Foreign Elections

Greek voters reject bailout

With nearly all of the ballots counted, results coming from Greece indicate that voters have soundly rejected another international bailout. The Greek Interior Ministry has published figures showing that almost 62% of counted ballots registered a “No” vote, against 38% percent voting “Yes.” Voter turnout is estimated at 60%.

The governing Syriza party had pushed for a “No,” claiming that the international offer for another bailout was “humiliating.” Opponents have warned that such a result would result in Greece being ejected from the common Euro currency.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsirpas, in a televised address, said, “today we celebrate the victory of democracy, but tomorrow all together we continue and complete a national effort exiting this crisis.” He said that he had been given a mandate by the voters not “against Europe, but a mandate to find a sustainable solution that will take us out of this vicious cycle of austerity.”

European ministers and officials have said that a “No” vote would be renunciation of continued negotiations with creditors. But Greek ministers have instead claimed that a rejection of the terms of the bailout could augment their position and that they can quickly hammer out a new deal for funds in fresh talks.

The BBC reported that Greek Minister of Finance reacted to the results of Sunday’s vote by calling it a “big ‘yes’ to a democratic Europe” and that Greece could now engage in “positive” talks with creditors.

Greece has been hammered in negotiations with its creditors for several months. The government called for an unanticipated referendum on the terms being discussed in those negotiations.

The European Central Bank refused to give Greece further emergency funds last Monday. Banks have been closed and emergency capital controls have been in place. The most recent international bailout for Greece expired last Tuesday, when Greece failed to make a  €1.6 billion to the International Monetary Fund. ATM withdrawals have been restricted to €60 per person per day; Reuters and the BBC have that Greek banks will run out of cash within days.

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