November 1st, 2011
04:09 PM GMT
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London (CNN)  – The Greek government’s call for a referendum on its aid package is effectively a high-risk game of chicken with its people - and the eurozone peers who have kept the country afloat, analysts say.

Last night’s surprise move by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to seek the people’s voice on the unpopular rescue package plunged European markets deep in the red on open Tuesday, as they scrambled to understand the sudden lurch away from last week’s acceptance of the triple-pronged euro crisis response plan.

The European rescue plan - despite a lack of detail - was the substantive response markets had been seeking for months. But Papandreou’s move has thrown the plans into disarray.

Eurozone crisis fears are again sweeping the world - but this time, with more urgency than ever.

Greece, the country which triggered the crisis with its original bailout in May last year, has until now essentially played ball with the Troika - made up of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank - as it implemented harsh austerity measures in return for rescue funds. Now, it’s gone off track.

Stephen Gallo, head of market analysis at Schneider Foreign Exchange, calls Papandreou’s move “like shock therapy. This is a massive game of chicken. Greece has bargaining chips …if Greece leaves the euro that is it.”

As Greece seeks to assert some sovereignty from the Troika, Gallo notes, it risks bringing down the entire European project.

The move faces down European leaders who have already risked their political futures to keep Greece afloat, and the project alive. Earlier today German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy leader held an emergency call on the issue, after which they declared the immediate implementation of Europe’s crisis plan. These, the subsequent communiqué said, “are necessary now more than ever.”

A referendum would also force the Greek people - including those who have been tearing up the streets with their protests against the austerity measures - to face their harsh reality, Elisabeth Afseth, of Evolution Securities, says. “It’s easy to say ‘we don’t like [the austerity measures]’ but they don’t have an alternative,” Afseth notes. But Papandreou’s move, she adds, is “a very, very risky strategy.”

Should the rescue package be voted down via a referendum, the Greek people risk the unknown but almost certainly economically devastating consequences of messy default and potential exit from the eurozone. With polls showing 60% of Greeks opposed to the debt deal - but 70% of Greeks wanting to stay in the euro - the test will be which of the worst options will be picked.

But first, Papandreou must win a confidence vote in the government. While this morning he could have considered this a given, his position has became more fragile by the hour.

Lawmaker Milena Apostolaki has defected, leaving him with a majority of only two in Parliament. Greece's opposition leader Antonis Samaras has called for snap elections.

If the confidence vote fails, an election will likely follow and the referendum shelved, according to Royal Bank of Scotland analysts.

If it doesn’t, a referendum could take place early next year, with volatility likely to rule the markets as politicians’ comments are scrutinized as to what could follow a "no" vote, they add.



soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. http://phoenixtrader.blogspot.com/

    Who is going to pay for this debt for eternity. The banks who assisted the Greek government is faking and hiding the numbers?

    The $100K MBAs and others who collected their bonuses for doing this quality of credit analysis? Papandreou’s move is to let the people decide. And that is how it should be for once rather than the fraud that democracy is becoming…political / corporate nexus and selling out people.

    Commonsense….they need to get their own currency and get on with the consequences. Are they to sell their sovereignty? To whom? Germany? China? Their crony politicians?

    This is all a dangerous territory. The only solution is to cut them free

    November 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  2. Big willy

    Europe should kick them out of the Euro. Suck up the looses why should German and French tax payers pay for a welfare society??? SUCK IT UP, TAKE THE HIT NOW RATHER THEN LATER. No one has the stones especially Germany. (-::

    November 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  3. Stavros

    Papandreou messed up.
    And now he sees that he can't unmess things,and calls for a referendum,so he can blame the Greek people afterwards.

    November 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  4. douglasjames

    They still live in the Glory of Ancient Greece. They really have not come that far! Olive oil, Sun, Sun, Olive Oil and a little fishing on the side. Run back to Pericles, Plato, Socrates, and all the other boys of Greece and leave the E.U.

    November 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  5. YS

    The Greeks arrived at this crossroads due to decades of political corruption. It is with that in mind that people should advocate high penalties for corruption in all walks of public life (politics, the economy, the media, etc). Instead, corruption not only goes unpanished, and not only in Greece, but it get rewarded. The results should not surprise anyone.

    November 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  6. lared

    And these are Greek Orthodox.......so holy and special.......lol

    November 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  7. Nuno

    All europe is doomed
    except same ol same ol germany that will continue to sell VWs BMWs and MERCEDES to the rest of the world

    November 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  8. Max

    Actually there are many nations in Europe richer then Germany (higher GDP per capita and also lower debt). These are Nations like Holland, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg. It`s funny how Germany always catching headlines (as the biggest of the strong nations) make some people think it`s the strongest and only successful nation in Europe. If they had build a Euro and EU around the strongest nations in Europe we wouldn`t have been in this situation with Greece holding the world hostage with it`s finances.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  9. Andy

    Someone should also explain the Greeks, that in New-post-Euro-drachmas all imported goods will cost one gazillion times more. Just a hint here.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  10. JoePrefet

    I think the Greek PM just doesn't like the feel of being dictated to and the idea of selling his countrymen out by selling the government owned business', losing 10,000 jobs, etc. The EU is all too eager to gobble those assets up and the PM knows that. The EU had big eyes in believing that they may have an in so they can totally dictate to them and had this referendum not come along they would have eased into that position smiling like the Chishire Cat! The US is very much like that as well, we love to get our dirtly little fingers into everyone's pie so we can have "diplomatic" relations, which translates into dictation. I have seen the US at work having lived in a foreign country where the US had some of its military bases at one time and they called the shots and held that over the host governments head every chance they could get...it's called greed! The Greek PM is listening to the people, granted they may not completely understand what the full ramifications are, never the less it is what the people want. So, if they want to succeed from the EU, have at it. Try it, why not? Go back to the greek currency and try to make it work. Tighten up your belts, live moderately and conservatively for a while until the value can go up. Make wise investments in greek comodies and grow from there!! Don't let the EU in fight for your sovereignty...ask Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, what it is like having "big brother" always "advising" you on your best interests!!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  11. Luis

