world

Greece enters uncharted territory after referendum 'no' vote

35 Comments
By ELENA BECATOROS and DEMETRIS NELLAS

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

35 Comments
Login to comment

Finally, there is a polity with the sovereign will to stand up to the power of the global financial industry and all its bought and paid for political elites. Hopefully this will embolden other peoples of the EU to push back against austerity policies that are just class warfare in disguise.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I'm very happy for the Greek people. They made the right decision. Once the Greek economy starts to recover, I think they need to put up a statue of Yanis Varoufakis riding his motorcycle in a leather jacket in the centre of Syntagma square.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I hope it eventually leads to a complete breakup of the EU and the Euro. Travel in the region was much more affordable before the Euro.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The Greeks need to do what's best for them NOT what's best for the bankers or the EU. Austerity has never worked, you cannot increase tax revenue by contracting your economy.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The euro can't survive without a single central bank and that's not going to happen any time soon, especially after this vote. But I'm not sure what the repercussions will be. It's going to be a tough day at work on Monday morning.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Either austerity or bankruptcy. A choice we Americans will face sooner than we want to admit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

uncharted territory

Here be dragons.

Well, interested to see what will happen next.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Has austerity ever worked anywhere?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder how many Greeks who voted no thought it was genuinely a "vote against austerity", and how many voted no because they realised that it was the only way to escape from the Eurozone? Since opinion polls have consistently recorded a majority of Greeks want to stay in the EU and the Eurozone, I have to assume that Syriza's posturing and deceptions have worked. Despite Syriza's promises, Greece is hardly going to be in a stronger negotiating position now - it's hard to see how any other Eurozone country would now sanction any further help for Greece. They'll be cut adrift.

Since the alternative to accepting the bail out terms (if it's not too late to do so already) is a bankrupt nation which cannot afford to pay anyone's pension or social security benefits in full, you have to wonder whether this decision has been made with eyes wide open.

Whatever the case, there's massive upheaval ahead, all because Europe kidded itself about Greece's suitability for Euro membership and successive Greek governments, including the current bunch, have lied, lied and lied again to the electorate, promising an endless flow of largesse from other countries' taxpayers which had to come to an end one day. Shame on all concerned.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"Austerity" is just a euphemism for "budget cuts". It's done as a last resort to keep governments functioning. It's never meant to fix anything. Here in America they're already swapping money from Social Security to keep the Disability pension fund solvent

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This will surely lead to a lot of pain short term for Greeks. longer term may be good for them to leave the Euro. Euro was always a ridiculous concept - maybe some others will see the light now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This vote is worth less than the paper it was printed on.

"frontandcentre" already said it: lies, lies, and again lies.

"They" will continue like this until the end ... and I surely hope that this end will come soon!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think the Greeks are on their own now: they cannot expect any more funds from the ECB, IMF or other EU governments. If the Greeks insist on keeping the Euro they will have to make severe spending cuts to balance the books as nobody in their right mind would lend them any more money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Has austerity ever worked anywhere?

Austerity is not a silver bullet by itself, but NOT spending more money than your government can afford is not such a wacky, useless notion.

In Greece's case, they were already screwed by the time they publicly admitted they were screwed, so it's not a very instructive case study.

The lessons to learn are how to avoid becoming screwed like Greece in the first place. Once you're in a hole, it's not easy to get out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The shows is over, and the awakening will start for Greek on the cliff. Tsipras tries to force his way on creditors in using the mass as his pawn to extent the credit without realistic solution. it is a march to the dead end of the cliff. The hard ship in Greek after next 48 hours will change his fortune in this Greek tragedy. The real reform is a must for future solution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So how long will it take to return to the drachma? Next will Greece stay in the EU with the punishing negative trade balance?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Euro is at 90 cents to the dollar. Let's hope and pray that Western Europe doesn't implode

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Austerity is not a silver bullet by itself, but NOT spending more money than your government can afford is not such a wacky, useless notion.

But has it ever worked?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@klausdorth "This vote is worth less than the paper it was printed on"

Actually, this vote is an example of True Democracy. Western Europeans showed their two-face hypocritical nature once again.

"I surely hope that this end will come soon!" The end of the Eurozone, huh? Good that fat cats of the EU got a good buttkick from Greece. I surely hope that Putin will quickly remove Greece from his trade embargo list and establish much more friendly relations with that country.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

But has it ever worked?

When coupled with the right mix of policies, yes it has. When coupled with the wrong set of policies, no it hasn't.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hard to say how this will turn out, I think Greece is going to be in for some rather severe pain, question is how bad it becomes in the rest of the countries with the Euro!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Strangerland Austerity has never worked anywhere, it has only "appeared" to work at times when it was implemented during periods of private credit expansion, aka "bubbles", for example in Canada and Australia. It is also not designed to work, it is designed to weaken economies and government finances leading to public assets being sold off to the private (financial) sector. It's a game that's been played in the third world for decades, and has now reached the first.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"yamashi"

there is no "two-face-whatever"!

If you get a loan you pay it back. If not you're gonna be black-listed! Tsipras, Varoufakis and the rest of the gang are bs-ing their own people. And the other countries did not get a "buttkick" (= "Tsiprassed"??) from Greece.

