Greece Said ‘NO’ ! What will happen next?
Referandum in Greece have been completed. People voted 61.31% ‘no’ and 38.69% ‘yes’. There is 9 million 800 thousand registered voters in the country and 6 million 161 thousand 140 of them have voted. And 3 million 558 thousand of them said ‘no’.
As the preliminary voting results came out, we realized that the survey results in Turkish news agencies were wrong. For example, in the 4th of July issue of Cumhuriyet newspaper, it was emphasized that the yes and no votes were equal but then the no votes reached nearly 47% as they constituted the majority of the votes. Probably, some of the survey companies in Greece propagated manipulative results. Straight results came only after when the ballot boxes were closed. But these results weren’t reflecting the truth either. Survey companies declared that the ‘no’ votes were ahead of ‘yes’. However, no one could predict the big difference. After the boxes were closed, 4 different television channel announced that the ‘no’ votes were at 50% while the ‘yes’ votes were at 40% and getting closer to 50. The survey companies who made those ‘predictions’ clearly waited for ‘yes’ to come out of referendum and wanted to dash the hopes of Greek people. If it is not a huge prediction mistake, then there is no other explanation of this manipulative predictions.
So, is this a victory? How should we analyze the result came out of the referendum? Let’s start with the first question:
It is definitely a victory; however we should ignore the ones who say that everything is going to get better after this result. Firstly, Tsipras had an image of an amateur bourgeois politician throughout the whole period. On the one hand; he didn’t keep any of his promises, on the other hand; while trying to compromise with IMF he was winking to his people. On one hand, he said ‘I hope that the Greek people will say no in referendum’, on the other hand he has written a desperate letter to Brussels. So, Tsipras couldn’t pass the test.
Besides, conducting a referendum on the claims of the creditors was just a strategy for Tsipras. In other words, it was a gamble against IMF. If ‘yes’ had come out of the referendum, it would end the political career of Tsipras. However, Tsipras had no other choice but to gamble since IMF were acting like pawnbroker getting its hooks on to the poor. While driving Greece into the corner, their intention was to paralyze the poor. There is no doubt that if Tsipras started negotiations before the referendum, his room for maneuver would be much more narrow.
So what happens next?
EU have gone crazy after the results. Head of EU Parliament Martin Schulz had made a statement after the referendum and have labeled the result as a ‘disaster’. He said ‘Without the transfer of new funds, the healthcare system and the substructure of energy and transportation will collapse, no one will get paid and the important goods won’t be imported.’
Actually, this state of aggression is quite normal. If Syria had been defeated, it would be a great example of ‘naughty boy’ to show to the other actors like Podemos. But, it didn’t happen. Also, the referendum was a big defeat for the bourgeois actors who convoked for ‘yes’ like New Democracy Party (N.D) and PASOK.
Now let’s come to the ‘what happens next?’ part. There is no doubt that the pressure on the Greek working-class will increase. For now, it is hard to make clear statement on the possibility of leaving Euro zone. The critical date for this is 20th of July. On July 20th, Greece is expected to pay 3.5 billion euro to the European Central Bank. Even that ECB is sustaining the Greek banks right now, the banks have no access to any other emergency funds except for the 89 billion euro that they already have. However, if Greece doesn’t make its payments on July 20, ECB is expected to stop completely its supports for the Greek banks. In that case, the banks will collapse and the government will be forced to monetize a new unit of currency to open them again. We should emphasize that, leaving Euro and using Drahmi can not be the worst for Greece even it is shown as an disaster scenario by EU and IMF. At least, with the usage of Drahmi, the commercial competition potential of the Greek goods will increase since they have no chance to compete with the others in the present situation.
Lets put it together again: referendum was a tactical move for Tsipras. He strengthened his hand, had the opportunity to start the negotiations stronger and he prolonged his political career for a while. However, we should not forget that he already accepted a part of the bailout package before the referendum. This means, Tsipras can still fulfill Troika’s expectations. At this point, a disappointment could empower the fascist actors like Golden Dawn. Or maybe actors on the left of Syriza ,like ANTARSYA , could be empowered. Their radical demands like appropriating the banks are gaining support among the working class because of the depression created by poverty. It is useful to emphasize again: In the upcoming period, the actors like ANTARSYA on the left of Syriza have big duties to perform.
Ultimately, a restless summer is waiting for Greece.
Çeviri: Anıl Ersoy