Iain Macwhirter is correct in supporting a referendum in Greece ("Greeks have a democratic right to hold a referendum", The Herald, November 3).

Not only is it a modern right but it was in ancient Greece that the city state of Athens allowed the people to participate in making decisions at meetings of the assembly.

In the modern world, representation is secured by the citizens’ inalienable right to vote. There are checks and balances in place such as upper and lower houses of parliament, reinforced by courts of appeal when necessary. It is therefore absolutely necessary that the Greek electorate must clearly register their support or opposition for change to the current economic problem facing the country.

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The countries in the EU not facing exactly the same problem as Greece should not dictate to the Greek government which has overall responsibility for the state.

Iain Macwhirter clearly outlines the fact that the referendum campaign is the way to reconcile the conflicting options of either sticking to the euro austerity plan or going for default, although the cost of default would be far greater than the austerity plan. In any such situation there is no real alternative to a referendum.

Ian F M Saint-Yves,

Dunvegan, School Brae, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran.

I LIKE George Papandreou, the multilingual (English, French, Greek, Spanish, Swedish), Ivy League and London School of Economics-educated patrician, who is Prime Minister of Greece.

His father and grandfather also held the post, the former being an economics professor in the US before returning with his son in 1974 when the Colonels finally departed. When he took over in late 2009, Papandreou realised the fraud perpetrated by all sides to facilitate Greek entry into the euro and, to the fury of the EU elite, opened the books.

He also knew Brussels hates democracy in general and referendums in particular but still decided to put the latest Merkel-Sarkozy lash-up to the vote of the Greek people.

The eurozone with its endemic corruption and Greece with its loathsome oligarchs deserve each other and the US-born Mr Papandreou should shake off the dust and leave.

Dr John Cameron,

10 Howard Place,

St Andrews.

Once it was: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

In future, will it be: Beware of Greeks spurning gifts?

R Russell Smith, 96 Milton Road, Kilbirnie.