“NO”

The country has voted: it’s a landslide for NO. No to more austerity, no to the disastrous economic policies of the Troika. It was also made clear that people are sick of the old political system, which bears a lot of responsibility for the situation in which we find ourselves. It is time for a real change. As I was writing this, the chief of the opposition, New Democracy leader Mr. Samaras, announced his resignation.

The European institutions have warned that this would be a step towards a Grexit.

The Greek PM however, has insisted that the NO vote would just be a show of support that would give him greater powers of negotiation and help him achieve a better deal. He has promised to deliver within 48 hours. Godspeed – I don’t think a single Greek, whatever they voted for, does not wish him well.

He is facing a mammoth task. The hard facts are the following:

The banks are shut, and likely to remain so for a while. Panic rumors are going around that there will be a haircut of deposits and that the contents of safe deposit boxes will be confiscated.

Most ATM machines are empty and the rest only give each person €50 instead of the €60 allowed since they have run out of €20 and €10 notes.

The tourist season is in ruins. Most Greeks cannot afford a holiday and there are multiple cancelations from abroad. Hotels will run out of supplies in ten days. Hospitals already lack basic necessities and medicines. Many small businesses will close because they need cash to function on a day to day basis. Their business will be taken over by multinationals who can afford to remain unpaid for a while. A lot of people will be laid off.

50% of children in the Athens region go to school without breakfast. More than 60% of young people are unemployed. Many thousands have committed suicide. A few hundred thousand have been obliged to emigrate.

And the elephant in the room: what will happen to the hundreds of destitute immigrants arriving on our shores every day? Who will feed them? Where will they go?

We hear the Italians are expressing solidarity. The Germans are intransigent: they think it’s time we went. These are the messages we’ve got so far.

It is my sincerest wish both sides will see their way forward to an agreement that will allow Greece to survive, recover and, in the future, thrive. The next few days and weeks are vital. It will be hard, but let’s hope the difficulties can be overcome. The alternative is a leap into the unknown.

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For the moment, I feel we are like jellyfish pushed around by the currents.

3 thoughts on ““NO”

  1. Great analysis of the situation! As a foreigner, I feel completely powerless and confused when it comes to Greece’s present and near future. The questions you pose are vital and I hope real answers will be given very soon, not those half-baked promises that are merely meant to placate us.

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  2. Nous rentrons tous en zone inconnue ! Je ne comprends pas que le FMI tienne cette ligne dure une solution sans renégociation de la dette n’est pas viable pour le pays! Les choses ne sont pas blanche ou noire tout le monde est responsable de cette situation la Grèce qui a vécu comme une cigale et qui paie le prix fort, les banques françaises et allemandes qui ont prêté à tout va, les institutions européennes et le FMI qui sont droits dans leurs bottes. Il est évident que maintenant avec le NON les prédateurs financiers vont tomber sur l’euro, que l’Espagne et l’Italie vont se rebeller, il faut donc faire face et renégocier une sorte de plan Marshall et virer les incompétents de toute nationalite qui ont créé une monnaie unique sans aller jusqu’au bout du mécanisme et de son fonctionnement. En attendant de savoir a quelle sauce nous allons être mangée : JE SUIS GRECQUE !

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