The Greek population have voted to reject austerity. Not that it really makes any difference to the outcome.
Imagine a scenario that as an individual, you didn’t make enough money to cover your cost of living. Somehow, you persuade a bank to lend you loads of money so that you can eat and do a little more. They keep lending you more money until eventually it’s time to make a payment, but of course you can’t. The bank proposes a change of your lifestyle (which you cannot sustain), but you refuse to comply, and still can’t make repayments.
That’s where Greece are now. Irrespective of if they accepted the ECB’s terms or not, they still owe money and can’t sustain their country, which has really been the case for years. Corrupt tax collectors have simply stopped revenues being collected by successive governments and now life has caught up with the country. No surprise to anyone who has ever visited Greece, I imagine.
The country is bankrupt.
The banks have been closed for a week and are due to open tomorrow. What will happen? The population will attempt to retrieve their savings and cash. Trouble is, there is allegedly only €500M left in the Greek banking system, then the money has run out.
Public service workers need to be paid. Things need to be purchased from other countries, like medicines, food and fuel. Will countries extend more credit to Greece? Probably not.
So, the next step is likely to be a humanitarian crisis. Possibly civil unrest, maybe even war. Chances are if that happens, then European countries may have to intervene militarily as the Greek social system collapses to prevent the population fighting for food.
I wrote a slightly tongue in cheek blog about Europe a couple of years ago, but elements of it are sadly playing true.
Whatever happens, this is not going to end well for the Greek people.