When the first international effort to impose an economic austerity regime on Greece was completed, George Papandreou, then prime minister, surprised and infuriated the negotiators from the IMF, European Commission, and European Central Bank by proposing that the draft agreement be submitted to a popular referendum in Greece. The negotiators and their governments knew very well that the Greek people would reject it. Papandreou was hustled out of the limelight, and...
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William Pfaff, a former editor of Commonweal, is political columnist for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. His most recent book is The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America's Foreign Policy (Walker & Company).