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Greece Referendum on European Bailout – 5 Points you Want to Know

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Greece Referendum is set to become the hottest media topic related to the European Debt  Crisis in the coming months.In a totally surprising move Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called a referendum and a parliamentary confidence vote on 31st October just a week after  the European leaders had agreed on a package to .Papandreou’s personal and government popularity have plunged amid fresh austerity measures that sparked a wave of social unrest.The PM is calling this vote probably to bolster his government as it loses support of the masses.Mr Papandreou, whose ruling Socialist party has suffered several defections as it pushes waves of austerity measures through parliament while protesters rally outside, said he needed wider political backing for the fiscal measures and structural reforms demanded by international lenders.

a) Recapitalize the Eurozone Banks

b) Agreed on a €100bn loan to Athens and Offered a 50% haircut on Greek Debt

c) Promised to increased the size of EFSF to almsot 1 Trilion Euros

This new Referednum promises to set the cat amongst the piegons once again and set off a new wave of crisis.

Here are some points that you need to keep in mind with this referendum

1)  The confidence vote will conclude late on Nov. 4, while the referendum will likely be held after the details of the European accord are tied up.The Referendum is supposed to occur early next year.It will be only Greece’s second in almost 40 years,the first being to oust the Monarchy.Referendum Legality is also being questioned since it can be only held for matters of national importance and not for Economic Matters.

2) The chances of the referendum passing are low as Most Greeks oppose last week’s European deal to address the country’s debt crisis.According to the poll, 58.9% of Greeks judge the new European deal as “negative” or “probably negative” for Greece, while nearly two-thirds said they felt unease, fear or rage at the decisions reached by European leaders.54.2% of Greeks thought a national referendum should be called to approve the new aid deal, compared with 40% who said Parliament should decide.

3) Total Default on Greek Bonds could occur if the Bailout Referendum Occures resulting in a Lehman style Event though probability of that happening is low.What is certain is that till the Referendum happens the Global Financial Markets will be plunged in Volatility

4) The popularity of all major political parties is low with 14-22% approval ratings.Nobody knows whether such unpopular politicians can convince the public of anything let alone a complex referendum which will be decided by emotional appeals rather than a logical cost benefit analysis

5) European Leaders were blindsided by this sudden decision of the Greek government and many consider it a betrayal after going through such painstaking negotiations over the past few months to hammer out a deal.Some consider it as Blackmail by Greece to the whole European Union.Sarkozy is “dismayed” by the Greek plan, Le Monde newspaper reported, citing unnamed people close to Sarkozy.


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Abhishek Shah

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