James Cook, Jim Edwards, and Dina Spector contributed to this report. Mike Bird contributed from Athens.
Greece voters overwhelmingly rejected the latest bailout package from European creditors in Sunday’s referendum.
According to preliminary figures from the Greek government, 61% of Greeks voted “No” (Oxi) to a bailout package that would enforce greater austerity measures, while 39% voted “Yes.”
The landslide victory for the “No” campaign is a major surprise. Athens exploded in celebration over the result, with thousands streaming into Syntagma Square, waving Greek flags, chanting, and setting off fireworks.
But the party could be short-lived. A “No” (Oxi) vote will mean that Greece will likely default on almost all its remaining debt, maybe exit the EU, abandon the euro and re-adopt its old currency, the drachma. That would plunge Greece into even more economic turmoil as it would become an international pariah, largely cut off from the credit markets countries need to finance themselves.
“Grexit is no longer a tail risk,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen said. “This is not a good outcome for the market, and volatility will likely increase substantially today.”
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has argued that voting “No” to the terms of a bailout deal would strengthen his ability to negotiate a new bailout. In a televised address, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece will “try to find common ground” with its international partners.
The European Commission will hold a conference call with European leaders on Monday and the leaders of Germany and France have called for an emergency EU summit for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Greek banks will likely remain shut on Monday and the limit on ATM withdrawals could reduced further from €60 to prevent the country from bleeding banks dry.
Here is our live coverage of the referendum, from earlier:
The European Commission says it “respects” the result of the Greek referendum
Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission president, will hold a conference call with the president of the Euro Summit, Eurogroup, and European Central Bank on Monday morning, a statement said.
Alexis Tspiras will meet with President Prokopis Pavlopoulous shortly
Syntagma Square is going absolutely bonkers over the surprise vote.
There’s dancing, fireworks, and thousands chanting “Oxi, Oxi, Oxi” over and over again. Business Insider’s Mike Bird captured some photos of the frenzy.
Mike Bird/Business Insider
Mike Bird/Business Insider
Nearly 90% of votes have now been counted
No is still leading by a wide margin with most votes now counted.
Tsipras thanks all Greeks for voting: “Tonight we are all one”
Alexis Tsipras addresses the nation
According to a BBC translation, he said: “You have made a generous choice — however I’m fully conscious that the mandate you have given me is not a mandate against Europe but a mandate to find a sustainable solution with Europe that will take us out of the vicious cycle of austerity.”
German and France have called for an EU summit on Tuesday
BREAKING: Leaders of Germany, France call for an EU summit on Tuesday to discuss Greek financial crisis.
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 5, 2015
MaroPolis shows “No” leading with just over 61%, with 70% of votes counted.
Greek conservative opposition chief Antonis Samaras is stepping down
There were huge cheers in the Square on the announcement.
The euro is falling on news of a “No” vote
This is a big surprise to markets as many thought Greece would accept the bailout.
Yanis Varoufakis makes a short statement — wearing a T-shirt
In a short press conference, Varoufakis said Greece will try to cooperate with its partners and will “try to find common ground.”
Aggressive statement by Varoufakis: For 5 months creditors refused substantial negotiations, imposed closed banks, planned our humiliation
— NikiKitsantonis (@NikiKitsantonis) July 5, 2015
Things are looking very good for Varoufakis, who said he would step down if Greece voted “Yes.” He showed up confident to the press conference, dressed in a grey T-shirt.
Alexis Tsipras has phoned French president Francois Hollande
The Guardian reports that the Greek prime minister has spoken with several European leaders and may have contacted European Central Bank head Mario Draghi.
Thousands are celebrating in Syntagma Square
Crowds are waving flags and chanting “no, no.”
The leader of Spain’s Podemos anti-austerity party has reacted to Greece’s rejection of the bailout.
The BBC reports Pablo Iglesias tweeted: “Today in Greece, victory has won.”
Italy’s foreign minister has called for talks to begin again
“Now it is right to start trying for an agreement again. But there is no escape from the Greek labyrinth with a weak Europe that isn’t growing,” the senior minister tweeted as translated by The Telegraph.
The “No” vote is ahead with more than 50% of the votes now counted
The “no” vote has a 61% lead.
“No” voters are celebrating in the streets of Athens as early vote counts show over 60% of voters chose to reject an EU bailout
Greeks can’t open safe deposit boxes left with banks
The Telegraph reports that Greek deputy finance minister Nadia Valavani told Greek television that safe deposit boxes are subject to capital restrictions.
