In many ways it was always going to end like this, with the Eurozone and national democracy on a collision course. At the heart of this crisis has been the naivety and dishonesty of enthusiasts for the European project of ever closer union. It was always going to be difficult to deliver on the promises that brought Syriza to power since the risk for other Eurozone countries was no longer economic contagion but political contagion.
If the bailout conditions were undermined in Greece, how long before governments came to power in other Eurozone countries with similar demands? The fear was that giving Syriza an inch in Greece might only encourage Podemos in Spain to be at the door asking for a mile.
What will happen this week? Well, it is clear that Greece remains in the bailout programme until tomorrow. Pulling the plug on its banks before then would be a disaster. I’ve regularly criticised the EU for applying sticking plaster to open wounds, but removing assistance to Greek banks now would expose that wound and surely signal a messy exit from the euro a few days later.
If Greece makes it to this Sunday’s referendum, the Greek people should see it as a binary choice: collectively agree to the rules of the ‘club’ and take the painful medicine the rest of Europe prescribes you, or leave the Eurozone and chart your own course. That is the simple truth.
Syed Kamall is Conservative MEP for London