncertainty and may, indeed, bring down the house of cards before even it takes place.
By letting the people of Greece decide their future, the game of global monetary chance in which the man on the street is the pawn has changed forever. The leaders of France and Germany and indirectly the US and China are no longer in control of events. The power base is shifting from the elite to the community, and the tipping point for transformation has arrived. At last.