“Greece’s finance minister will hold talks with top Greek bankers later on Sunday, a Finance Ministry official told Reuters, after opinion polls showed Greeks were on course to reject a bailout proposal from creditors,” ekathimerini reports. Third of all votes counted ‘No’ votes ahead with 60.9%, according to Bloomberg.
With 59.3% of votes counted, NO: 61.1%.
If the result holds as other ballots are counted it would mean a great victory for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s anti-austerity program but the result is likely to cause extreme dismay across Europe, where creditors and governments are having to shoulder more than 300 billion euros in existing Greek debt, according to Financial Post.
“Equity managers say the game of chicken between Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and creditors threatens lasting damage to the European stock rally, and that the market hasn’t fully priced in a “no” vote,” Seeking Alpha reports.
Greek banks have been shut for a week after Athens imposed capital controls to prevent the lenders from collapsing.
A “no” vote is expected to further add pressure on the banks, which government officials have said will not reopen until a deal is reached with creditors, according to Reuters.
Greece has become the first developed nation to default of its international debt obligations as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed on Tuesday night that it did not receive the €1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) payment from Athens that was due by the end of June 30, Brussels time.
Yesterday, Yanis Varoufakis, Greek finance minister, told Paul Mason his Syriza party had ‘reintroduced the concept of democracy’ to Europe with the bailout referendum.
Earlier this week, Varoufakis recommended a NO in the referendum and presented his reasoning in 6 short bullet points.
1) Negotiations have stalled because Greece’s creditors (a) refused to reduce our un-payable public debt and (b) insisted that it should be repaid ‘parametrically’ by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren.
2) The IMF, the United States’ government, many other governments around the globe, and most independent economists believe — along with us — that the debt must be restructured.
3) The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure.
4) Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own ‘final’ offer.
5) Greece will stay in the euro. Deposits in Greece’s banks are safe. Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations or any Greek thoughts of Grexit and devaluation. Greece’s place in the Eurozone and in the European Union is non-negotiable.
6) The future demands a proud Greece within the Eurozone and at the heart of Europe. This future demands that Greeks say a big NO on Sunday, that we stay in the Euro Area, and that, with the power vested upon us by that NO, we renegotiate Greece’s public debt as well as the distribution of burdens between the haves and the have nots.