Sunday, July 5, 2015

Greeks Vote ‘No’ in Referendum on EU Bailout

61% Voted 'No' to Austerity Measures
With nearly 95% of the votes counted, the Greeks today voted 61% against and 39% in favor of accepting the terms of the European Union bailout. The decisive ’No’ vote could redefine the country’s place in Europe and force Greece out of the Eurozone.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the referendum last week, the first since 1974 when the Greeks chose the republic over monarchy. This time people rejected severe austerity measures imposed by the creditors. Greece owes $350 billion to foreign investors and has run out of cash to meet its loan payments. Now without a bailout from the EU, the country could face default, banking collapse, and exit from the European Union. The anti-austerity voters hope Greece could come out of the crisis on its own, probably reintroducing Drachma as its national currency.


Anonymous said...

Another ancient people unwilling to be pushed around.

Nader Uskowi said...

It's good that the Greeks are unwilling to be pushed around. But people, ancient or not, should also not borrow $350 billion if they can't repay the loan. Such irresponsible behavior could not possibly be a source of pride for the Greek people. Let's hope they find a way to put their house in order and soon.

Anonymous said...

Spartaaaa :)

Anonymous said...

"should also not borrow $350 billion if they can't repay the loan" ==> considering the fact that the Greek people did not have direct access to IMF or EU coffers, nor were part of any of the opaque institutional processes and policies that led to such massive borrowing schemes over the years by successive governments, I doubt anyone among the average citizen of Greece can be labelled in such a way, if you're referring to them of course, and not their irresponsible governments AND creditors that put forward such massive amounts of money for such a troubled and tiny economy for decades with allegedly no knowledge of the massive risks inherent to that practice at the end of the day.

Furthermore, in that regard I doubt Greeks have any kind of pride in what the previous govts did in their time, specially the latest one that got ousted in consequence through due democratic process and that ironically did everything to make a "Yes" vote prevail during the days preceding the referendum, which is also what explains why Tsipras' posture and narrative resonated so loudly among 61% of voters yesterday. An irresponsible people would have blindly and unconditionally bowed to their creditors' unfair demands and would have generated debts for generations yet unborn whom would have bore that terrible burden every day of their lives without being responsible for anything beforehand. Fortunately, a massive majority chose to shout a Nay over such prospect !!

Nader Uskowi said...

I didn't say the Greeks were personally responsible for borrowing $350 billion when they did not have the resources to repay the loans. Their government was. But they cannot be proud of that. Hope all Greek citizens realize that standing up to excessive demands by creditors does not mean such irresponsible behavior by governments should b tolerated. Countries, like ordinary folks, should live within their means. I am not against government borrowing, but they should be done in a conservative manner, and not in the hope that all will be OK.

There is a tendency to blame foreigners in the region for all the ills and troubles; it's convenient to do so. Again, if the Greeks had not borrowed irresponsibly to begin with, Germany, EU, or IMF, or anyone else could not have imposed such draconian austerity measures on them.

The Greeks need to, and hope they do, blame their own governing system for such calamities above all else; and of course they have the right to question the harsh austerity measures by the creditors, showing no empathy toward ordinary folks. If they don't begin with blaming their own governing system, future governments will follow the same practices, borrowing without ability to repay in harsher times, probably from elsewhere, like Russia and China.