After months of deliberation and consternation, European political leaders both inside an out of the single currency have
finally patched together a more forward-thinking agenda to save Greece. But now, the word from Athens is, ‘we’re not sure.’ Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has called for a referendum on the bailout package. The press and markets have both reacted with shock, and not just a little horror.
This new twist in what is tantamount to political and economic torture has also affected Papandreou’s cabinet, with one colleague resigning; leaving his hold on power even more tenuous. It seems this move has taken everyone by surprise and this signals that the waiting game will continue until, it’s now projected, January. But before the referendum, the Greek Prime Minister is to hold a “vote of confidence” sometime next week, as if the riots and homeless on the streets aren’t already an accurate barometer of the current climate.
As CNN reported, one economic expert, Gary Jenkins of Evolution Securities had this to say “The prime minister will be hoping for a vote in favor to strengthen his mandate, but if the Greek population votes against, it will leave the IMF and Greece’s European partners in a very difficult situation.” One can only imagine the repercussions a negative response will have – undoing months of careful (and tedious) financial and political diplomacy – furthering the question mark over the euro. Breaths are being held, but for how long?