    Europe must finish this non sense, let the Greeks alone, don´t put good money in to bad one, take the losses and try to contein Spain and Italy, for them is not enogh money even in china to bail them out
    You cannot have a monetary union without a fiscal one, the Greek problem is a ball of snow, better to deal it now even if is painful, , freeze all Greek assets or what is left to pay even a small part and chau chau Euro for Greece.
    This is complete stupidity, is like asking a seek baby if he wants to take a painful injection, sure he needs or he dies but he will say no anyway
    This need to be an example for other countries that cheats, at the end someone need to pay for the broken glasses

    November 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  12. JoePrefet

    Commodities...sorry.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  13. Tony Papadopoulos

    I love how everyone has something to say about Greece as if they are the only country in debt ! The U.S. has more debt in dollars per person than Greece and yet Americans seem to be all on their high horse thinking with their ridiculous opinions as if the Greek people made this mess. Its not the Greek "PEOPLE"'s fault, its the Greek Govt and EU's fault this is happening, the people work hard and try to pay their bills like anyone else so don't be suprised when Greece wants to exercise its democracy through referendum and not follow IMF and EU's ridiculous bailout plans that only put the country back in to more debt. The world will not end if Greece defaults and this is just scare tactics to make Greek's accept these ridiculous penalties for something they do not deserve...

    November 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  14. Francisco

    I'm from Portugal, one of the most currupt countrys in Europe, the politicians are interested only in safeguarding the banks with incredible penalties for the people. There is no recovery and after accession to the EU in 1985 all of our primary industry was destroyed by the interests of Western Europe, increasing import taxes in exchange for funds. Nowadays without the EU funds we are a country whose only survival remains only in services, tourism and public and private monopolistic market.

    The same is true in Greece and all countries of Southern Europe. I approve the measure in Greece and I hope the situation will expand to other countries, the Euro is a currency that only protects the shark Germany who is finally able to do what could not in the 2nd world war.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  15. Goran

    For 20 and more years, we the Macedonians were talking loudly about who greeks are and what kind of liars, thieves and xenophobiacs are.
    1913 – they steal half of Macedonia; 2011 – they steal EU nations money
    1991 – the lie about the Macedonian name; 2011 – they lie about their economic performances and debt
    1991 – the hate the Macedonians; 2011 – they hate everybody else (Germans, French, Slovaks, IMF, IBRD, EU...)
    YOU DO THE MATH WHO ARE YOU DEALING WITH.
    LONG LIVE MACEDONIA!!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  16. Anpadh

    It does not matter, really, what happens. If Greek stays in the Euro, the level of failure will be relatively low - 50%. If Greek opts out of the Euro, it can default on 100% of its debt. Either way, there will be severe consequences for Greece and for the world. If Greece stays within the Euro and defaults on 50% while making arrangements to pay the remaining 50%, Greek people will suffer under austerity measures. If Greece defaults on more than 50%, the entire country will be forced to live in poverty, getting no more than free food from the rest of the world. Nobody will lend it any money to buy anything. It won't be able to sell anything as anything it exports will be written off against its defaulted debt.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  17. Kat

    What a wonderful world it would be without bankers and politicians etc.
    What is wrong with asking a nation to decide what they want because they(unions/activists) can not accept authority of any kind..Incidently have disappeared overnight!!
    Don't forget the silent majority who suffer daily disruption in their effort to work and survive. Maybe a chance for them to speak at last. 'Twill be interesting to see which sentiment will be more logical..
    Not surprised Greek Prime Minister made this move!!
    If you play with fire you get burned-so be it..The choice is yours..

    November 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  18. louis

    papandreau is a gutless,spineless coward and as a greek i am ashamed

    November 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  19. nasosk

    Great, another propaganda of no alternative.
    @Goran You can't steal something thats its your right?
    "How great are the dangers I face to win a good name in Athens"

    November 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  20. Goran

    This is 5th actual bancruptcy of Greece:
    1827 – irational building of the Corinth channel and spending money on buying deserted islands in the Aegean sea from the Turks causes the first bancrupt (saved by multinational consortium dominated by Germans and French)
    1873-1897 – takes 9 international loans (total 490 mil. golden francs) for buing arms and starts war with Turkey to occupy Constantinople which of course loses (saved by International Control Commission dominated by Germans, Austrians, Russians and British)
    1921 – starts another war with Turkey (of course loses again) at total cost of over 1 bil. golden francs (saved by British)
    1932 – total falure of the economy (partly because of the great depression) causes military hunta to take power screen play previously seen in nazi Germany and fascist Italy.
    1979 – total colaps of the economy (saved bu the European Economic Community by accepting the membership of the country besades the negative reccomentation of the EC and poor, unstabel and unreliable economic and political performances).
    2011 – ....

