Late Sunday night in Athens, the much anticipated results of the referendum, called for by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, came out marking the victory of “No” voters with a decent 61.31 pct. This translates to a widespread rejection of the austerity conditions imposed by the Troika on any form of bailout to Greece.
Today morning in Strasbourg, Tsipras spoke triumphantly to the European Parliament of the referendum results urging the European Union (EU) leaders to listen to what the people of his country have to say.
In support of the Greek people’s decisions and Tsipras’ firm rejection of the Troika’s harsh conditions, a few members of the European Parliament (MEPs) displayed signs saying “NO” or “OXI” -meaning ‘no’ in Greek.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who represents Greece’s largest loaner, remains hesitant about reaching a compromise regarding a future bailout unless she sees solid proof of Greece’s willingness to put in effect serious economic reforms. Moreover, she refused a write-down as an option, considering it illegal.
Tsipras heavily criticized former bailouts that turned Greece into an “austerity laboratory.” He argued that such experiments have not been successful and must thus be put to a halt.
Today morning, Greece submitted a formal request for a loan, which briefly outlined future reform commitments. This merely represents a prerequisite of a detailed proposal that is due by the end of Thursday, July 9.
European Council President Donald Tusk stated: “Until now, I have avoided talking about deadlines, but tonight I have to say loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week”.
In his speech to the European Parliament, Tsipras failed to provide any specific information about plans for the future but promised “credible reforms”. Using a less attacking tone, he also admitted for the first time the Greek government’s role in the quandary the country is in today. He said that years of corruption have taken their toll on Greece leading to today’s Greek crisis, and that the current government is determined to end it. He called for support from other EU leaders urging them not to allow this crisis to divide Europe.
On Sunday July 12, a full European summit will be held to decide on Greece’s definitive fate. Meanwhile, the remainder of Europe holds its breath as Greece races to meet tomorrow’s deadline of a long awaited proposal that will set the tone for Sunday’s summit.