Greece


Supports of the 'no' vote celebrate in Athens on the night of July 5.

Leaders of Latin American left-wing governments have congratulated the Greek government and its people after Greece's historic July 5 referendum. Voters rejected debt austerity proposals by Greece's European lenders.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “The ‘no’ vote in Greece is a victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

Streets in cities across Greece has erupted into celebrations as results from Sunday’s referendum showed voters clearly rejecting the bailout terms put forward by the country’s lenders.

With over 91 percent of the votes counted, from nearly 9 million voters, the "No" vote rejecting the bailout terms from European Creditors continues to be well ahead in the polls.


Marchers in Athens reject austerity and demands of Greece's creditors, July 3.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro voiced solidarity with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras on June 30 after Greece failed to pay US$1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuelanalysis.com said on July 1.

“I want to officially express solidarity to Prime Minister Tsipras and the Greek people on behalf of Venezuela,” Venezuela's socialist leader said on his weekly television program shortly after the IMF deadline.

Across Africa, western Asia and Latin America in the 1980s, the growth of per capita GDP was brought to a halt. This was not a recession, it was a severe depression. And its cause was reckless lending by banks in the ’70s.

A decade earlier, the euro currency had been invented. US dollars deposited in non-US banks and held there to avoid restrictions of US laws became negotiable financial instruments. These formed the basis for an unregulated market specialising in short-term loans.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) released figures in April showing the International Monetary Fund had made €2.5 billion of profit out of its loans to Greece since 2010.

With Greece missing its June 30, deadline for a €1.6 billion payment to the IMF, the figure fell to €900 billion. But JDC said if Greece repays the IMF in full, the figure will rise to €4.3 billion by 2024.

The ALBA bloc, comprised of 12 Latin American and Caribbean nations, expressed its support to Greece, as the Mediterranean country continues to renegotiate its debt with eurozone lenders.

In a statement June 28, the bloc, which calls itself a “People’s Trade Treaty,” said it stands with the Greek people and the SYRIZA government against the "destructive consequences of neoliberal transnational capital," which regional organization said looks to subvert Greek democracy through financial measures.

The message from the mainstream media and parties across Europe is Greece is to blame for its own predicament. But a growing grass-roots movement across the continent is pushing for an alternative approach that demands democracy, not austerity.

In a speech to the Belgian parliament on June 10, conservative Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel declared that “the end of the Greek holiday has sounded.”


Sydney protest in solidarity with Greece, June 28. Photo by Peter Boyle

Protests are being planned in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Armidale and Brisbane in coming days in support of the Greek people and its elected SYRIZA-led government.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on June 26 that a referendum will be called over the bailout deal being proposed for the country by Greece's creditors. The deal is pushed by the "Troika" of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

Tsipras called an urgent cabinet meeting earlier that day, and later announced to the press plans for the a referendum on July 5. Citizens will be asked “yes” or “no” to creditors’ proposals. Tsipras has asked the Greek ministerial council to call the referendum.

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