    November 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  21. Goran

    Congratulations, now every decent European has wife, two children, a dog and a greek in his house.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  22. Alex

    This is beautiful–let the people decide. After all, it's a democracy, and it's the people who will have to pay for the sins of the politicians and the financial elites. And don't forget that the Germans pushed and pushed for a large eurozone without closer integration. And the Germans who have benefitted the most from the free trading zone in Europe. And the Germans who still owe the Greeks enormous sums in war reparations from the Second World War. This entire debate has been skewed by a dominant narrative that serves Europe's financial elites and richest countries, but leaves ordinary Greeks out of the picture but picking up the tab. No matter which way they vote, Greeks will end up paying the bill, but at least this way they get to decide how they want it to go down. Good for them.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  23. Georgios

    It is good to let the people decide, after all it is about them also. In Iceland the people voted against a not very different agreement and the negotiations started again. There are always alternatives. The reason why Europe is in that situation is German and French banks. They made "risky" investments in Greek bonds that carried high interest. For two years Europe has "helped" Greece by lending Greece high-interest loans so that they could pay the banks back. So no risk for the banks that far but the interest rate remained high. Germany and the rest of the mob borrow themselves with 2,5% and lend the same money to Greece with 4-5%. Who can pay that back? So no wonder we are in that situation. The timing of course is convenient. The majority of toxic debt has been transferred to the European taxpayer.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  24. Greg

    How many Turkey is going to pay to EU for the Greece ??? it would be best solutions. EU would left problem, Turkey would bring Greeks back to proper order. Someone has to learn Greeks how to work. Turks are best teachers for them.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  25. Artur de Freitas

    Sorry Greece, I'm expelling your country from the EU and economic sanctions will be applied if you don't pay your debt on time. I don't want one more cent of my tax to reach your country since I need to create jobs and better the life in my own country. Bye Bye.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  26. Goran

    Again it is everybody's fault, but greeks' Georgios. It was Germans giving 13th and 14th pay check in the year enriched by Christmas bonus, it was French retiring at 55, it was British making tax evasion of over $20 bil. a year, it was Dutch buying weapons for 15% of the GDP every year, it was Italians taking extra bonuses for "riscky" professions like cab drivers, hair stylists and doormen, yes Georgios it is world plot against your nation!!!???

    November 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  27. Johnson

    Greece really does have to be expelled from the Eurozone. They will never repay their debts nor will they pay their taxes. Actually, they should be kicked out of the EU.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  28. jack

    let the Turks invade em.

    November 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  29. panic

    WW3 IS COMING!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  30. JJ60

    Greece doesn't have the most efficient economy in the world, one can see that. But neither does any country. We all got screwed in this mess. A lot of money disappeared, but someone received it. Who were "they"? Where did it go? USA spent trillions on Iraq and Afghanistan. We payed it, "they" took it. Presumably "they" were American contractors, so the money fed back into the US economy. Now it's debt, we'll pay for it now. Did it trickle down? Will you see this money in reduced taxes or lower inflation? I doubt it. Robbed again, USA. But where did it go? Someone received your money, no doubt. It didn't evaporate. And now you owe it! Vote your conscience in 2012. Who is robbing us?

    November 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  31. Alex

    Oh, and hey, Goran: you are nuts! Lovely, but man, what a loony bin you are living in. I mean, I'm all hurray for Macedonia, but any idiot with an atlas and some demographic projections can see that Macedonia will go half to Albania and half to Bulgaria within a couple of generations, max. In the long run, Greeks are more your friends than enemies. And of course their name obsession is stupid, in part, though they are right on the substance. I mean, if I were a puny little country with basically no clear, discernible national history and I also happen to be located in Balkans, I would do my very best to make as many local friends as possible. Gotta watch out for those wolves, they're howling at your doorstep! :)

    November 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  32. Alex

    Right on, JJ60! Average people all across Europe and the USA have more in common then what separates them. And we've all been raked over the coals by the same dirty lot of bankers and politicians. Portuguese workers, the Spanish unemployed, Greeks in the street, stressed out German taxpayers and Occupy Wall Street activists are basically brothers and sisters, and it's time we all figured this out and stood by each other.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  33. Ftty

    Well said Goran(your second entry). Greece always had a great desire to that "never-won" war with Turks. I am not sure whether this desire was the entire Greek public's point of view, but sure it was the nationalist goverments' in the past. The past nationalist governments have never had a proper acknowledge how to run a country. Whenever they were stuck, they always tried to create a dispute/debate with Turks. They always thought that this would draw Greek public's attention on something diffrent than their wrong policies. They even kept supporting PKK terrorism against their neighbours, provided ring leader Abdullah Ocalan with a Greek Cypriot passport in order to help him to escape to Italy, did'nt they. When Ocalan was cought in Africa, a cypriot passport found on him in the name of Mr Lazaros Avros! They were doing this back stabbing, low-belt attack to the Turks when actually the Turks were dealing with a bad economy. This PKK war, whic is still on, cost the Turks millions of dollars but despite that Turks managed to stand up and today they are one of the most powerful and rising economy in the Europe. Their mistake thou, they are still trying to be a part of this Christian unite even when this unite currently dealing with worst economy ever. I want Greek readers to forgive me what I will say but, I guess this is Greek's turn to deal with deficit and economic turmoil. They did not really care when their neighbours were dealing with all that.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  34. Bored of Greece

    Greece lied about their situation so they could get in the EU. They should be kicked out and made to pay for all their bad management if the rest of the EU is to regain any sort of confidence in it's system.

    Better focus on keeping Italy and the other PIIGS members out of the bankruptcy that could follow if people stop lending them money after the Greece debacle. Either way no more money for Greece, let it sink alone like the irresponsible country it is.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  35. trex

    The Greek people have been avoiding taxes left and right, while the Government has been expanding its workforce. If ALL Greeks paid into the taxes for THEIR state, this issue would be fixed in the long run.. Its always about FAIRNESS.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  36. Adam

    The article mentioned that we dont have a choice if we dont accept the IMF measures. Well, your wrong ! We do have a choice and its called defaulting and starting new. It will be the EU banks that will take the hit, we will start again this time keeping our own assets to use in rebuilding the nation. Stop the scaremongering, you are just terrified that other countries will follow suit. Power to the Greek people, its time to end this sick "Coorporatism" from spreading.

    And for those that say we should be kicked out of the EU. lol. I cetainly agree. You only wish you had the courage to stand up to your own governments and the economic policies they force on to you.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  37. warrior

    This is for Gorak! hey, skopiane, you don't have a country! you little town stole the name Macedonia, ...Macedonia is
    Hellenic, and that is all. so, get a life, and find a hole to crawl.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  38. warrior

    this is for Greg. you Mr. turk will not succeed....you are not wise enough to be our teachers! come and we will teach you a good lesson be a Greek! GREECE 4 EVER!

