Monday, June 29, 2015

A ‘take-it-or-leave it’ vote is a recipe for disaster for Greece

by Aristides Hatzis

Financial Times

June 28, 2015

Early Sunday morning the Greek parliament voted to hold a referendum that will be decisive for the country’s future. Supposedly this is going to be a vote on a “take-it-or-leave-it” proposal by Greece’s creditors — the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

But in fact this is going to be a referendum about whether Greece remains in the eurozone, the EU or even the west.

I cannot see how this plebiscite can even take place. The obstacles seem insurmountable.

The logistics are awful. The notoriously inefficient Greek administration will have a hard time organising the referendum in less than a week. Worse, it could cost more than €100m when the public coffers are literally empty.

Beyond the cost, though, there is the problem that this poll has no real objective. The bailout proposal was not final and it has already been recalled.

Voting on a non-existing proposal is surreal and only serves to highlight that the referendum is really about the standing of Greece in Europe. The Greek government will do its best to avoid the association, a difficult task given the apparent rupture with the rest of Europe.


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