It is quite sad to see the Prime Minister of Greece to celebrate the outcome of a referendum that sent a resounding “No” to the EU proposal for austerity on one day while proposing and passing a budget that fits the essence of austerity on another day (The New York Times 7/10/2015).

There is really no political choice for Prime Minister Tsipras to go against the austerity measure unless he wants to push Greece out of the Euro zone, and the EU member states as well as the international creditors hold the exclusive financial lifeline for the country of almost 11 million people (CIA 7/10/2015). It is on EU’s exclusive terms on whether Greece can stay in the EU.

Being part of the EU is not merely a financial benefit but also a privilege of identity. Joining one of the largest economic and cultural bloc of the world entails the association of a political experiment that goes beyond the Westphalian national sovereignty into a transnational association of states that attempt to strive for the common good. In this day in age, being “European” does not merely mean being on the continent of Europe but also being part of the EU.

Granted, the current situation with Greece is unprecedented, and there seems to be wide consensus that the possibility of forcing Greece out of the EU would set a chain of financial and societal instability in Europe. For now, Europe needs to trust Greece and be a partner, not an antagonizer, to help the endangered EU member out of this agonizing fiscal crisis.

Again, a few hundred billions of Euros might not sound big if it is the cost to stabilize Europe for many generations to come. Europe needs to see the larger picture.

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