    November 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  39. Steve Portaro

    who needs Greece I say let them sink

    November 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  40. markjuliansmith

    Greece plays chicken with our wealth – or whats left of it.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  41. Athens

    when Greece built acropolis , the other nations didn't even exist in the earth... Goran i was wondering if take u much time to think of it to wrote your comment well i prefer to take u for a slave .United States want to destroy European Union and the Euro .They found easy target Greece...

    November 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  42. Jean-Francois Regnauld

    If there ever was a doubt, now clearly I believe Greece should be taken out of the Euro as soon as possible. Yes, it will be very costly on both sides, but certainly not as much if they stay in the Eurozone and, most importantly, it will show the other highly indebted European states that the European community means business.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  43. Daph18

    The problem Papandreou has is that he cannot control his country. Now he is leaving it up the the third world people to decide its fate? What a complete disgrace to the world. Lets pull out any aid and let them do down the tubes. What value do they add? They are just leaches of the world.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  44. Ftty

    Dear "nationalist" greek friends. Beleive or not, this chauvinist ideas and comment of yours have brought to where you are today. to the complete failure. You were always in debt eversince you managed to get your free state from the Turks in 18th centruy. Guess who provoked and helped you to carry out your independency fight against Turks...I will tell you who, English. because they did not want Russia to get access to Mediterannian Sea by using Aegean channel... Then later they have provoked you to create countless wars against Ottoman Turks but of course it was not for free. you kept fighting with Turks, spending money and then got loans from English and France! in 1921 you have even tried to occupy the part of the Turkey with your allies England, France, Italy...You managed to occupy Izmir but the Turks swept you away shortly after, one more time. You KEPT fighting with your old friends, even thou they ruled your country in peace/deficit free until the 18th century. you backstabbed them! They had hundred of thousands of greek, jewish, armenian people in their countrey over 600 years, they did treat you like friends but what you all did? BACKSTABBED them. And then when the Turks started to defend their country, you and your armaniean friends accused them for carrying out a genocide. When defending contry of own started to call genocide! you were not the occupiers, invaiders but they were genociders! after all these "English and France" controlled Greek-Turkish wars created a huge debt for you, and now again these English/French "friends" of yours are trying to give you some money to save you for a moment but make you a slave for the years/ decades to come! Open yours eyes! you guys are dellusional and deserved where you are now. Sorry to say that but facts are always bitter to hear!

    November 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  45. gliese42

    Lets look at us the US of America and we too are in a bad shape despite whatever Obama claims and we can't keep on printing money and helping nations like Pakistan or aid agencies like UNESCO if we can't help ourselves

    November 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  46. gliese42

    Ftty @ stop playing games with the greeks or you will end up like Troy

    November 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  47. George

    @Goran: I wonder how you're even allowed to post such stupidity. But i guess this page is not only for the inteligent. When did slavs have any connection with Ancient history and Alexander the Great?? But i guess when you have no history you will try to STEAL IT. But i understand your frustration, its ok ;)But, anyway..this is not the topic here. Of course Greece is to be blamed for the situation they have brought them selvs in to, but why no one is not blaming the banks? Would you ever repeatedly lend money to a broke person? Do you think banks did it because of pitty? German banks lend money to Greece and Greeks went buying German products.

    November 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  48. Andyvon

    Stop beating the Greek people over the head – it's a waste of time!

    'Austerity measures' are not the answer for Greece's bankruptcy – in fact they won't even scratch the surface. As with a bankrupt private citizen who has no hope of repaying their debts, Greece's creditors are going to have to write-off her debts and realise they have lost their money. That will protect Greece from her creditors and allow her to put that bad times behind her and move forward. Whether the creditors like it or not – that's what they ARE going to have to do!

    November 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  49. Zilan

    @Andyvon so it is ok for the rest of the world to continue falling into financial despair as long as Greece can put it behind them?

    November 1, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  50. Ftty

    Gliese42, how can you compare your economy to America!!! How can you compare your debts! you dont know a thing if you are making such comparassions dude. Yes, agree on that USA is also struggling with defecit, that is why they keep creating wars in middle east, they van only boos their economy by owning more"free oil" and selling guns to all side of the war, even to Afgans... the reason you cannot compare yourselves to them is that they still can produce, they still have agricultural and scientific power...tell me what do you have? your stupid pride! sorry mate, but I have no problem with decent greek people, such a lovely country... but at the same time i have no problems with Turks either. All I know that They are the success story(despite having collapse of an empire, being attacked by european countries including yours and given a independecy war against you, winning it and creating a fresh brand new republic, dealing with all games of USA and bad neighbours, dealing with bad governments and PKK terrorism, on the other end Armenian/greek problems) and now look where they are! all I am saying that take your sunglases off, stop doing siesta and get back to work, work hard and produce produce produce...this is the only way you can get out of this problem dude...

