Ahead of the referendum in Greece this Sunday, tensions have been building between the camp that intends to vote ‘yes’ and those determined to vote ‘no’.
Basically, the question is do Greeks want to accept the conditions attached to a new bailout or not. But even that is cast in doubt because the package on offer expired when the country failed to make a debt payment on 30th June.
So, with this lack of clarity over the ballot question, the Alternate Minister of Culture Nikos Xidakis told us what the question is not about.
“The question of this referendum is not about staying in or leaving the euro. If something like that were to happen it would depend on a host of medium- and long-term factors and it is not an issue that can be decided by Greece alone.”
Opposition New Democracy MP Giorgos Koumoutsakos, whose party favours the maybe-still-on-the-table deal, said that even though the Greeks have had a hard time of austerity: “…this rough path is the only way out of the crisis, towards progress and security.”
Few Greeks expect stability to come swiftly. Many are scared things will get worse. They’ve had a taste of that with banks turning the cash tap to a trickle. It’s bad enough that the IMF now recommends debt relief on a large scale and no repayments for 20 years.
Analyst Voula Kehagia said: “Nothing will be the same after the referendum. Even if the government manages to stay on its feet and Tsipras gets the ‘no’ he wants, many things in the country are bound to change, dramatically.”
Our correspondent Stamatis Giannisis summed up: “This will be the eighth referendum in the history of modern Greece. As happened with most of the others, its immediate outcome may pale in significance compared to the bitter divisions it may raise in Greek society, which could last for years.”