Concerning Putin, I said it before: Russia does not give anything at all without demanding something in return. Good luck with this wish!

Again, I surely hope that Greece will be kicked out of the European Union, the way it should have been long ago. The only ones I feel sorry for are the people in Greece, they are the once who will suffer even more.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I feel sorry for the hard-working people in Greece, can't say I feel much for the rest.

The whole referendum is a bit of a sideshow anyway, the decision people should have been making was how fast to leave and where to go. Either way Greece isn't going to be fun living until they sort themselves out and get their collective heads straight. Not going to be any time soon.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@klausdorth"If you get a loan you pay it back. If not you're gonna be black-listed!"

Understood. Then why you criticize Putin, saying that "Russia does not give anything at all without demanding something in return"?. You have placed the EU at the same stage as Russia. Now Greece is in the EU and supports economical sanctions against Putin & Co°. In response, Putin holds trade embargo on certain goods of Greece. If Greece leaves the EU, Putin will remove Greece from ban list. Perhaps, Greece also will offer naval harbor or place in one of islands for military base. In exchange of unlimited trade relations.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Yamashi",

right, that's the point. First a naval base, next garrisons, next what?

This will definitely not contribute to the already very sensitive security in Europe. Greece would be much better off talking to the IMF and so on in order to find a solution instead of trying to make "shaky" deals with Russia!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hurray for Greece!! Shake off the chains. Now, take the next logical step and use Drachmas.

The absolute worst that can happen now is that Schaeuble, Draghe, and the other EU political boneheads supply more Euro loans to Greece in spite of the "No" vote. That would be the end of any remnant of political legitimacy for them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Drachmas has no value vs oth currencies, their industrial base is way down so how will the they outstanding loans.

Sure the IMF, ECB and other lendings will forget the money owned?

Greece screwed themselves Into servedome with that decisions as they thought all those loans were free and not repayable.

Greece day hi to higher interest rates.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Goodbye and good luck to Greece. Hope they don't put themselves in position again that they have to borrow lots of money.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not just goodbye to Greece ... but goodbye to Mr. Varoufakis.

He is going to retire ... or is it he got fired?

Now he can go back to his university job and teach kids what's right and wrong.

One down, a couple of more to go. Hope this will help the people of Greece!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Probably next thing should happen is EU putting to referendum whether rest of Europeans still want to give loans to Greece.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Yamashi

Then why you criticize Putin, saying that "Russia does not give anything at all without demanding something in return"?. You have placed the EU at the same stage as Russia.

The EU doesn't demand anything without giving something in return. I am not talking about Ukraine, but the general Russian behaviour. There have been many cases where business in Russia were driven off with punitive taxation, beating the employees, arresting the employees and denying their entry to Russia. The EU uses bans and sanctions as collective punishment of violations of international treaties, while Russia uses bans and sanctions also as personal vendetta. This is the wrong topic for this thread, but Google is your friend, if you can handle the truth.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I want the EU to split up. Great start.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@hameln"The EU doesn't demand anything without giving something in return". Then why Greeks have organized the recent referendum? A few years ago I talked to guy from the Republic of Lithuania. He told me a story about true EU policy towards to ordinary members. There was a workable nuclear station built by Soviets in Lithuania. So, after dissolution of the USSR, Lithuanians had a source of very cheap electrical energy and even were able to sell it to Baltic States and other parts of Eastern Europe. The EU demanded to completely shut the power station down under condition of allowing Lithuania to become a member of the EU. Leaders of the EU promised to build very soon new, "safe" station in Lithuania under EU standard. Lithuanians shut the power station down, but the EU refused to build new one. "Even the development of project would be too expensive for such a small country", they said. Nowadays Lithuania has deficit of electrical energy.

"The EU uses bans and sanctions as collective punishment of violations of international treaties...Russia uses bans and sanctions as personal vendetta."

The EU is not better, than Russia because the EU uses bans and sanctions to protect its selfish interests. As for violations of international law and treaties, remember air strikes performed in sovereign Lybia. Also you can remember bombings of civilians in former Yugoslavia, in 1999. The cynicism of the EU has no limits.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Greece can be criticized for corruption across society, the disaster that Greece finds itself in now is due entirely to the Euro, and specifically the German beggar of the neighbor policy by suppressing domestic demand to run a huge trade surplus. his is something that most German analysis tends to miss in the morality tale of people taking debts and not paying them back.

Any analysis that misses the 2.5 trillion Euro trade surplus that Germany was able to amass since the start of the Euro is missing the cause of the crisis in Greece. This surplus was due to Germany taking advantage of currency union at the expense of its Eurozone partners. Specifically an undervalued currency for them and an overvalued currency for the South, and their keeping wages low to make themselves more competitive. The trade surplus run by Germany led to savings that had to be exported to Europe's periphery. This 2.5 trillion they made came from somewhere, and specifically that somewhere was public and private debt forced upon the South of Europe by negative real interest rates.

This crisis was inevitable thanks to the structure of the Euro and Germany's policies within it. And it has badly hit Spain, and will get worse there even though they had completely responsible fiscal policy. Until Germany recognizes this and changes their destructive policies the imbalance will continue until the eurozone financially explodes. And Germany won't get their money back then. Because creditor countries never do when they force the debt to get larger and larger by keeping up trade imbalances.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites