The FTSE was down 2.6 per cent after opening as markets around the world reacted to last night’s sudden announcement.
Greek prime minister George Papandreou took many of his own parliament by surprise by saying that the hard-bargained agreement – that took months for Europe’s leaders to hammer out – will be put to a public ballot.
It will be the first referendum in Greece since 1974, when the monarchy was abolished by a landslide vote months after the collapse of a military dictatorship.
Mr Papandreou horrified other EU leaders yesterday by announcing that he will ask voters to approve the deal struck last week that would see 50 per cent of the country’s debts written off – but harsh austerity measures imposed for years to come.
A ‘no’ vote would prove catastrophic for the EU and could prompt a disorderly default on the country’s debts and an exit from the euro.
One recent poll showed that 59 per cent of Greeks think the new package is ‘negative’ or ‘probably negative’ for Greece.
Comment: “It’s outrageous letting the Greek people decide their own future. Anyone would think they lived in a democracy or something.”
None of the news breaking today will be any surprise to visitors who come here regularly and have been following this debacle. If there is anything new at all it is the sudden public awareness regarding how shaky this house of straw European socialists have built truly is and the exposure of the continual lies emanating from their “elite” as they try desperately to avoid the public lynching they so richly deserve.
One Prime Minister in a very small European country mutters one word — “referendum” — and the whole thing totters like it has just been caught in a 9.0 earthquake (with many aftershocks of equal intensity to follow).
How did that old story go?
“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll bloooowwwww your house down!!”
There may be some truth in it and in case anyone has missed the point it’s called “democracy” and as all are fully aware — it originated in Greece. I can’t blame them at all for returning to their roots and France and Germany (rocket scientists in their own tiny minds) should have seen this coming.
But they didn’t, did they? Or if they did it was a close held secret.
My view: Greece is better off out than in because in that way they can decide their own future rather than exist at the whims of a bunch of unelected “screwball” apparatchiks based in Brussels. I think they will recover rapidly once they divest themselves of this farce called the European Union and they will serve as a model for other countries caught up in the mess.
A house ‘built of lies’ and all that.