fbpx
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeBusinessGreece votes No: experts respond

Greece votes No: experts respond

Costas Milas, University of Liverpool; George Kyris, University of Birmingham, and Richard Holden, UNSW Australia

The Greek people have voted, saying a resounding No to the terms of the bailout deal offered by their international creditors. What will this mean for Greece, the euro and the future of the EU? Our experts explain what happens next.

Costas Milas, Professor of Finance, University of Liverpool

Greek voters have confirmed their support for their prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, who now has the extremely challenging task of renegotiating a “better” deal for his country.

Nevertheless, time is very short. Greece’s economic situation is critical. On July 2, Greek banks reportedly had only €500m in cash reserves. This buffer is not even 0.5% of the €120 billion deposits that Greek citizens have to their names. It is only capital controls preventing Greek banks from collapsing under the strain of withdrawal.

Basic mathematical calculations reveal how desperate the situation is. There are roughly 9.9m registered Greek voters. Assume that – irrespective of whether they voted Yes or No – some 2.8m voters (that is, a very modest 28.2% of the total number of registered voters) decide to withdraw their daily limit of €60 from cash machines on Monday morning. Following this pattern, banks will run out of cash in three days and therefore collapse (note: 3 x 2.8m x 60 ≈ 500m).

There is therefore very little time for the Greek government to strike the deal with their creditors that will instantaneously give the ECB the “green light” to inject additional Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) to Greek banks to support their cash buffer and save them from collapse. In other words, Greece does not have the luxury of playing “hard ball” with its creditors. An agreement has to be imminent.

Financial markets, expected to start very nervously on Monday morning, will probably stay relatively calm as the reality of the economic situation spelled out above is more likely than not to lead to some sort of agreement (provided, of course, that Greece’s creditors will listen to Tsipras). Whether this agreement is good for the Greeks, this is an entirely different story.

ALSO ON 263Chat:  RBZ Measures Fail To Restrain Exchange Rate Spike

Richard Holden, Professor of economics, UNSW Australia

By calling this referendum and shutting off negotiations for nearly a week, the Syriza party has brought the Greek banking system very close to insolvency. Greece can’t print euros so Greek banks will soon need to issue IOUs, or the demand for money will not be met, leading to utter chaos. Who will accept these? How will they be valued? These are big, scary questions to which nobody knows the answer.

By voting No, Greece has tied the hands of European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. As a matter of politics there’s not much he can do in the short-term and with Greek banks insolvent he may not be able to do anything simply as a matter of law.

At least one if not all the major Greek banks are likely to fail early this week. When this happens, the Greek economy will essentially come to a halt. Nobody knows what will happen, but it surely won’t be good.

The other depressing consequence of the No vote is that Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’s promise to resign if his fellow citizens voted Yes will not come about. It has been abundantly clear that Syriza representatives have been miles out of their depth from the time they took office.

Everyone with real knowledge and experience of financial markets and liquidity crises told them to stop playing chicken with the IMF and ECB. They should start listening immediately.

ALSO ON 263Chat:  Steward Bank to set up more ATMs countrywide

George Kyris, Lecturer in International and European Politics, University of Birmingham

A historic referendum for Greece and Europe tells a very interesting story. While results indicate that a sizeable 61% rejected existing policies towards the Greek crisis, polls have consistently shown that the majority of Greeks want to remain in the eurozone. This exposes the success of Syriza based on its populism, which has allowed Greeks to think that they can stay a credible member of the EU, while at the same time taking unilateral decisions and refusing to recognise the obligations of their eurozone membership.

This not only creates unrealistic expectations but it is also a very sad result for the relationship between the EU and its citizens, which, once again, falls victim to national governments’ short-term strategies. In this climate of unrealistic expectations, the Greek government embarks on a mission impossible to secure a better deal for the country, where economic, political and social peace has been seriously undermined in the past few months and week especially.

The first reactions of Greece’s EU partners to the No vote are far from positive.

In his address after the referendum, Alexis Tsipras indicated the formation of an ad hoc national council with the participation of major political parties to prepare the negotiation strategy. The next few days will show if a more united Greek front is possible and capable of improving things for the crisis-hit country.

More to comeThe Conversation

Costas Milas is Professor of Finance at University of Liverpool.
George Kyris is Lecturer in International and European Politics at University of Birmingham.
Richard Holden is Professor of Economics at UNSW Australia.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Share this article
Written by

263Chat is a Zimbabwean media organisation focused on encouraging & participating in progressive national dialogue

No comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

You cannot copy content of this page