Sunday July 5th, the Greeks were asked to take a tough decision between the devil and the deep blue sea. The referendum which forced Greeks to choose if they wanted to take the European leaders’ offer of continue austerity and more financial backing or to take a NO vote and decide to handle its affairs itself.
Greece has suffered five years of bad economy, unemployment, bailouts by IMF & other European nations and budget battles. With its growing debts and bank closures which have reduced bank withdrawals to 60 euros per day, Greeks have had enough of it and have taken the NO vote.
Greeks voted by a large margin to reject the European austerity demands that would have meant more financial relief for Greece. The NO vote has an added dread that Greece could be leaving the Euro zone as well.
The Yes vote could have meant that Greece would continue to get financial aid, but it would cut down on social spending and some other benefits. It could also have led to a change in the current leadership of the country. This means that the European leaders might have been controlling the activities of the Greek government.
They instead took the option of making their own decisions to improve their economy. This decision would involve them taking steps to battle the financial despair that Greece is being faced with, without the help of the euro zone and other financial bodies. However, it would give them the opportunity to rule their country without external bodies telling them what to do.
Greece missed a critical debt payment to the International Monetary Fund which forced its banks to be closed. The banks are now at risk of collapse and the country could be forced to leave the historic monetary union. If this occurs, it will make them first country to leave.
If the European Central Bank does not give Greece’s banks money, they can either choose a bank bail-in or they can choose to print another currency that they can distribute to their people. If not, the next option might be a complete crash in the economy.
The Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras has since been hopeful that the results from the referendum would not lead them to a crash. He tweeted:
“Even in the most difficult circumstances, democracy can’t be blackmailed- it is a dominant value and the way forward”
The following weeks to come will be critical for the Greeks because any wrong judgement can lead to absolute penury.
Source: Washington Post