What next?

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Well, tomorrow is D-Day. Or R for Referendum day. Today we are in limbo. I quickly note down a few observations.

The rift in the population between YES and NO has widened, although it is very unclear what each outcome will bring. This is extremely sad as well as very dangerous. The two sides are neck and neck at the moment, with a prevalence of NO.

Talk, which is what Greeks love best, is rife. Every politician, celebrity or otherwise ‘prominent’ Greek seems to be on television, declaring his convictions.

A theory is circulating that there is a strong drachma lobby, and that many people in high places (I heard some names but will not repeat since unverified), stand to make huge amounts of money if it goes through.

There is also fear of result tampering, since there is only one ballot, and people are being warned that they need to put a cross against their choice, not an X or a check, for the ballot to be valid.

Reports, also unverified, are going around that the banks will stay shut for a long time, that there will be food and petrol rationing, that people will get paid in government-issued coupons instead of money. Far-fetched though this scenario might seem, it’s not so improbable given that a change in currency cannot be instantaneous, especially when the coffers are empty.

Some of the things said on national television, by politicians, are so preposterous one has trouble believing one’s ears. No explanations are given by them about what awaits the public. No specific plan for the day after.

Friends from abroad call and email, worried about us.

Tourism has already taken a big hit.

Hospitals report a lack of basic necessities. But even as long as a month ago, an acquaintance went in for a routine operation and was asked to bring her own sheets and food.

And so on.

I firmly believe everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but personally I fail to see how a NO vote will strengthen the government’s bargaining power, how it is possible for them to promise, in so many words, that they will have a deal in 48 hours, and how people are not scared by the potential chaos if this fails.

5 thoughts on “What next?

  1. This all seems so surreal. The worst part of it is this growing rift that you mention, between those voting yes or no. And no one is willing to consider the others’ point of view. There seems to be so much anger and growing hostility at a time when we should be working together to get ourselves out of this mess we have made. I am an optimist. Mirracles do happen.

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  2. Hi. People are not scared to vote NO because they already live in chaos. With a NO vote they are hoping that at least it will be their chaos this time.

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  3. True. Very true. But the chaos could get a lot worse. Power cuts, rationing… The problem is no politician is convincing. And we depend on them to sort things out. My personal experience with a few different governments has been disappointing, to say the least. And I haven’t noticed this lot to be any better. There is no easy solution.

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    1. Hi Fergus, I can understand what you say about a NO vote making it at least their (our) chaos. I can also imagine that there is a feeling that we might go through greater suffering at first but that it will be worth it in the long run.

      But what I really cannot understand is how can such a weak economy, with such a divided population, be able to ever recuperate leaving the euro at this specific point in time. If an economy like Germany’s decided to leave I would not fear for their well being. But in our case it feels like a very precarious move.

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