Monday, 6 July 2015

Greece Voted No: What Now...

Last night, many Greeks celebrated as the referendum on whether Greece should accept the offer from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the European Central Bank produced a "no" vote. Out of 62.5% turnout, 61.31% voted όχι (no) because it would have launched the country into even worse austerity.

The referendum created large class division with many OAPs, young people, and lower classes leaning toward “no” and many middle-aged and middle-class people voting "yes".

In the week building up to the snap referendum, Alexis Tsipras (the Greek Prime Minister) and his party campaigned for the “no” vote. They claimed voting that way would help their negotiating power with the rest of Europe because they have a mandate from the people. The new negotiations started earlier today however without Greece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned this morning despite getting the result he campaigned for. One thing is for sure, these renegotiations will be difficult. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, stated that "the [referendum] result is very regrettable for the future of Greece."

Although Greeks voted against the terms that the European Union set out, most Greeks do actually want to stay in the EU.

Greek banks expected to run out of money within days so the Government is currently propping them up to make them "secure". Despite this, they still set to be closed for at least another next two days.

One source of money for Greece could be to revert back to their old currency: the drachma - which was ditched in 2001. If Greece does leave the Eurozone, it would be a complicated ordeal as there is currently no procedure for doing so because no country has ever left before.

Greece has already experienced 5 years of hopeless austerity. Many people who voted “no” think that any change must bring positive repercussions but, the reality of the situation is, the future is unclear.