The anti-austerity campaign of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won a resounding victory in Sunday’s referendum but heightened the financial crisis that could force Greece out of the euro zone, shattering the continent’s most ambitious integration project.
Results showed 61 per cent voted No, compared with 39 per cent for Yes. The surprisingly strong victory by the No camp defied opinion polls that had predicted a tight contest after a week of rising desperation as banks shut and cash machines ran dry. The No votes carried every district in the country.
It was a decisive victory for Mr. Tsipras and his radical left Syriza party, elected in January with a mandate to roll back the austerity measures demanded by Greece’s creditors. Mr. Tsipras had gambled the future of his coalition government – and his country – in an all-or-nothing game of brinkmanship with Greece’s creditors from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
After the No side in the referendum was declared victorious, thousands of supporters filled Syntagma Square in front of Parliament in joyous celebration. The Athens square had been the site of dozens of mass anti-austerity demonstrations, many of them violent, since the debt crisis erupted in 2010.
“Today we celebrate the victory of democracy. We proved even in the most difficult circumstances that democracy won’t be blackmailed.” Mr. Tsipras said in a televised address to the nation. “But I am aware that the mandate you gave me is not a mandate for rupture.” He said he would seek to negotiate a viable solution with the country’s creditors.
Even as Mr. Tsipras and his supporters were celebrating, some senior European official condemned the result.
Sigmar Gabriel, deputy chancellor in the German government, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that Mr. Tsipras had “torn down the last bridges on which Greece and Europe could have moved toward a compromise.”
The No vote has sent European leaders scrambling. On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet in Paris with French President François Hollande to discuss a response to the Greek vote. They called for a euro zone leaders’ summit on Tuesday.
The creditors had been urging a Yes vote in the referendum. A Yes vote would have endorsed their last loans-for-austerity bailout offer to Greece, made in late June, which Syriza criticized as overly harsh and likely to keep Greece in deep recession for many more years.
Side commentary. As noted in the previous post, perhaps the real news remains China. The news from Greece should be moving the precious metals price, it’s not. Greece may be the first domino in line, but it’s quite obvious there will be more dominoes to fall. The question still remains, which domino will it be to move the precious metals market? Although, at this point does it really matter? It seems what does matter is that we all still have time to accumulate gold, silver as financial, economic, political, social turmoil begins to heat up and speed up.