    November 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  51. Michael

    When we all look at our national square of the board it is very difficult to see the whole picture. Let's just assume that the Eurozone is one of the funny experiments with communicating vessels in the chemistry lab. Each nation got a bigger or smaller tube in which they poored all their euro and then the tubes were connected among echother with one single tube,for simplicity sake we can call that tube the EU banking system . Now as in the experiment, some of that liquid started circulating between nations using the banking system but the different countries could still apply more or less pressure on their end to controll the level of the liquid and we can call this the fiscal policies. What happened with Greeece was that they got a tube which leeked and to cover that they borrowed more from the other countries through the connecting tube. When the crisis hit, the hole in the Greek tube became larger as rust started to eat at it, call it speculators. This is where everything went wrong. Instead of helping the Greeks in repairing the tube the other countries decided to poor more euros directly in the Greek tube to make sure that the balance in their own countries is not affected. Later it became obvious that this will not solve the problem but to keep the system running they had to keep filling the Greek tube, the Eurozone leaders even said that they don't want half of the lost liquid back, if the Greek government just fixes the tube. Now, even using this simple model it is quite obvious that if Greece defaults or decides to break away the entire system will loose "water", a lot of it. It is not even certain if the great national governments can get together and decide fast enough on how to put a lid on the pipe in such a case before everything is lost. The moral of the story is that the problems of Greece are everybody's concern. We all have money in the same pot. I just wonder how can the other governments just stand and quarrel for two years now on what to do. It took them too long, the rusty speculators ate the Greek tube ferociously and now the Greeks themselves might decide to take their chances, break away the system and hope to keep some of the liquid when they take the fall. I doubt this could ever turn out a happy end for anybody. We are part of the same system and we should help Greece fix their problems and not try to coerce them into dealing with it alone by imposing absurd austerity measures. However, this comes with its own price as active help of this kind means intervention which equals less national suveranity in more policy areas such as taxation, public administration or justice. Which government would be willing to take that bold sep? At the way nationalist trends spring up these days, no wonder our politicians chose to pay Greece up, cross their fingers and hope bad things would go away. But will they?

    November 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  52. Wallaby

    The Greek people get a choice? I'm thinking that back here in the US of A we didn't get a choice about the bank bail-outs. Maybe the Greeks are not so far behind in their evolution. Sure it may be a political ploy but we have those all the time here. What we haven't been, is enough of a democracy to let our own citizens choose on major issues and at this point the Cons / Libs and Democrats and Republicans have no interest in us having a say. Our wallets aren't thick enough to influence our leaders and our own consequences for corrupt political and business behavior are laughable. Simply put our captains of industry and politics like it the way it is. The Greeks cannot say no? Sure they can, the word is 'OXI' and its is pronounced similar to 'okay' in English. We've been saying okay a lot here too bad no one gets 'no'.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  53. Stephen

    Doesn't anyone else find it ironic that just a few days after this monumental agreement between the Euro members that Greece is all of a sudden in effect saying thanks, but no thanks?

    Wasn't it Venizelos and Papandreou who stood arm in arm with Merkozy and pronounced unity time and time again? What changed?

    Let me take a stab at it and see what you think – For the 356897997th time, the Europeans once again FAILED to address the real problem facing Greece and Europe as a whole: A monetary union is from the beginning a doomed project if there is no fiscal union. There is no common Central Bank, the ECB is independent to any country and has no influence in decision making in each individual member. Every state is responsible for its own affairs and there is never a common policy.

    THERE HAS TO BE A FISCAL UNION. This means Eurobonds, one central government, one central bank and one hell of a – lot easier way to control all of Europe. Someone said, the United States wants the Euro to fail. – that is absolutely ridiculous. Another person is talking about Greeks and their bankruptcy over the years. If you think about the modern day country of Greece, what do you remember? 1820's they gained independence after 400+ years of brutal occupation (sorry FTTY, but Turks are no friends of ours and yes, there was genocide to the Armenians). After that you had countless wars: Greco-Turkish Wars, Two World Wars, A brutal Civil War/Communist Revolution up until the 1960's only wars. So, a country that from the 1400s perse had not been independent and war-free can not provide the same type of democratic society that other countries can. Greek politicians were puppets...then and now. Puppets to the British, the Americans, the French and so on. The corruption you speak of – dont look any further than the squeaky clean germans and companies like Siemens who bribed Greek politicians over 100 million euros over the last 10 years. This is fact and you can google it. Greece spends 5% of GDP on defense and for what? Because we are going to war with turkey? No, those two countries have seen plenty of war and have no reason to go again. But, because without the threat, there is no sale of weapons. And guess where the greeks bought their weapons: Submarines (which btw didnt work properly) from Germany, Mirages from France and so on. Imports into Greece come exclusively from these countries at lets call them favorable prices. Dont believe everything you see. Yes, the greeks are at fault for a lot, but to understand Greece you have to be Greek. The people dont trust the politicians cause they are all corrupt, so they dont want to pay taxes so their money is not swindled. By not paying taxes, they dont have enough revenue so they borrow – from European Banks at high interest.

    If I was voting on the referendum, I would vote against it. I would immediately tell every creditor – the terms are 100 years at 4% or nothing at all. If thats not acceptable, then change the law and default. Some idiot said that they should just not pay Greece for exports to account for the unpaid debt – yeah um thats not how importing/exporting works. It is done by companies not states and companies are for profit enterprises that couldnt give a damn about what the state defaulted on. Furthermore, if you have been following the recent developments in Greece, you will see two very important relationships being developed – one with the Chinese and one with Arabs. Greece just signed a 5bln Euro deal with Qatar for investment in Greece. Greece and China have been expanding their relationship at a very fast rate. The Chinese have taken a 25% stake in the biggest port in SE Europe that will undoubtedly give them access to Europe for the export market. Greece can leave the Euro and bring back the drachma. Maybe it pegs its currency to the Yuan? That would certainly be an interesting one. The point is – this move was calculated and not done on a brain fart by Papandreou. Somebody, somewhere has a plan and I can assure you that there is a greater objective than playing a cat and mouse game with the greek people.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  54. jose

    let's see if I understand the right-wingers and fascists: They agree with elections when it's supposed to elect candidates chosen by the elites and assassins like in Libya, where they call elections amid a terrorist war and genocide of pro-Gadhaffi tribes. If this election put on power a US puppet, it's a fine and valid election. Now, if the election is supposed to end with a result that goes against the interests of US/NATO terrorists, bankers, elites and pathetic fascist genocides governments like Sarkozy and Merkel, it's a null election, a election that's not democratic, a leftist movement... Sometimes I have difficult to understand right-wingers... maybe that's why I still couldn't understand what US/NATO terrorists meant when they said "protect civilians" in Libya. Someday I may be a greedy rich rat, then it's possible I can understand the mind of the right-wingers rats... for now I'm a worker and a decent person who support the Greece referendum and is proud to say that I NEVER voted and WILL NEVER vote in any right-winger / US/NATO rat.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  55. crow