25% of votes have been counted in the Greek referendum. “No” voters are ahead with over 60% of votes. So far no region has voted “Yes.”
Over 15% of votes have been counted — and “No” is comfortably ahead with over 60% of votes
Right now the official Greek results map is completely orange – showing a 20% lead for “No”
The first votes are starting to show up — and “No” is ahead
The official Greek government website has counted less than 10% of votes, but “No” is current ahead on 59.91% (compared to 40.09% for “Yes”)
The first official polls will be released at 7.30pm London time (9.30pm Athens time)
The Guardian reports that the Greek minister of interior will release polls in just over an hour.
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has clarified comments he made about Greece’s ability to negotiate a deal
“In 24h we COULD have an agreement”, I said. But our toxic media rushed to report that I predicted an agreement within 24h. Go figure!
— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) July 5, 2015
Merkel and Hollande will meet tomorrow to discuss Greece
Reuters reports that the German Chancellor will meet the French President on Monday night to talk about the situation in Greece.
Here’s Reuters’ report on what Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said:
“The talks with the French president from 630 p.m. (1630 GMT), and over dinner will be about a common assessment of the situation after the Greek referendum and the continuation of the close German-French cooperation on this subject.”
“No” voters are already celebrating
Drivers in Athens are honking their horns as opinion polls suggest that “No” voters are out in front
No voters driving around Syntagma Square, outside Greek parliament, tooting horns in celebration.
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) July 5, 2015
Polls have now closed in Greece
Here’s where results of the referendum will be posted
Polls are due to close at 5pm London time, and results are expected to come in around two hours later. This official Greek government site is expected to list the results in English as they come in.
The Greek finance ministry will meet with bankers at 10pm Athens time
Star TV reports that the meeting was pushed back from its original time:
Greece will send negotiators to Brussels tomorrow if there’s a NO vote
If Greece votes NO, negotiators will travel to Brussels tomorrow to resume negotiations, says Sky News economics editor Ed Conway.
A German TV crew has been attacked by protesters
The Telegraph reports that a TV crew from German broadcaster ZDF was pelted with stones “the size of fists.”
Greece has all but run out of 20 euro notes
Sky News’ Emily Purser confirms on Twitter what many people have noted previously, which is that even though the daily cash limit in Greece is officially 60 euros, you can only actually get 50 euros out at one time:
Because banks have virtually run out of €20 notes, the withdrawal cap is effectively €50 now. Could reduce further this week #Greece
Mike Bird got this photo of the inside of one of Syriza’s offices in Athens.
That’s Lenin, Engels, and Che Guevara on the wall:
The telegenic Yanis Varoufakis was mobbed by reporters when he went to vote today
Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and the Bank of Greece will hold an emergency meeting tonight
The BBC’s Robert Peston reports on Twitter:
Greek finance minister @yanisvaroufakis & Bank of Greece to hold emergency meeting with banks late tonight after poll result, I’ve learned
The obvious key question in this meeting will be: Which Greek banks still have cash left and how long will it last? We’re already hearing that one of the major banks has been completely drained of deposits (see below). Most observers believe Greece will be out of cash completely on Monday.
The governor of the Bank of Greece is preparing to become prime minister if the nation votes “yes”
The Telegraph reports:
Now this would be a turn up for the books. AEP has heard rumours that Yannis Stournaras, the current Bank of Greece governor and former finance minister, is set to head up a technocratic government if Mr Tsipras resigns tonight.
Mr Stounaras is not an uncontroversial choice. He has been pilloried by the Syriza government for warning that Greece will be thrown into apocalyptic turmoil if they ever left the euro – seen as a breach of the institution’s politically neutral line. He has also been sued by one Syriza MP for issuing the report which was denounced by the head of the country’s parliament.
Everyone loves this photo of a bearded man casting his vote in Crete
We’ve seen it everywhere in the media. Reuters nailed it. One thing to note, he is voting in Anogia/Anogeia a tiny little village way outside the Cretian capital of Heraklion. Reuters really went out of its way to get this one:
Reuters has some great pics of Greeks voting in tiny rural areas
Another shot from Anogia
This is where Anogia actually is, in case you care:
More reports that “No” is in the lead
The BBC reports that Greek journalists believe that the “No” vote will win. This is the second report of the day suggesting No has a slight lead in the voting. But — as Britain learned in its general election in May — opinion polls and predictions have a habit of turning out to be surprisingly wrong!
