No in Greek referendum marks profound change for Europe no matter what happens next
With a large majority of the votes counted the result seems to be a large win for the No in the Greek referendum. Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel lays out the potential scenarios for Greece and Europe from here.
ATHENS, Greece — Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal.
From the Commission press room, President Jean-Claude Juncker turned directly to the Greek people today (29 June) in a dramatic message ahead of the 5 July referendum, calling on them to vote yes for Europe, irrespective of the question asked.
Millions of Spaniards have engaged in protests over the past four years. As of July 1 they can be subject to disproportionate fines and even jail for exercising their democratic rights to freedom of expression, assembly, protest and information. Interview.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has hinted that he will resign if the Greeks vote in favour of the creditors’ austerity demands. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have meanwhile spoken out against the lenders making a new offer. Both sides must return to the negotiating table to prevent a Grexit, some commentators urge. Others believe the euro should be scrapped entirely.
Greece was officially declared in default today (3 July), injecting even more urgency into a make-or-break weekend referendum that new polls suggested was too close to call.
There is at least one legal way to get your euros out of Greece these days, to guard against the prospect that they might be devalued into drachmas: convert them into bitcoin.
It’s worth reading Irish state broadcaster RTE’s full story on their astonishing interview with the Greek finance minister.
After the announcement by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that he will put the creditors’ reform requirements to a referendum, the Euro Group wants to end the bailout programme on Tuesday. Tsipras had no choice but to hold a referendum, some commentators believe. Others criticise that the vote will be democratic only on the surface.
Swiss democracy guarantees stability in public finances by seeking public approval for every significant piece of public finance legislation. Greece could learn from this, writes Guido Cozzi.
Tsipras takes one more step towards full capitulation
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is now prepared to accept the latest version of the creditors’ offer to Greece, with only a handful of tweaks. Will it be enough to clinch a deal? Our Southern Europe expert Vincenzo Scarpetta investigates.
Greece has failed to make a 1.55 billion euro payment to the IMF that was due at the end of June. Prior to this the Eurozone finance ministers rejected an appeal to extend the country’s bailout programme by a few days. The Eurozone has committed an inexcusable mistake by driving the country into insolvency, some commentators write. Others call for an end to indulgence for the debt-ridden country.
Greece will vote on its future in the eurozone on Sunday (5 July). If such a poll were to be conducted across the EU, it is far from certain that a majority would back further concessions to Athens as the price for keeping the Union intact. The EurActiv Network reports.
The system for distributing around 60,000 refugees among the EU states according to fixed quotas was rejected on Thursday. Above all Eastern European states opposed the plan at the EU summit in Brussels. Commentators criticise the Eastern Europeans’ stance, pointing out that they fled their countries in the past. Others show sympathy for their objections to the plan.
According to documents published on the Wikileaks website the NSA spied for years on French heads of state. President François Hollande has described this as “unacceptable”, while the US has not denied the allegations. The US is alienating all its allies with its spying activities, some commentators warn. Others say France’s cries of protest are hypocritical
The EU has extended its economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2016. As long as Moscow does not abide by the Minsk Peace Plan the sanctions will not be eased, the EU foreign ministers resolved on Monday in Luxembourg. The sanctions are missing their target, commentators write, fearing that the EU economy will suffer long-term damage.
Macedonia’s “hybrid regime” poses a serious threat to Europe, and the EU needs to act now before it’s too late.
Greece is preparing to hold its first national referendum in more than 41 years. The last time the country came together to vote like this, it was 1974—the so-called Metapolitefsi—and Greece’s very transition to democracy was at stake. On June 27, in a national address that’s available online with subtitles in several different languages, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the country’s new referendum, set to take place on July 5. The speech came after midnight, after a flurry of emergency meetings, surprising many throughout Greece and the rest of Europe.
The referendum will formally ask Greek citizens to accept or reject a plan submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund that would extend financial help to Greece but includes two new austerity measures: “reforms for the completion of the current program and beyond” and “preliminary debt sustainability analysis.” The debt-laden country received two bailout packages in 2010 and 2011, but that program expired this week.
A British tribunal admitted on Wednesday that the U.K. government had spied on Amnesty International and illegally retained some of its communications. Sherif Elsayed-Ali, deputy director of global issues for Amnesty International in London, responds:
Just after 4 p.m. yesterday, Amnesty International received an email from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which hears cases related to U.K. intelligence agencies. The message was brief: There had been a mistake in the tribunal’s judgment 10 days earlier in a case brought by 10 human rights organizations against the U.K.’s mass surveillance programs. Contrary to the finding in the original ruling, our communications at Amnesty International had, in fact, been under illegal surveillance by GCHQ, the U.K.’s signals intelligence agency.