Herald letter (first since election) Scotland & Greece – no £wall.

IT is no surprise that Scottish nationalists wish to appropriate to themselves the outcome of the Greek referendum (Letters, July 7). However, the reality is that the closest relationship between the two is that in each case the outcome was that the popular will of the people defeated a proposition which would have led to economic ruin for the respective countries.

Your correspondents would have more of a point if Scotland had voted Yes and then – as would have been likely – fallen foul of the similar asymmetrical currency union foolishly recommended by the SNP. In that case, Scotland would also have been begging to be allowed to renege on agreements freely entered into previously.

In the case of Greece, it remains to be seen whether the alternative chosen will bring about a better outcome. This will depend on the ability of the other Eurozone governments to convince their parliaments that their electorates will understand the need to support the Greek economy. I hope they will be able to do so. (My own view is that Greece should leave the euro, and that the other Eurozone countries and institutions should invest in an orderly and well-resourced “soft landing'”exit.)

At the same time, it is an odd feature of coverage of the Greek referendum that no-one has noted the talismanic quality of the word Oxi. It was the apocryphal answer of the Greek dictator Metaxas to Mussolini at the outbreak of the Second World War, and is celebrated as a national holiday (Oxi Day) on every November 28, and is therefore a national symbol of patriotic resistance. The referendum was like asking Scots to vote on whether Scotland is “the Brave”, and whether we should have fought Hitler, rolled into one.

Peter A Russell

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