•In the eyes of the Brussels elite the government of Greece has just committed an unpardonable sin.
It has decided to put the thorny question of whether Greece should submit to the latest demands from its creditors for a ratcheting-up of austerity to a referendum.
This is democracy in the original sense, appropriately enough as pioneered in Athens around the 5th century BC.
It does not consist of electing a group of politicians every few years and leaving them to take the big decisions.
Rather it consists of asking the citizens to decide on a profound issue about the future direction of public policy.
So no wonder European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker is leading the howls of outrage, saying he feels “betrayed” by the government of Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras.
Mr Juncker is well-schooled in the pro-elite, anti-democratic methods recommended by the founding father of the EU Jean Monnet.
Frenchman Monnet, who died in 1979, is revered by the EU ruling class as the Father of Europe and was an explicit opponent of national sovereignty.
He also advocated the creation of a European federal state by stealth, understanding that the peoples of Europe would never vote for it if it was openly proposed.
His insight influenced generations of leaders including Edward Heath. Monnet would surely have approved when a decade ago Mr Juncker outrageously declared of impending national referendums on the proposed EU constitution: “If it is a yes we will say ‘on we go’ and if it is a no we will say ‘we continue’.”
Despite the onslaught against Mr Tsipras from the EU establishment and its media cheerleaders the fact is that at this juncture a referendum is the right choice for Greece because its government does not have a mandate to choose which route to take now it has reached a fork in the road.
To attempt to remain in the euro it would have to undertake further savage public spending cuts and service public sector debts approaching twice the size of the country’s entire annual output.
And polls show the Greeks do not want to go down this path.
The other path is to default on the debts, re-adopt the drachma and endure a very bumpy 18 months or so until the positive economic impact of currency devaluation boosts demand for Greek output, notably its tourism industry.