    Pity
    many bullish from many idiots they do not know that a systemic crisis exist wright now.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  56. crow

    Wake up bloody stupid animals.
    Is not greece or Italy or Portugal the problem.
    Problems are you the same you support your thieves, who try hard to put you down , and in the end to work with the salaries of India.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:03 am |
  57. ILLYRIAN TRIBE

    t's a shame to see this happen to the Greek innocent people. They who were once a thriving, educationally and politically advanced society have amounted to riots and violence because of the political MORONS that have sold them out. A couple of days ago i found out that in the greek parliament, was located a fitness gym and a bathhouse for the treatment of the poltician, maby because of hard hours work, that was outrages to me, i mean with greek people's money to do this is unacceptable i dont how greeks feel bout this.

    To all the Greek people: YOU know what's right and what's WRONG. DON'T let any of these blow hards cloaked in executive suits and the flag of a nation deceive you!

    November 2, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  58. David

    Talk about bias reporting from CNN. It is clear that you guys are part of the problem and not the solution with such blatant headlines like this which clearly show your bias.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  59. brian

    why not give the greek people a voice. you are shoving this down their throats. if they do not accept austerity, that is their choice. As for the euro, it is all a bunch of crock. The currency is fake and should be abolished. Germany and France should stop bullying the rest of the European Union. This will only benefit the 1%, and the 99% suffer. screw this. tell the rich to eat their ill gotten gains.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  60. brian

    also, there is so little detail about this rescue package, there is probably a lot of hidden agenda in it, making France and Germany more richer in the end. Im afraid that this rescue package will screw the greek. The Greek president did the right thing by asking his people to tell him their opinion on the rescue package. It is really not much for the greek people . the real problem was created by France and Germany. Germany in the past has always wanted to dominate the european continent. we really do not need that.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  61. sopome

    so then, now they want to skip out after noticing that even if they stay in the eurozone its gonna be a hard piece of work?
    purlease! get out! but youll pay back every damn cent of bailout money you got in the last 15 months! happy mega-recession babes, give them a month with drachme and theyll so be crying for the euro back!

    November 2, 2011 at 1:05 am |
  62. Panagiotis Athanasopoulos

    People, in all honesty I'm quite frustrated on what I'm reading, most comments have a hatred I really cannot understand. I mean are these comments coming after serious thinking on the matter or is it just because "TV says Greeks took ma money"="Greeks baaaad" and then try to find and write the most offensive thing they can come up with. Isn't the average Greek citizen waking up in the morning kissing his family goodbye and going to work like everyone in this world? why people put such hatred like specifically the Greek citizen is an exception to the world and plots to steal their money, trick them etc. Do you honestly believe that anyone in this world deserves to be ridiculed, starved, lose his freedom or invaded because his country went bankrupt? Isn't this guy the old colleague, the guy your father fought side by side on WWII, the friend you just went for a drink? In all seriousness, like everyone posting here does not know every unethical thing his government is up to neither Greeks knew their government faked statistics and such. Funny thing is that the other EU governments knew it thought (some faked theirs as well, just Google it). I mean honestly, do the people posting here knew what their country's deficit, dept, GDP, swap etc was, for instance, on 2003? did each one of you writing these horrendous things here double-checked these numbers provided by your government in case his government was lying? have a nice evening.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  63. André Kliousoff (São Paulo / Brasil)

    It´s "funny" how the europeans are doing exactly what the latin american countries did in 1970's and 1980's. The next step is a fight against FMI or a debt moratorium? You´re tasting your own poison now.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  64. jack

    Interesting how the media is so closely in cahoots with business to push everyone into giving up their sovereignty and turning Europe into one political/regulatory zone to benefit business. media articles relentlessly act as though there's a clear good guy and bad guy here, good guy = yielding sovereignty to europe-wide authorities, bad guy = wanting to retain sovereignty. you'd almost thought the media was run by large corporations itself. oops, forgot that was actually true.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  65. martin

    People, don't you get it? We are ALL victims of the system that is behind this...the 2nd time already (1929). All of our money has been occupied slow pace and now the final drain begins.

    Don't blame the greeks, spanish, italians, germans – blame those who are now laughing their a**es off...those who are blackmailing whole nations and waiting for access to the EFSF jackpot. These people don't think in nations or morality, they think in personal profits and they give a sh** on even their own nationalities.

    First thing they gonna do, when the drain peaked, is to buy gold, minerals, oil and all that stuff that really is of value in the forthcoming crisis – right when major currencies will dramatically loose their values. Later on, when new currencies pop in and the situation is settled, they will exchange all these goods for even higher amounts of money and the story continues.

    If you start to blame each other, this will end really bad for everybody (literally). Modify the monetary system with its debts and loans, get it finally under control, identify the blackmailers and force them to pay back what they took from us - to finally end this sick loop of crashs and rises.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  66. PUBLIC POLICY

    THERE IS A BIGGER PROBLEM HERE: HOW CAN YOU HAVE ECONOMIC INTEGRATION WITHOUT POLITICAL INTEGRATION?

    CLASSIC COLLECTIVE ACTION PROBLEM: INDIVIDUALLY RATIONAL DECISION (LEGITIMACY IN GREECE) CAN LEAD TO COLLECTIVELY IRRATIONAL OUTCOME (EURO MELTDOWN)

    A RELATED PROBLEM HERE IS THE PROBLEM OF CREDIBLE COMMITMENT: UNLESS THIS PROBLEM IS SOLVED, THERE WILL BE MORE CHICKEN GAMES TO COME AND THE EURO SKEPTICS WLL COME TO ROOST

    November 2, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  67. Pero Prov

    This text is ultimately biased. Why should a PM be blamed for asking the people to confirm or deny a decision?

