NNIP: Das griechische "Nein" und die Konsequenzen

Das Ergebnis des Referendums führt zu unterschiedlichen Interpretationen auf Seiten Griechenlands und auf Seiten der Kreditgeber. Die kommenden Tage werden entscheidend sein.

06.07.2015 | 14:47 Uhr

After months of increasingly tense negotiations between Greece and its creditors, and a failure to make debt repayment to the IMF, the Greek government organized a referendum yesterday in which voters were asked whether or not to accept an offer from its creditors consisting of further austerity and reform in exchange further additional financial aid. The process towards the set-up of the “Greferendum” was so tumultuous, confusing and poorly managed that the consequences of the outcome could only have been somewhat uncertain. The late and surprising timing, the lack of coordination by the Greek government with its creditors and the confusingly articulated referendum question on a poorly translated offer from the creditors – an offer that formally is no longer on the table after the expiration of Greece's second bail-out package on June 30th -- are an incomplete list of factors that make it hard to interpret the Greferendum outcome.

Moreover, the event has only helped further deteriorate the already very sour relationship between the Greek government and political leadership of the other member states of the Eurozone. The walkout by Greece from nearly finished negotiations with the creditors when the Greferendum was announced created a very bitter tone of voice amongst other Eurozone politicians. Suggestions by the Greek government that a deal would be close at hand, regardless of the outcome of the referendum, were publically disregarded as "completely incorrect" by Eurogroup President Dijsselbloem and European Commission President Juncker even spoke of "betrayal" of his Greek counterparts recently. Therefore, both the ability and the willingness to work constructively with the Greferendum result are lacking to a troubling extent.

As she has done more often, German Prime Minister Merkel articulated it most clearly last week by stating that a credible commitment to jointly adhere to the common rules that bind the Eurozone together is more important to the future of Europe than the financial details of a new deal with Greece. The trust that Greece is willing to deliver that commitment has sunk to an all-time low and, thereby, has reduced flexibility by the rest of the Eurozone members to help out it most vulnerable family member (again). This lack of trust will continue to create lingering uncertainty around whatever path forward will now be chosen by Greece and its creditors.

That is not to say that it was unclear what was at stake. The Greek government might have framed it differently than the Greek opposition and the Greek creditors, but it seems clear to everybody in Greece and outside of it that the Greferendum was basically a vote of confidence on the Greek's government ability to keep Greece within the Eurozone. The "No"-campaign of the Greek government was based on the premise that a better deal (less austerity and debt restructuring) could be reached with the creditors once the democratic backing was provided through the referendum result. The creditors’ position was always that Greece's "democratic" rights are not senior to those of voters in other Eurozone member states and therefore that a rejection of the bail-out conditions basically was a rejection to play by the Eurozone rules. The latter seems likely to be interpreted by the creditors as a desire to play its own rules and could therefore open a road towards Grexit.

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