Greece says “no” to more austerity; Euro exit looms
06/07/2015 13:44

Most Greeks on Sunday rejected demands for European led austerity measures as a pre-condition to secure further bailout aid, nudging Greece closer to exiting the euro, an event that threatens to rattle global financial markets, dampen business and investor sentiment, and slow global economic growth.

Sunday’s referendum results showed that 61 per cent of Greeks voiced against further spending cuts and tax hikes imposed by the country’s creditors, pushing Greece into an economic unknown with its euro membership now in limbo.

The first casualty of the July 5 vote was Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis who has decided to quit ahead of the Greek government’s showdown with European finance ministers who will now decide whether Greece still deserves to be a part of the common currency.

“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some European participants and assorted ‘partners for my ‘absence’ from its meetings: an idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement,” Yanis Varoufakis said, as he submitted his resignation.

However, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed jubilation after the results of Sunday’s vote, as he felt that an outright rejection of austerity by a majority of the Greek public will give Tsipras a stronger hand at the negotiating table with the EU.

“Today’s referendum doesn't have winners or losers. It is a great victory, in and of itself. The mandate you've given me does not call for a break with Europe, but rather gives me greater negotiating strength”, the Greek left-wing leader tweeted.