The Current

Greeks say NO to bail-out, risking bank collapse and euro crash

Greeks make history with a resounding NO to a final bail-out offer. Even as banks remain closed and the country's finances teeter on the brink. Now the focus returns to Europe as leaders prepare to make a wrenching decision that will define their union, and possibly break it apart.
A "No"supporter celebrates in Athens. Greeks voted overwhelmingly "No" yesterday in a historic bailout referendum, defying warnings from across Europe that rejecting new austerity terms for fresh financial aid would set their country on a path out of the euro. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
Without more emergency funding from the European Central Bank, Greece's banks could run out of cash within days. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Greeks were told it was the final offer, but yesterday they voted NO - and not by a little.  More than 61 per cent of voters rejected their creditors last bail-out offer. And that is despite a week of closed banks, capital controls that stopped Greeks from taking out more than 60 euros daily, and images of pensioners weeping as they waited in line to try to access their money. 

Greeks overwhelmingly No vote on a bail-out, throws the future of the country's euro into further doubt. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)

But Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insisted that a NO victory at the ballot box would lead to a better bailout deal.

And so the spotlight turns to the big European powers. The French President and the German Chancellor will meet today to decide whether they will make a deal now, that they couldn't stomach making before, forgive a portion of Greek debt.  Or will they simply allow Greece to crash out of the euro altogether.

Earlier this morning,  Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned in order to make a deal more possible.  In his statement he said  quote:  "I shall wear the creidtor's loathing with pride"

Georgia Tsakalis is a dual Greek-Canadian citizen from Montreal who voted in the referendum.  She returns every summer with her father to vacation in their family home in the city of Larissa at the base of Mount Olympus. That is where we reached her today.

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      Opinion is mixed today about whether Greece is closer ... or further away from much-needed financial relief after years on the brink of collapse.

      The country has seen its GDP shrink by one quarter in the past six years, and overall unemployment rise to 25 per cent -- and a whopping fifty percent for young people.

      For some perspective on the steep road ahead, we were joined by two people:

      Consultant Miranda Xafa in Athens. She was a chief economic adviser to former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis. She's also a former member of the IMF's Executive Board in Washington. 

      And Jonathan Hopkin in London. He teaches politics at the London School of Economics and has been keeping close watch on Greece. 
       

      This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Sujata Berry.

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