The EU reacted to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s announcement that the country’s decision on whether to accept a bailout deal would be put to a national referendum by showing “contempt” and “disdain” for the very notion of democracy, according to Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
The announcement that Greek banks would be shut for a week was made after the European Central Bank said it would not provide any further emergency monetary support. ATMs remain open but they are running out of cash fast, despite the fact that Greeks are restricted to withdrawing just 60 euros ($66) a day.
After Tsipras announced the referendum for July 5, the ECB said it would refuse to extend a deadline on an €1.6bn payment to the IMF which is due on Tuesday. If Greece refuses to pay, it could exit the EU and prompt a crash of the Euro single currency.
However, perhaps the most shocking aspect of the whole situation is how the Eurogroup’s finance ministers reacted to the news that the Greek people would get to vote on the bailout.
According to Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, “The very idea that a government would consult its people on a problematic proposal put to it by the institutions was treated with incomprehension and often with disdain bordering on contempt.”
“I was even asked: “How do you expect common people to understand such complex issues?” Indeed, democracy did not have a good day in yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting!” he added.
Varoufakis’ revelations about how EU bureaucrats reacted with horror to the notion of the Greek people having a say in their own future again illustrates the inherently undemocratic and authoritarian nature of the European Union.
Current forecasts suggest that Greeks will probably vote to accept the bailout deal, with Varoufakis describing the “yes” vote as a “high probability,” although whether the EU is prepared to wait until the July 5 referendum remains to be seen.
In other developments;
– “Panic is mounting,” according to gas station owners, who warn that supplies are running dry. Supermarket shelves are also emptying as Greeks desperately stock up on food, with scenes being described as “mayhem”.
– Some betting firms in the UK have stopped taking bets on whether or not Greece will leave the EU because the situation is so unpredictable.
– Greece may not even have the funds available to finance the planned referendum.
– Heartbreaking photos are emerging of elderly Greeks outside banks being informed that they have no access to their money.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 29, 2015
– Billionaire Wilbur Ross warned this morning that civil disorder could hit the country. “Once there’s social unrest, which there will be before too long if this thing continues, no tourist is going to want to go to [Greece],” Ross told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.
– EU President Jean-Cleaude Juncker assertively lectured Greeks on how they should vote in the referendum, stating, “You shouldn’t commit suicide because you’re afraid of dying. You should say ‘yes’ regardless of what the question is.” Zero Hedge accused Juncker of engaging in “fearmongering” and “unabashed falsehoods.”
– It was announced today that some Greek banks will open on Thursday, but only for pension withdrawals which will be limited to 240 euros.
– A report released by the Bank of International Settlements yesterday omitted Greece from a map of euro zone countries. The Wall Street Journal described the omission as “an embarrassing error rather than a product of the BIS’s insight into the fate of the eurozone’s most troubled member.”
– Demand from Greek customers to purchase gold bullion surged over the weekend after the announcement of bank closures. The UK Mint announced that it had, “experienced twice the expected demand for Sovereign bullion coins from our customers based in Greece,” during the month of June.
– Some Greeks are blaming the Rothschilds, the City of London and the Federal Reserve for the crisis, asserting “they want to crush Greece.”
As Michael Snyder summarizes, “This is what a national financial meltdown looks like, and the nightmare that has been unleashed in Greece will soon start spreading to much of the rest of Europe.”