“Democracy Cannot Be Blackmailed”

Democracy Now

Celebration for the No vote victory in Athens.  Photo: wikipedia.org
Celebration for the No vote victory in Athens. Photo: wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES – Greek voters have overwhelmingly turned down the terms of an international bailout in a historic rejection of austerity. With a margin of 61 to 39 percent, Greeks voted no to further budget cuts and tax hikes in exchange for a rescue package from European creditors. Polls had indicated a narrow vote, but the “no” side swept districts across the country. Thousands of people flocked to Athens’ Syntagma Square Sunday night in celebration.

In voting against austerity, Greek voters have rejected measures that helped cripple the economy, but also turned down a financial lifeline for its struggling banks. The banks will remain closed today as the European Central Bank meets to consider new emergency loans. Tsipras says he will seek a new round of talks with creditors in which restructuring Greece’s $267 billion debt is on the table.

In a surprise move, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation today, saying Greece’s creditors no longer want him involved in the talks. Varoufakis said, “I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.” We are joined by Costas Panayotakis, author of “Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy” and professor of sociology at NYC College of Technology at CUNY.


7 thoughts on “Greek Voters Reject Creditor’s Demands

  • When I first went island hopping on the Greek islands, I noticed that many of the houses had rebar sticking up out of the corners of the flat concrete roofs indicating that further construction was anticipated. Eventually curiosity compelled me to enquire about this obviously popular custom.
    It was explained that as long as a house had not been completed no tax was payable.

  • Actually in situations such as what the Greeks find themselves, devaluation of the currency is what id called for. Unfortunately because they are tied to the € they are unable to do that. If they were to leave …..perhaps its the best thing they can do. They will suffer regardless, but it won’t be as bad as the Cubans have it

  • This is what the Cuban Government has refused to acknowledge publicly. Socialism can only work if wages are compatible with progressive Western European levels and you tax the hell out of it like the Scandinavian countries. Otherwise you better have a lot of oil to sell or some other product people around the world can’t live without. The rich cannot and will not give just so that everyone else can live off of them. Sugar Daddy Venezuela cannot sustain their levels of support to Cuba much longer and Cuba is a poor country by their own admission. Cuba’s main resource are its people and its government is just now realizing that. I’ll try to be non-judgmental, but one day the Cuban people will realize what 50+ years of the Revolution really did for them.

  • Reporter James Angelos has writtin a book about how the Greeks, and nearly every one of them by the sound of it, swindled, cheated, bribed and defrauded the public purse of benefits, avoided taxes and generally behaved like children in a candy store.

    Just a few examples:

    People routinely failed to notify the government that their parents have died so they can continue to collect pension cheques. Consequently, there are over 8,500 people listed as over 100 years old.

    Only 5000 people in Greece have reported incomes over E90,000.

    A recent government audit revealed over 40,000 fraudulent pension claims.

    On the island of Zakynthos, 681 people claimed to be blind. When this was checked out, 498 turned out to be not blind or vision impaired at all.

    And the list goes on. Civil servants can hold multiple jobs, drawing multiple salaries, retiring with multiple pensions at age 58.

    The absurd charade of a referendum voting No! to the EC bailout offer will soon demonstrate to the Greek people & government that they can refuse to accept austerity, but austerity will swallow them all. The EU will not lend them any more money. Greece will be forced out of the EU, and will have to print their own drachmas again. Which will be worthless, as Greek debt is toxic. Nobody in the rest of the world will touch the new Greek currency. With no loans, no money of any value to invest in creating jobs and emigrations soaring, the Greek economy will collapse. Austerity will soon look good in retrospect.

    The Greeks are patting themselves on the back for voting No to austerity. They will rue the day they said no to their last chance at economic solvency.

  • Are they serious? The Greeks borrowed the money and now they don’t want to pay it back? Granted, it was talk radio, but Bloomberg this morning reported almost 50% of Greek citizens live entirely off of government subsidies as their sole income. With only a passing interest in the Greek crisis, it appears that yet another “socialist” country has ‘run out of other people’s money’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *