Bloomberg thinks Greece should vote “Yes.”
Bloomberg View, the opinion section of Bloomberg, is advocating a “Yes” vote in the Greek referendum.
Here’s Bloomberg’s take:
It should never have come to this. The terms demanded by the creditors — if the IMF’s analysis is to be believed — are too strict. Greece’s best chance for economic recovery, and the creditors’ best chance of getting most of their money back, involves less fiscal austerity and new debt relief. If Europe’s leaders hadn’t been so inflexible, and if Tsipras and his team hadn’t been so infuriating to deal with, the crisis could have been resolved in that way.
It hasn’t been resolved, so Greeks have to choose the lesser evil. They should vote yes — and, if they do, Europe should respond with the magnanimity and political vision that have been so utterly lacking in its dealings up to now.
But as The New York Times notes, people in Greece aren’t entirely sure what they are voting on.
Business Insider’s Mike Bird, who has been on the ground in Athens for several days, has spoken to some Greek politicians that argue this vote is essentially being cast for or against remaining in the euro. (Bloomberg argues that this is the case as well.)
“This referendum is not, as the government says, about austerity or no austerity,” Greek politician Harry Theoharis told Bird. “They’re trying to frame it to the Greek people as a question about austerity and this is wrong in so many ways.
“Really it’s a question about the euro, whether people want to live in a European economy or not.” Theoharis was formerly in charge of debt collection in Greece and is now a member of the To Potami party, a centrist party focused on reform that is in favour Greek’s voting “Yes” on the referendum.
On Thursday, however, the IMF may have given the Greek government — which is advocating for a “No” vote — the cover it needs to be able to politically withstand a vote against what it has been advocating.
The IMF admitted that Greece’s debts need restructuring and added that some of its debt may need to be written off. Said another way, Greece’s creditors might need to take a “haircut,” or get back less than 100 cents on the dollar.
On Thursday, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said he would quit if Greece voted yes. But more tellingly, Varoufakis said he “would rather cut his arm off,” than agree to a deal that didn’t include restructuring.
And so while it remains to be seen if Varoufakis or Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras would be politically able — or willing — to withstand a “Yes” vote on the issue, things might be headed the way Bloomberg’s editorial board thinks they should anyway.
Greece should vote yes, its debt should be restructured, and Europe should do something it hasn’t done throughout this whole saga: play nice.
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