Greece Votes No

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Athens:

Greek voters have rejected the austerity demands of Europe’s creditor powers by a stunning margin, sweeping aside warnings that this could lead to the collapse of the banking system and a return to the drachma.

Early returns in the historic referendum showed the No side -Oxi in Greek =- running at 61pc versus 39pc for the Yes side as the Greek people turned out en masse to vent their anger over six years of economic depression and national humiliation. A volcanic revolt appeared to have swept through Greek islands.

Earlier in the day:

Greece risks a collapse of the medical system, power black-outs, and an import blockade, if the Greek people reject creditor demands in a make-or-break referendum tomorrow, the EU’s highest elected official has warned.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said the EU authorities may have to prepare emergency loans to keep basic public services functioning and to prevent the debt-stricken country spinning out of control next week.

“Without new money, salaries won’t be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won’t be able to import vital goods because nobody can pay,” he said.

Mr Schulz earlier called for the elected Syriza government to be replaced by “technocrat” rule until stability is restored.

The alarmist warnings are part of an escalating pressure campaign by European leaders as Greeks decide their destiny in what has become – despite attempts by Syriza to present it otherwise – an in-out vote on euro membership after five years of economic depression and mass unemployment.

Some early reactions. Marine Le Pen:

Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration, anti-euro National Front party, said in a statement that the anticipated result was a victory against “the oligarchy of the European Union”.

ZeroHedge:

there is now a high likelihood of Greek exit from the euro, and possibly under chaotic circumstances.

Guardian:

Greece delivered a landslide no vote to the eurozone’s terms for the country remaining in the single currency on Sunday night, unleashing a seismic political shift that could derail the European project. The verdict confronts the EU’s leadership with one of its most severe ­crises of confidence and leaves Greece facing potential financial collapse and exit from the euro.

Paul Krugman:

..the campaign of bullying — the attempt to terrify Greeks by cutting off bank financing and threatening general chaos, all with the almost open goal of pushing the current leftist government out of office — was a shameful moment in a Europe that claims to believe in democratic principles. It would have set a terrible precedent if that campaign had succeeded, even if the creditors were making sense.

What’s more, they weren’t. The truth is that Europe’s self-styled technocrats are like medieval doctors who insisted on bleeding their patients — and when their treatment made the patients sicker, demanded even more bleeding. A “yes” vote in Greece would have condemned the country to years more of suffering under policies that haven’t worked and in fact, given the arithmetic, can’t work…

What happens next isn’t clear. But nothing ever is in this crisis.

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17 Responses to Greece Votes No

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Independence is the only answer and reinstituting the Drachma while simply erasing all the debt and begin anew. Greece like all the others will simply have to learn to live off what they can actually make and earn as a singular country. Tighten their belt as all the rest will soon have to do too!

  2. John Watson says:

    Totally agree Harleyrider1978, today’s vote has shown that democracy lives on in the cradle of democracy.

    Every Greek should be proud for the spirits of Leonidas, and Socrates live on in the heart and soul of Greece.

    It is to be hoped that all democratic nations now understand that democracy is the power of the people, by the people, for the people and not what elected representatives, banks and industry think they can force onto the people.

  3. jaxthefirst says:

    Well done, Greece, for having the courage to stand up to the bullies and tell them in no uncertain terms to f*ck right off and stick their humiliating “austerity measures” where the sun don’t shine. And quite right, too. There’s no doubt that tough times lay ahead for Greece whichever way they voted, but at least this way they escape with some measure of national pride intact, and if the country fails now, then at least it does so by falling on its own sword, rather than by cowering on their knees before the sword of another. And if they do withdraw from the EU then, freed from the business-stifling edicts which issue forth from that quarter in their hundreds, there’s a good chance that they’ll begin to make progress – albeit probably painful and slow – economically. If they really get their act together, they could end up as one of the richest, rather than the poorest, countries in Europe. And that would really, really show up to all the remaining EU states precisely how “bad for business” being a member actually is.

    Hopefully, this will be the first foundation-block of the monolith that is the EU to crumble. Fingers crossed that many more will follow …

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Jax they will follow italys banks wouldn’t even open last week for 2 days on trading because of the sell off they expected to happen. Now for sure everyone holding greek debt will be dumping it for pennies on the dollar by tommoro I suspect and fully hope so.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Don’t Look Now But . . . China?

        While everyone was getting on his Great American Barbecue yesterday for the July 4th holiday and awaiting the Greek referendum today, the Chinese stock market was crashing again. It’s down 12 perce…

        From behind the FT’s paywall:

        The Shanghai index is firmly in bear market territory, down 28.6 per cent since the June peak, while the tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite has fallen 33.2 per cent.

        There were also signs on Friday that the stock market turmoil is beginning to reverberate beyond China. The Australian dollar, often traded as a proxy for China growth, is down 1.2 per cent to a six-year low of US$0.7539.

        The 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese daily newspaper, on Friday quoted multiple futures traders as saying they had received phone calls from the China Financial Futures Exchange instructing them not to short the market.

        http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/07/dont-look-now-but-china.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+powerlineblog%2Flivefeed+%28Power+Line%29

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          phone calls from the China Financial Futures Exchange instructing them not to short the market

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank if you can get this photo wrap of news outlets in meltdown over Greece itd sure look cool

  5. waltc says:

    Wow. Never expected good sense out of Paul Krugman either. My joy is trammelled only by the thought that the EU, to save its own neck, might cave and, as the Greek government suggested In pushing for the No, come to some kind of terms . As for the brave Greeks, they’re in for some hard times either way but it’s notably better to sweat for yourself than for a bullying boss. Interesting to see how this plays internationally–do other illusory markets crash? Is this, as a talking head here opined, like the shot at Sarajevo? Guess we’ll see.

