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Neos Kosmos Monday : 7 July 2015
10 - ΝΕΟΣ ΚΟΣΜΟΣ ΤΡΙΤΗ 7 ΙΟΥΛΙΟΥ 2015 Austerity rejected ‘No’ vote wins the the day as ‘great page written in European history’ With the ballots counted in Greece's referendum, voters decisively rejected the terms of the international bailout. Figures published on Monday by Greece's interior ministry showed 61 per cent voted "No", with 39 per cent voting "Yes". After the result's confirmation, in a televised address to the nation Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the Greek people had voted for a "Europe of solidarity and democracy". "Greece will go back to the negotiating table and our primary priority is to reinstate the financial stability of the country." Mr Tsipras added that Greece had "written a great page in European history" and that "a people with faith and dignity can do anything." Tsipras described the result as a "brave choice" and that the referendum "doesn't have winners and losers. It is a great victory, in and of itself." As the overwhelming support for the 'no' camp became clear, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece had a mandate to renegotiate the terms of any future bailout. "The ultimatum has been returned to to the creditors," said Varoufakis "It is time for The European Central Bank to start treating the wounds of Greece - and of itself." As this newspaper went to press it was unclear if the ECB would continue to extend emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greek banks which are running critically low of cash. Meanwhile, European leaders are divided on whether negotiations between Greece and its EU and IMF creditors can resume after the country's rejection on the latest package. While Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the eurozone's group of finance ministers, described the result as "very regrettable for the future of Greece", the European Commission said in a statement that it "takes note of and respects the result of the referendum…" A Euro Summit will meet today to discuss the situation. While eurozone's tough stance will continue, along with its questioning of Greece's commitment to make vital fiscal and structural reforms, the Tsipras government has its answer ready: we put your demands to the ultimate democratic test - and they were rejected. ‘No’ voters welcome the result in Thessaloniki. PHOTO: AP/GIANNIS PAPAKINOS What does ‘No’ mean? Greeks across Europe are bracing themselves for an extreme emotional roller-coaster ride NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU This was Greece's first referendum in nearly five decades giving a surprisingly unanimous result as every area of Greece voted to reject the creditors' proposals. Even though more than 40 per cent of Greeks eligible to vote abstained from the procedure, the overwhelming 'OXI' reply came amid turmoil over severe restrictions on financial transactions. Thousands of citizens celebrated in Syntagma the Greek people’s refusal to accept strict fiscal-austerity measures in exchange for desperately needed bailout money. c G a m d m Meanwhile, early trading in Asian and Australian markets shows stock indexes are free-falling. A s f Journalists in Athens watch Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaking on television, after the Greek people overwhelmingly backed his recommendation to vote against the bailout offer. PHOTO: EPA/ALEXANDROS VLACHOS "It's frightening. I can't be optimistic about anything anymore," Asheigh Sarantis, a 34-year-old travel agent living in Greece told Neos Kosmos. o a a l "I voted 'yes', while the rest of my family voted 'no'. They are old and tired but I worry for my feature." AA supporter of the No vote celebrates in Syntagma Square after the referendum result. PHOTO: AP/EMILIO MORENATTI Sarantis relocated back to Athens after living most of her life in Darwin. She and her Greek national husband, Pavlos Sarantis opened a travel agency six years ago. "Greece is a paradise, it's a shame. We struggled to make our business work and we have been through a lot to be able to run our agency," she said. "We wanted to have children but this uncertainty, the fears that we might exit the euro and regress as a country are affecting us. I am seriously considering to return to Australia." Mandy Foundoulaki, 20, an aspiring Greek Australian photographer, is also alarmed. "My brother and cousins are in Australia and I've been contemplating whether I too should move there over the last year" she said. "I am sceptical and extremely worried of what will happen in the next days. I can relate to the people's frustration and anger but if there is no agreement we are doomed." Fotis Kontoyannis, 38, McArthurGlen Designer Outlets' store manager also returned to Greece 10 months ago after working in Australia for nearly 4 years. "What I had missed, living in Australia, due to the visa restrictions, was freedom to travel and work around the country," Kontoyannis said. "I returned back home, even though I was offered a chance to stay in Australia, to enjoy that given privilege, of being a European citizen." When thinking that he might be deprived of that freedom caught up in a political game at the forefront of a financial war he starts questioning his decision, however, he is "trying to make the best out of this adrenaline high." Fotini Chora, 28, moved to Berlin due to the crisis, in order to study and work as a photographer. Fotini is both proud and relieved upon hearing the result of her country's vote. "At this point it is impossible to pay back this debt, Greeks are staunch and needed to make a brave decision," she mussed. "I am glad I was wrong when I left Greece three years ago convinced there was no hope." "The clock is ticking in reverse for me; I'm optimistic and want to return to my country. Germans are panicking because they can't afford a Grexit." Ange Sklavounos on the other hand, a 40-yearold marketing manager, currently living and working in Belgium is not sharing Fotini's feelings. He believes Greece is suffering a brain drain, as most highly educated and creative citizens are leaving the country. "Tsipras stated that 'Greeks proved democracy won't be blackmailed,' but that is a joke. Most people I know are looking for job opportunities in other countries" Sklavounos said. "The Greek economy, will need years of reforms and austerity measures in order to recover, which I doubt will happen. Europe is laughing at us." Greek Australia reacts Politicians and community leaders respond to referendum result MICHAEL SWEET Former Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos told Neos Kosmos that the overwhelming backing of the Tsipras government's stance against Greece's creditors is "an emphatic result", and one that means the EU, ECB and