Despite facing an uncertain future, Greeks have voted a majority “No” to a bailout package on Sunday, Reuters has learned. The announcement of the election result was made in Athens’ Syntagma Square as it was revealed that as much as 61.3%% of the Greeks have chosen to reject the deal, according to BBC News. Meanwhile, about 38.7% of Greeks actually voted “Yes” to the bailout. The voting turnout was reportedly 63% of the Greek population.
The said announcement caused Greeks to erupt in jubilance while fire crackers started erupting in the area. To the cheering crowd, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated in a televised address, “You made a very brave choice. The mandate you gave me is not the mandate of a rupture with Europe, but a mandate to strengthen our negotiating position to seek a viable solution.”
In a statement made after the voting, Prime Minister Tsipras also said, “Today, the Greek people send a very powerful message. A message of dignity, of determination. A message that they are taking control of their choices. Many may try to ignore the will of a government. But no one can ignore the will of a people who are seeking to live with dignity, to live life on their own terms.” Moreover, he adds, “Let us, then, take a decisive stand in support of democracy–for a better future for all of us, in Greece and Europe.”
With a lack of emergency funding from the European Central Bank, it is expected that Greece banks will be running out of cash within a few days. This comes after banks have been closed down for business along with the country’s stock market.
There is lot of negativity regarding what comes next as the latest voting results seem to imply that the Greece will be needing a new currency. Reuters also reports that in an interview with German radio station Deutschlandfunk, Head of European Parliament Martin Schulz said, “Is Greece still in the euro after this referendum? That is certainly the case, but if they say ‘no’ they will have to introduce another currency after the referendum because the euro is not available as a means of payment.” The said interview was taped last Thursday, but was aired just last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Germany Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel believes that renewed negotiations will be “difficult to imagine.” The same sentiment is also echoed by Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem who believes the “no” vote will be “very regrettable for the future of Greece.” In addition, Lithuania Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius also tweeted, “Difficult to help Greece against the will of people & Government which lives in parallel World.”
Just the same, there are those who are trying to keep a positive outlook on the situation. Belgium’s finance minister has reportedly expressed that they are willing to resume their negotiation with Greece “literally, within hours.”
Meanwhile, within the Greek government, President of the Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos has met with Foreign Minister Kotzias. In a copy of the meeting transcript obtained by Morning News USA, the President Pavlopoulos has said, “I want to remind you that, when, on the initiative of Konstantinos Karamanlis, Greece entered the European Union, everyone knew, as Konstantinos Karamanlis stressed, that Greece’s course in the European Union – and at the hard core of the EU, in fact – was what ensured not only its economic course, but its national security in general. This is something that I consider to be a fundamental acquis; something that leads us to the awareness that Greece’s course within Europe and the Eurozone must remain unwavering.”
Following this, Foreign Minister Kotzias replied, “The Foreign Minister of Belgium just left, and with him I talked about the need for the negotiations to continue in the European Union. He underscored – and he was kind enough to say this – that it is wrong for us to be talking about Greece and the European Union. Instead, we need to be talking about a an internal process of the European Union, of which Greece is a member.” Futhermore, he added, “We are taking care at the Foreign Ministry to continue to work for the good of the homeland and to resolve problems, so that more clouds do not gather over our country.”