On the 5th of July one of two things will end: either Greek democracy as regards economic policy or Greece’s Euro membership. Not a pleasant choice. Negotiations between the left-wing Greek government and the Troika had made little progress over the last months. When prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum on the Troika’s final offer, the reaction was swift. Democratic decision-making is not part of economic policy making in Europe. Fiscal policy has to follow the rules and debt has to be serviced.
According to the European Commission the Greek government has unilaterally left the negotiating table. The German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and the head of the Eurogroup and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, thus concluded that the Greek rescue plan ends on Tuesday. The ECB is pulling the plug and has announced that it will not increase the size of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA). Less technically: no further short-term money for Greek banks. Greek banks are in intensive care. The ECB’s doctors haven’t switched off life support, but they have powered it down. Greece’s Euro membership has effectively been suspended. As a consequence Greek banks have been shut down and cash withdrawals have been rationed. The Greek people should experience, before the referendum, what life is like without the Euro….
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