Creative Commons Image Courtesy of Brookings Institution on Flickr
Greeks voted on Sunday to decide their country’s financial future – and they have said “NO”. This means that they have decided against obeying increased austerity measures for bailouts from the international creditors.
Also, hours after the result, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis –who consistently called out the Greeks to vote “No” – resigned from his post. The move has come as really unexpected because Mr. Varoufakis had promised to step down if the nation decided for the “Yes” vote.
However, despite of the fact that the nation backed his call, Mr. Varoufakis resigned on the grounds that his resignation would be useful in finding a solution. This is because Mr. Varoufakis had been very outspoken of his views against the international creditors and so, his resignation might result in their willingness to continue with more aid offers.
More than a week ago, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission offered financial aid and more austerity in return for bailout loans to the Greek government to hold off the financial collapse. However, this assistance was offered at a price of tough terms which the Greeks rejected through the polls on Sunday.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, elected in January 2015 on a promise to put an end to poor economic conditions of the country, considered this offer by International creditors as “humiliation”. He repeatedly urged the Greeks to vote “No” to the bailout proposals which harm Greece’s dignity and promised to get them a better deal. On the last of campaigning, Friday, Tsipras called out the country once again to say “No” to the “ultimatums, blackmails, and the campaign of fear”. He said that voting “No” would put Greece in the position of bargaining for a better deal and that the referendum is not about the Eurozone membership at all. After the results, he congratulated the Greeks saying that they had made a “brave choice”.
The polls commenced from 7 AM to 7 PM (4 AM to 4 PM UTC) local time for the 10 million Greek to vote. Many of them were undecided about whether to say “Yes” or “No”. The total turnout was 63% out of which a majority of 61% voted “No” while the remaining 39% voted “Yes”.
What happens next will be very significant in shaping Greece’s financial future. The next few days are every crucial and it remains to be seen whether Greece faces Grexit or not.