    It is his duty to act according to the will of the Greek people, and while the whole of Europe is panicking about the national debt, the Greek government is asked to sacrifice (the wellbeing of) the people it serves.

    The reality they face now, is that if they accept the package they will have to be paying the bailout for generations to come. Their education, their health system and all the state backed services will deteriorate. At least, if they refuse, they will have the chance to rebuild.

    I'm a Macedonian, and as such, no fan of the Greece politics. However, it is the most rational expectation from a leader of a country to act for the benefit of his people. If the people of Greece don't want to accept a nicely wrapped pair of shackles, so be it. It is their own right.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  68. Nick

    Greece and many other countries have the same problem. Greece just admitted first to their financial problems, and now the rest of the world is using Greece as a scape goat to hide their own problems. Its common sense that Greece can pay the debt back. Why did the EU give Greece so much money in the first place. Where were the controls and the audits back then. Who authorize all this money. Now they cant clean up their mess and they blame the Greeks.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  69. LKJ

    The Greeks invented democracy. Now they're reminding the world how it's done. I'm very proud of my fellow Greeks right now, and I'm sure they will do what is best for their country.

    November 2, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  70. nasosk

    Assumptions, misinformations, irrational truths, seriously I'm curious where you get your truth out of?
    You choose to recognize as truth, only the parts that match your belief and knowledge.

    An object may truthfully be said to have this or that attribute, as in the statement
    "This object exists," whereas the statement "This object is true" or "false" is meaningless.

    @Pero So you calling yourself Macedonian? You ever been to a museum/exhibition about your country's history?
    too see artifacts, admiring the art etc etc? If yes.
    Excellent.
    Able to read the language? ;p

    November 2, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  71. valwayne

    The hard working thrifty Germans in particular are bailing out the lazy debt ridden Greeks, who now sound exaclty like the Occupy WallStree folks, without the Anti-Semitism. They seem to think it is their natural born right to have the hard working thrifty folks of Europe/Germany pay for them not to work and spend money they don't have. I say cut the lazy ungrateful no-good deadbeats off and kick them out of the EU. Let the deadbeats work it out on their own. There has to be a point where you say enough is enough! And Obama is turning our nation into Greece at record speed!!!

    November 2, 2011 at 3:01 am |
  72. Nik

    We have to accept the bad actions towards almost all european people, as the governments are NOT CAPABLE of solving the problems. It´s hard to mention it, but the corruption is enormeous. The leaders don´t really care about the people, therefore, they always raise taxes, but they don´t use them properly.
    Only thing it´s possible to do is to wait for the help, which won´t come soon, as the protests and manifestations don´t function.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:03 am |
  73. Chris

    Hi PeroProv,

    you say you are macedonian. that means you are living in greece, as macedonia is a greek province. so what are you writing about? makes no sense. or do you mean you are from the nation of macedonia, a name which as far as i remember is not internationally recognized. then please clarify that first. i am not greek, but sorry, have to side with greece. you cannot just pick a neighbours name, give it to yourself and expect others to recognize it. thanks to your own founding fathers, your nation got up on the wrong foot already the very first day.

    November 2, 2011 at 3:19 am |
  74. Nick

    People DONOT put all the Greeks in the same category. There are those of us who work as hard as any other hard working person in other countries. We work, we pay our taxes and now we are getting the short end of the stick. Just remember if Greece goes bust, the depression of 1929 will be childs play compared with what will follow. Lets hope for all our children that this never happens

    November 2, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  75. hopium2012

    hope and change – all they need is hope and change! look how good it worked in the USA

    obama 2012
    he likes his 747 and free house with car and driver

    keep hope alive suckas!

    November 2, 2011 at 4:10 am |
  76. Alex K

    It's official. George Papndreaou is out of his mind. Who agrees?

    Poll: Is Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou out of his mind?
    Link: http://www.wepolls.com/p/4565514/

    November 2, 2011 at 5:00 am |
  77. TonyK

    You people that throw stones at Papandreou don't know ziltsh. What would democracy look like if he went ahead and did
    things on his own?
    The people rule and the people decide. Bravo to Papandreou and his team. All countries need transparent leaders like
    him. We have had enough of Clintons and Bushes. We need to make decisions ourselves where we are going.
    The man is right and he does what his heart tells him. BRAVO.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:12 am |
  78. TonyK

    In case people missed it, Papandreou is going after the thieves that brought the country to it"s knees.
    He will not be able to catch them unless he has a strong base. Those politicians that shout the loudest, are part of the thievery and cover up. They need to be exposed and punished, Good luck to Him. So people lay off. He is doing what democracy is all about. It's birthplace is Greece, and we support the man.
    The opposition party that shouts so loud, was the party that all the thievery was taking place. No one of these thieves has been caught and punished and it's high time to do it now.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:23 am |
  79. Paul Johnston, PhD Economics

    LETTING GREECE IN THE EU WAS A FARCE AND A FRAUD TO BEGIN WITH. THEY MUST LEAVE THE EU NOW OR TAKE ALL THE EU DOWN WITH THEM!

    November 2, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  80. EU's turn now

    EU should have a referendum: keep Greece in, or get rid of it?!

    November 2, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  81. nasosk

    @Paul And you seriously believe the EU governments wasn't familiar that greece wasn't ready?
    Get your facts again, Germany, France knew it and they used goldman sacks to hide temporary the debt.
    France and Germany are making a huge revenue on Greece's back, you are economist you should
    know that.
    Whatever happens, as it goes, the new major natural gas/oil will be is israel – cyprus. If that occurs, the 2 ways to pipe
    them to europe it's either greece or turkey. Not that a hard choise right? plus they need greece to continue buy all
    the military equipments from EU.
    If EU really wanted to bail out greece, they would only need to stop the military market to greece and protect them. (Its Union right?) Funny fact that went France offered free ship to greece, germany try to stop it, because they would loose money.

