Euro-enthusiasts in Brussels and in Athens are ready to bring down an elected government rather than allow a referendum. Yet the funny thing is that Papandreou is a Euro-enthusiast. He fervently wants to remain in the euro, and had been planning to campaign for a Yes vote. His sin, in the eyes of Brussels, was not to hold the wrong opinions, but to be too keen on democracy. Leninists had a term for people who, while they might be committed Bolsheviks, none the less behaved in a way which endangered the movement. They were called “objectively counter-revolutionary”. Poor Papandreou finds himself in this category…

Eurocrats are prepared to pay any price rather than admit that the single currency was a mistake – or, more precisely, to expect their peoples to pay, since EU officials are exempt from national taxation. The peripheral countries are to suffer poverty, unemployment and emigration, the core countries perpetual tax rises, so that supporters of the euro can save face.

It’s chilling to write these words, but EU leaders are evidently prepared to vitiate Greek democracy and wreck the Greek economy rather than allow the euro to break apart. Yet even if they succeed in Greece, they may find that their efforts are for nothing. Italian bond spreads yesterday were back at the level that usually triggers bail-outs. We are about to see quite how far the Brussels apparat will go in defence of its privileges.