Business Insider: It’s crunch time on Sunday for Greece.
Citizens will help the government decide — in a “Yes” or “No” referendum — whether the government should accept the conditions that its creditors have put forward for a bailout deal.
In an interview with Australian radio host Phillip Adams on Thursday, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis gave some color on what the Eurogroup reaction was at their meeting.
It was less than enthusiastic.
Here’s what Varoufakis had to say:
“I was told in no uncertain terms that this is a very strange and even inappropriate course of action that we’ve taken. And the argument that was given to me by a colleague in the Eurogroup, whose name will remain unsaid, while everybody was more or less nodding, was ‘how dare you put such a complex issue to common folk?’ And I was just looking at them astounded, thinking ‘you have just negated the whole principle of democracy, which is that the common folk determine government; they determine very complex questions during elections.'”
In an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, Varoufakis said he would sign an agreement if Greeks decide to vote “Yes” to the creditors’ proposals, though this vote would force him to to resign. [Continue reading…]
On his blog, Yanis Varoufakis explains “why we recommend a NO in the referendum – in 6 short bullet points”:
- Negotiations have stalled because Greece’s creditors (a) refused to reduce our un-payable public debt and (b) insisted that it should be repaid ‘parametrically’ by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren
- The IMF, the United States’ government, many other governments around the globe, and most independent economists believe — along with us — that the debt must be restructured.
- The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure
- Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own ‘final’ offer.
- Greece will stay in the euro. Deposits in Greece’s banks are safe. Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations or any Greek thoughts of Grexit and devaluation. Greece’s place in the Eurozone and in the European Union is non-negotiable.
- The future demands a proud Greece within the Eurozone and at the heart of Europe. This future demands that Greeks say a big NO on Sunday, that we stay in the Euro Area, and that, with the power vested upon us by that NO, we renegotiate Greece’s public debt as well as the distribution of burdens between the haves and the have nots.