  6. Frank Davis says:

    Nigel Farage in the Telegraph

    …Whilst some of the older generation may still buy into the notion of the EU having brought peace to Europe, the younger generations are just not sold. And why should they be? The European Union today is causing massive resentment between European nations. Just look at how relations between Germany and Greece have deteriorated. Far from bringing peace, the EU now sows resentment.

    Whatever fine aims there were fifty or sixty years ago have no relevance to the reality of life for young people right across the EU now, including in Greece. The EU’s old, outdated ideas have been rejected at the ballot box in exchange for a new approach and fresh thinking.

    The result is a tired, stumbling European Union that is dying on its feet before our very eyes. Credibility for the project is fading fast as citizens right across Europe awaken to the reality of its authoritarian instincts that seek to run roughshod over public opinion.

    With younger generations now turning against the EU project, we can see support for the EU’s dream of a United States of Europe fading fast. An outdated European Union has been found out and rejected emphatically by young Greeks in the 21st century.

    It is all too clear to see why: both the euro single currency and the European Union itself have done great harm to the prospects of young people who are now realising that we do not need a single currency or a political union to be friends, neighbours and trading partners. Far more important than this European Union is the concept of national democracy, of which this Greek referendum and its result are a beaming example of.

  7. prog says:

    The EU has been seriously wounded. It’ll make an example of Greece in order to send a clear message to other struggling countries. The very last thing it’ll want to see is a relatively painless recovery of the Greek economy, sovereignty and dignity. It’ll be done in a sneaky and deceitful way but it will happen. And the blame will be placed squarely on Greece’s shoulders.

    God help them – it’s going to be a very tough ride.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Greece is no diff than any of the others that join in for the gravy train ride of the then new Euro……….The problem isn’t Greece it was the free ride the Euro gave to countries who couldn’t afford it………..Its the EUs fault basically saying join up and you get all this added value to your country for doing nothing and we tote the note UNTIL!

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking bans and other laws like them basically SUSPEND CIVIL LIBERTIES and that’s just what it is.

  9. nisakiman says:

    Europe brings peace. Is that so? It is becoming obvious that you cannot have the economics of the Great Depression without having the politics of the Great Depression. Tsipras’s Greek Marxists and Marine le Pen’s French ‘post-fascists’ may seem moderate when set against the men and women who will come after them if this crisis does not end. Far from quelling nationalism, meanwhile, the Euro has incited it. People who were rubbing along perfectly well in the early 1990s, now look on each other with an emotion close to hatred. Greeks, Italians and Spaniards wonder why Germans, Finns and the Dutch insist that they must suffer. The Germans, Finns and Dutch wonder why southern Europeans expect to live off their taxes.

    Europe brings a break from a totalitarian past. Really? It has created a currency system, which offers no democratic means of escape. Europe brings compassionate and sensible politics. Spare me, please. Nothing I believe has been more shocking to left-wing opinion that the failure of the EU’s leaders to stop and say: ‘We are good Europeans who believe in solidarity and common decency. The levels of misery our policies are inflicting on southern Europe are intolerable. We cannot carry on like this.’

    I suppose the best you can say is that Draghi’s European Central Bank and Merkel’s Christian Democrats are not noticeably corrupt. But I would rather have a corpulent Catholic mayor, his pockets stuffed with petty bribes for services rendered, than an unbending Calvinist prig, who would drive millions to ruin to placate his merciless god. And I suspect many others would too.

    (My emphasis)

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/07/does-anybody-still-believe-that-the-eu-is-a-benign-institution/

    The sentence I’ve highlighted really says it all about so many aspects of modern society. We are being ruled by unbending Calvinist prigs – they seem to have taken the reins of power while nobody was looking, and are now forcing their puritan beliefs down our throats with great zeal. They really need to be stopped before they do irreparable damage.

  10. Frank Davis says:

    Telegraph

    Greece’s referendum was not “legally correct”, the European Commission has declared.

    Valdis Dombrovskis, the Latvian-born EU vice president responsible for the euro, said the vote had “complicated” the work of the creditors and had left the Greek government in a weaker, not stronger, negotiating position.

    A write-down of Greece’s €380 billion (£270 billion) debt mountain is now “off the table”, he said.

    The declaration that the poll was nothing more than a “signal” will infuriate millions of Greeks who last night voted by 61.3 per cent to 38.7 per cent to reject the troika’s proposed reforms-for-loans bail-out package.

    Alexis Tsipras had told voters that a No vote would give him an unanswerable mandate to secure a more lenient deal including debt relief with his international creditors.

    That now appears futher away than ever – and consequently, increases the prospect of a Greek bank failure and exit from the euro.

  11. Joe L. says:

    O/T: Smoking is now banned in all Seattle parks effective today.

    Some people say the controversial ban is in reality a backhanded attack on Seattle’s homeless population.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Controversial-smoking-ban-now-in-effect-at-all-Seattle-parks-311748061.html

  12. smokingscot says:

    Surprised to learn that Mr. Varoufakis resigned as Finance Minister. IMO he’s one of the very good guys, so I trust he’ll pop up somewhere meaningful within a couple of days.

    His replacement is a certain Mr. Tsakalotos whom it is said is essentially the chap who wrote the script the Greek government’s been following.

    So this link shows Mr. Tsakalotos standing behind a Sinn Fein lectern and riding pillion on Mr. Varoufakis motorcycle without a crash helmet.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/euclid-tsakalotos-greece-new-oxford-educated-finance-minister-2015-7

    He may be older and perhaps have smoother edges, however I suspect he shan’t budge one millimetre with the EU.

  13. Pingback: EU Turmoil | Frank Davis

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