So let’s not get too excited.
Der Spiegel calls Angela Merkel ‘woman of the ruins’
Brutal front cover:
Twitter has woken up to the IMF report from a few days ago that admitted the Greek debt was unsustainable
Until a few days ago, the narrative around the Greece crisis was that the damn Greeks should just pay their taxes, repay their debt, and get rid of some of the crazy public spending policies that cosset its citizens. But on July 2, the IMF released this report in which it admits that there was no way Greece could ever pay back its debt, vote or no vote.
Here is the key passage:
At the last review in May 2014, Greece’s public debt was assessed to be getting back on a path toward sustainability, though it remained highly vulnerable to shocks. By late summer 2014, with interest rates having declined further, it appeared that no further debt relief would have been needed under the November 2012 framework, if the program were to have been implemented as agreed. But significant changes in policies since then — not least, lower primary surpluses and a weak reform effort that will weigh on growth and privatization — are leading to substantial new financing needs. Coming on top of the very high existing debt, these new financing needs render the debt dynamics unsustainable …
Mike Bird has some great photos from Greece
Business Insider’s markets reporter has been in Athens all week, watching the protests and the ATM lines in the streets as the Greeks queue for their daily ration of 60 euros in cash. He has produced an astonishing set of stories of what it is like in a major, modern economy that has simply run out of money. He’s got a great report with loads of photos here. And this story describes the mounting dread ordinary Greeks have. Basically, no matter which way tonight’s vote goes, Greeks on both sides of the question believe the future will only get worse.
The ECB makes a statement
The European Central Bank says it will stand ready no matter what (per The Guardian):
In the current circumstances of great uncertainty in Europe and the world, the ECB has been clear that if we need to do more we will do more. We will find the necessary instruments.
Our will to act in this matter should not be doubted.
No prizes for guessing which way Prime Minister Tsipras voted
A nice photo of Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis casting his vote
The IMF admits Greece’s debt was unsustainable
The Telegraph has a good analysis of how everyone involved in the negotiations knew Greece could never repay the debt the IMF and the EU had extended to the country. Economics blogger Ashoka Mody says the EU tried to “suppress” the report:
The IMF’s report is important because it reveals that the creditors negotiated with Greece in bad faith. For months, a haze was allowed to settle over the question of Greek debt sustainability. The timing of the report’s release — on the eve of a historic Greek referendum, well after the technical negotiations have broken down — suggests that there was no intention to allow a sober analysis of the Greek debt burden. Paul Taylor of Reuters tells us that the European authorities worked hard to suppress it and Landon Thomas of the New York Times reports that, until a few days ago, the IMF had played along.
One of the big four Greek banks is near collapse
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of The Telegraph is tweeting from Athens:
The “No” camp reportedly has the lead
The Financial Times has seen opinion polls that have not yet been made public:
Last-minute opinion polls indicated a knife-edge result, with voters narrowly favouring Mr Tsipras’s call for a No vote to reject a last-ditch bailout offer by Greece’s creditors, even though it has already expired.
Between 51 and 53 per cent of voters would back No, according to one unpublished poll seen by the Financial Times.
Banks bring in extra FX staff, expecting a volatile week
Investment banks are bringing in extra staff to handle the craziness that will occur in the FX markets when the result is known, the FT says:
The currency markets will resume trading on Monday morning in Asia, beginning in Australia and New Zealand at 10pm London time, or 5pm in New York.
HSBC confirmed it was bringing in extra staff, and JPMorgan is expected to do the same. Deutsche Bank said staff would be covering the referendum, but it was wrong to view them as extra staff. Bank of America Merrill Lynch declined to comment.
Germany is terrified a Grexit will ruin its budget
If Greece votes No and leaves the euro, defaulting on all its debt, then Germany won’t get back a huge sum of money it has used to finance Greece, The Telegraph reports:
German business daily Handelsblatt is reporting comments from Jens Weidmann, Germany’s central bank chief, who has privately told the government a Grexit will decimate the country’s budget.
The report Germany has already set aside €14.4bn in a firefighting fund against a euro crisis. But Mr Weidmann told officials this will not be sufficient in the case of a Grexit.
Should Greece suffer a total collapse of its banks and choose to default on the ECB, there is a €110bn liability in the form of the eurosystems Target2 funds which the rest of the eurozone may have to bear the costs of.
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