In a few hours Greece will be heading to the polls to answer the question, “Should the plan of agreement, which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of 25.06.2015 and is comprised of two parts that constitute their unified proposal, be accepted?”
The turnout of the referendum will determine Greece’s future position in the Eurozone, but also its own economic stability. Only last Tuesday the country defaulted on its 1.5 billion Euro loan from the IMF, which means that Greece is officially bankrupt.
Over the last few years Greece has been in an economic crisis which has led to two major bailouts by the EU in order to continue the country’s economic prosperity. However, the new government, led by Prime Minister Alex Tsipras, has made it clear that it no longer wants to accept the new bailout proposed by the Eurogroup, as it would come with a package of severe austerity measures which would only further cripple Greece.
Yet the issue is not so black and white, as a “No” turnout would possibly lead Greece to exit the Eurozone and return to its old currency — which would lead to further economic contraction. However Greece votes Sunday, it has a pernicious future ahead.
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has made a declaration suggesting that the creditors have been “terrorizing” Greece with their proposals and that he would not stand for it. He said that if the final turnout is Yes, he will resign his post.
However, it is obvious that if people want to continue with EU aid, the government which has been in power the past two years will most likely dissolve, sending the country into more political turmoil. This of course amid the bank closures that have had a serious effect on cash flow, as people have been lining up at ATMs only to withdraw limited amounts of cash.
The debt crisis has led to unrest amid the populace, as yesterday two major rallies took over in Athens, the “No” and the “Yes” camps, who all urged the populace to vote for what they believe to be the right choice for Greece and its people.
A “No” vote will undoubtedly lead to a serious economic meltdown, however a “Yes” will lead to a postponement of the same consequence, accompanied by serious economic austerity.
As the country is divided on the issue, the EU is urging people to vote “Yes,” which would mean that a Greek exit from the Eurozone would be less likely. Germany, the de facto leader of the EU, has said that “It is clear that we will not leave the [Greek] people in the lurch.”
Today, Greeks all over the nation stood in soup and bread lines. The national interest of the entire Greek people lay with the result of this vote. Whatever happens tomorrow, it is obvious that the times ahead will definitely be difficult for Greece, and the vote will not yield an immediate solution.
Photo Credit / Stephanie Limage of Limage Media Group www.limagemedia.com in Athens July 4th 2015