IMF "must sit down and start treating more seriously potential debt relief in return for ongoing reforms". "We don't want backtracking on previous commitments but we do need to recognise that the Greek people need to see some results from the years of austerity and depression", said the senator. "This vote needs to be treated as a circuit breaker and that it opens the way to a new accommodation". Last week Mr Sinodinos warned of the devastating cost to Greece if it was forced Greece extra leverage in future negotiations with its creditors. to leave the eurozone if the event of a 'No' vote. Speaking yesterday, the senator said the referendum result was "the end of the beginning. We're in unchartered waters". "With the Greek people having survived two or three thousand years, it suggests there's something in their DNA which means they fight on for what they believe…" Federal politicians on both sides of the political divide made their feelings known, with Maria Vamvakinou MP, who had predicted a 'Yes' vote to win, said her overwhelming reaction was one of concern. "It's now down to what Europe will decide," said the Labor Member for Calwell. "The stakes are very high." Liberal Member for Barton, Nickolas Varvaris, said the result would give "The purpose of this unexpectedly strong result is not to get out of the European alliance, but to achieve a better deal within the eurozone, a deal that will enable Greece to have a better chance of coping with the staggering debt whilst inflicting minimal damage to the Greek social structure". Meanwhile in Victoria, Bill Papastergiadis, president of the Greek Community of Melbourne, appealed for supporters of both sides in the referendum debate to unite. "Now is the time for solidarity, to achieve the best possible out come for Greece in the negotiations." "We're hopeful this result will both energise the Greek government to get a fairer outcome for the Greek people, and ensure the creditors now come to the party to seek a just and sustainable solution - and help Greece stay in the eurozone and the EU." In Sydney, Harry Danalis, president of GOCNSW, said though he welcomed the result, which "was an expression of the Greek people's will and sovereignty", he was not optimistic that the international creditors would change their positions. "It didn't take long for Angela Merkel and the rest of the German leaders to go on the airwaves and instead of showing some charity and understanding of what the Greek people are going through, we heard the same stagnant criticism of this government," said Mr Danalis. "This vote had to happen [but] I doubt it will change anything but express Greece's democratic rule. The issue has always been one of sovereignty and the plight of the Greek people." With pro-Greece demonstrations in Australian capitals in the days running up to the referendum, the Australia - Greece Solidarity Campaign said it welcomed "the resounding decision of the Greek people to say 'No" to further austerity". A spokesperson for the Campaign said the vote underlined "the abject failure of the austerity agenda and the Euro power brokers that have been prosecuting it. "The great hope now is that sanity will prevail and that debt relief and pro-growth policies replace the Troika's strategy of asphyxiation." Following the referendum result the Campaign has asked the the Australian Government to "play its part to ensure the IMF gets back onto a sensible path of progrowth policies". *For more reactions and analysis from the Greek Australian community on the referendum result and its implications - check out Neos Kosmos Weekend Edition this Saturday. A graffiti in German made by Athenian street artist N_Grams that reads ‘’NO’’. (Photo AAP EPA/KAY NIETFELD) A ‘No’ vote allows for Greece to remain in the Euro Goldman Sachs’s assessment on the markets’ reactions "Regardless of the outcome, Greece will continue to face substantial economic dislocation in the shorter term," Goldman's Huw Pill said. "Greece will ultimately remain in the Euro area even in the event of a 'No' vote." The IMF is backing its original claim that a debt haircut is absolutely necessary, however, Goldman Sachs, agrees with Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis that Greece will remain in the Eurozone. "A 'No' vote, in which the current government becomes more politically entrenched is likely to be viewed negatively by markets," Pill added. "We do not see such an outcome as necessarily implying a definitive 'Grexit'. In the first instance, such an outcome is likely to perpetuate the status quo: the European authorities would neither extend further financial and liquidity support nor engage in a new round of negotiation with the Greek government offering more favourable terms." According to Sachs the 'Oxi' result, will force Greek banks to remain closed and the economic situation will deteriorate, ultimately triggering political change as the economy seizes up. Of course, that change could long term move in a Goldman Sachs does expect the ECB to be highly sensitive to falls in the equity market or the Euro exchange rate. Photo/Brendan McDermid (Reuters) chaotic direction leading to a 'Grexit'. "Any attempt to shift policies in the direction of exit would prompt a domestic political response bringing down the government and moving to an accord with Brussels to maintain membership of the Euro area." "For Tsipras to have had the full leverage he wanted, he should have had this standoff last year, before the ECB launched its QE," Pill concludes. Source: Goldman Sachs Samaras resigns Recriminations among Greek conservatives has begun with the referendum result leading to the immediate resignation of New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras. New Democracy backed a Yes vote and earlier this week offered to participate in a cross-party government to pull Greece back from the brink of bankruptcy. Samaras, who was prime minister from 2012 until January this year, told the nation on television: "Our party needs a new start." Former Greek Prime Minister and conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras before casting his vote. Following the announcement of the result, he submitted his resignation. (AP Photo/Nikitas Kotsiaris) Aussie dollar down The Australian dollar dropped to a new six-year low yesterday on news of the referendum's result. In early trading the dollar was buying US74.78¢, down 2 per cent on the same time on Friday, and its lowest level since May 2009. The Australian dollar has weakened 8.8 per cent this year. The sell-off reflects a fresh flight to safe haven assets by investors who fear Greece's rejection of fiscal reforms in return for EU bailout funds could lead to financial chaos in Europe in the coming months.
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