Today is Monday the 29th of July. I am writing this from London, the city where I have built my career and life upon graduating from business school. I am Greek and I am one of the thousands who has taken this opportunity to study and live abroad, as a European citizen. Greece is one of the 28 members of the European Union.
Yesterdau was the first day in Greece that the banks were closed since the Greek Prime Minister announced a referendum to take place on Sunday the 5th of July upon the latest terms of the bailout agreement. I will not be able to vote in this referendum once again, as many other Greeks currently living abroad. We may be paying taxes in Greece, yet we are withheld the right to vote in the Greek embassy. But this is a different subject.
It is very disappointing to see what is going on in Greece right now, with populist politicians making an appeal to emotions on events that have happened in the past (like for example the famous NO that the then-Greek Prime Minister and dictator Ioannis Metaxas said to Italy's Mussolini and then resulted in the German's occupation in WWII) to direct people's vote towards a NO. My non-Greek friends have urged me to write posts on social media in Greek, in order to help fellow Greeks understand what will happen if they vote for a NO. The truth is, Greeks do not want to hear about why the NO option is a bad choice. They want to hear why the YES option is a good choice. What is it that will change from the existing situation by voting YES? Right now, Greeks are in the same psychological mood they were five months ago; they want to see change. They have seen the economic crisis, the results of severe austerity measures from the previous years, the poverty and the unemployment, and they are trying to grasp the latest light of hope in the form of change. But, is this hope for real?
I have been exchanging ideas with fellow Greeks in social media: Greeks that are highly educated, living in Greece or abroad. Both supporters of YES and NO have the same underlying question: what will change after July the 6th? Neither side would like to see Greece outside of the Eurozone or EU for the sake of it. Both sides hope that there will be a change for the best.
So there you are -- this is not a blog post in favor of YES or NO. This is a post to urge the EU and Greece's government to state what exactly will happen after the referendum on the 5th of July. What will change in Greece? Because this is the true question of the referendum. Not a vote against the bailout agreement and measures, neither a vote against or in favor of the Euro, but a vote for the day after.
What we know, with regards to NO, is that the result will be an equivalent of a 'suicide' as Jean-Claude Junker has said.
But what will change with the YES? Will the existing Greek government actually get a deal on the bailout? Will they have to resign as the deal implied in the question is full of austerity measures? And what will that mean for the Greeks and their future?