    And you keep blaming greece? lol

    November 2, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  82. Beicime

    Greece shows desrespect for Europe and the rest of the world I expelled them from the EU with immediate effect for I'm not paying taxes in France and Germany to help those guys ruin my investments any further. And the Greeks should have been intelligent enough to know that they were voting for a government that had no means to deliver the promises and now they are collectively responsible for their stupidity and ignorance.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  83. Zuhaib Gull

    "By the People, For the People."

    Isn't that how ideal governments are supposed to operate?

    1776 anyone?

    November 2, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  84. Elena

    Greeks DO NOT want any referendum!!!! Greeks wants to stay in EU and EUR! Its sad that we can not be heard. Its sad that dangerous politicians give this impression of Greeks to the rest of the world! I knew our politicians are idiots and dangerous I just didnt know how much...I have just learned that.

    We need to be rescued at political not economic level, we need to shout out 'STOP PLAYING YOUR POLITICAL GAME AND GET TO WORK'....unfortunately none will listen

    Poor Greece, it hurts to see this outcome and the worse that is yet to come.

    Thanks,
    Elena.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  85. Kici

    Greece is hopeless

    November 2, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  86. Athens

    These people are really dengerous! They put the whole country in stake once again, Greeks DO NOT want any referendum. We just want to move on, to get rid of this corrupted system we live in, with Germans here? Why not,
    since we are unable to deal with anything, YES with Germans in Athens.

    Its just so sad for my country!

    November 2, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  87. Christos Konstas

    The "rescue" plan agreed lacks dignity for the people of Greece. That's why it's unacceptable. The EU leaders failed to come up with an acceptable, for the people, plan and the Greek PM correctly understood that this cannot be enforced unless the people agree to follow it.

    November 2, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  88. Mandy Laiou

    The Greek rescue plan is nonexistent. It is really sad to hear all these antigreek propaganda talking about lazy greeks that spend the hard earned North european money. The situation is much more complex than this ..

    November 2, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  89. Athens

    The situation is not complex. Its easy to pu the blame to bad Europeans who hate us...we have done that for many decades. What we have never done is to look ourselves and to be held accountable for our actions. Its time to do that, unfortunately too late.
    P.S. I love Greece this is why i am saying all these, no time for hide anymore!

    November 2, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  90. Achilles

    Greece financial crisis is like a black hole for the European economy as closer you get the further you fall. I believe It's the right moment for the European politics to wake up from the delussion of saving Grecce, because that's the death sentence for the Eurozone.

    November 2, 2011 at 8:43 am |
  91. tariq

    i got no money no h0ney for me but i want to buy a car may be house than...............fool people

    November 2, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  92. idi01

    Bravo Papandreou.
    I visit Greece frequently and I felt very sorry for Papandreou. Everyone is always kicking him and his austerity measures.
    Well now the Greeks can decide their own future. Whether the Greek people say yes or no, they won't be able to blame the prime minister.
    Hopefully the Greeks will say yes to the austerity measures and stop demonstrating and complaining, and start to work to recover their country.

    November 2, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  93. the storyteller

    Let's get this straight: we never WANTED a referendum, we never ASKED for one. At least I'm happy I did not vote for this disgrace of a government but I am beyond-words ASHAMED of being Greek right now. (Not that I was ever proud...)
    DISGUSTING...

    November 2, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  94. m bencivenga

    get these people out of europe they are corrupt , criminal and without any idea of responsibility
    that is a cruel truth but its nevertheless REALITY ! Europe should say good bye to the idea of
    romance and get into a state of control and REAL VALUES !

    November 2, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  95. med

    Greece will get what Greece deserves...as for the rest of the world take a look around...everything is still in perfect place...poverty, wars etc...thanx to YOUR LEADERS !

    November 2, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  96. alexia

    Goran, please lay off the drink. It's going to your head dude.

    November 2, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  97. Athens

    What I can confirm is that Greeks want the change, what they dont want is the rediculus politicians they have

    November 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  98. David Parry

    How does Greece service its debts whilst the world waits for its referendum? Does Greece not need more bail-out money before the end of the year and is this money not dependent on compliance with the terms required by the Euro-zone?

    November 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  99. MaKedon

    Karma is a $#*$$ is it not?...you try and steal history, you try and steal land, you try and change names. you try and change flags??

    God is watching, believe me.

    Liars, theives, cheats is what your government is.

    LOVE LIVE MACEDONIA!!

    November 21, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  100. Does it even matter?

    @Goran; do you really believe so? I mean, come on, how are we thieves, liars? Listen to our side of the whole story, you think that WE, Greeks stole Macedonia? Man, it's not money, it's not things, it's LAND! If you read History you'll see that Macedonia was and is a part of Greece... Plus, can you judge us? Who gave you the right to judge Greece when your country is not better either? Oh God, I really like your jokes, or wait do you believe in your words/jokes? Well, I can say that IF Greece leaves Europezone your glamorous and so loved country (Macedonia) will NOT live long. It's a fact, believe it or not it's the truth. ;)

    February 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  101. ra

    Do really believe that a nation whose people are choking under the austerity measures set by the euro zone leader’s want more austerity measure? A lot of Greek people are on the streets, unemployed, job cuts, salary cuts and their future ruined by austerity want more austerity. Really? Seriously? The facts are obvious, the money sultans of the Euro zone want it sufficient time to setup the election in their favor, to twist the hands of the corrupt politician in Greece and make it look like the majority want it this package. But, the reality of the streets of Greece say something very different. It’s a sad story when reporters don’t do investigative work anymore, and simply reads of a script giving to them by somebody else. As the saying goes ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

    June 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
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