Why we recommend a NO in the referendum – in 6 short bullet points

I disagree Yanis for the reasons I explained at Sky News this morning from London. See here for my response.

Yanis Varoufakis

  1. Negotiations have stalled because Greece’s creditors (a) refused to reduce our un-payable public debt and (b) insisted that it should be repaid ‘parametrically’ by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren
  2. The IMF, the United States’ government, many other governments around the globe, and most independent economists believe — along with us — that the debt must be restructured.
  3. The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure
  4. Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own ‘final’ offer.
  5. Greece will stay in the euro.  Deposits in Greece’s banks are safe.  Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this…

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One thought on “Why we recommend a NO in the referendum – in 6 short bullet points

  1. I wanted to reply directly on the Varoufakis original blog but so far my reply is blocked `waiting for moderation’ so meanwhile I post a version of it here on iGlivanos’ page.

    Reply to Mr Varoufakis on his `Why we recommend NO’ blog post

    On point 5 I don’t follow your claim “Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations”. What I saw was that the Eurogroup was working to have the text ready Sat 27th June in time for prior actions by Greek parliament on Sunday 28th, ratification by EU parliaments on Monday 29th, in time for the deadline Tuesday June 30th. You must have known what would happen when you pulled out of all that, that was your decision. Pulling out, having a referendum July 5th and govt line being `no’ meant that ECB had no clear prospect of greek bank solvency and could not increase ELA according to their rules; you must have known what would happen. If you just wanted the Greek people’s mandate why did you not pre-schedule the referendum for Sunday June 28th just about in time for the June 30 deadline or better still the week before to give you the mandate you claim you lacked to finish the negotiations? Then the negotiations could have been completed in time and bank closures avoided.

    Concerning point 6, a big Yes will surely indicate to the EU that the Greek people are willing to accept something that is on the same page as what the creditors offered last week, a big No tells them that is not the case. Won’t No make it far harder then, not easier, to find something the Greek people and the creditors can agree to? The idea of Tsipras that they should vote No in order to strengthen his hand when his own offer to the creditors IS on the same page, is asking the entire Greek population to engage in the same game theory and brinkmanship as himself — not to say honestly what ballpark they agree to but to support him purely as pressure tactics. That is not an honest use of the democratic process and I think the people of Greece deserve better; if you are having a referendum, to be able to say how they honestly feel about the broad-brush choices (and not on some technical documents that are a finance minister’s job not theirs to follow). And as far as `democratic mandate’ is concerned aren’t you and Tsipras part of the duly elected govt of Greece and hence already treated fully by the creditors as negotiating on behalf of the people of Greece? So it seems to me as an outside observer that the decision to have this particular referendum on July 5th has brought a lot of misery to the people of Greece (which I read somewhere could cost 110 million euros) for no clear benefit to the people of Greece themselves.

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