July 5, 2015
Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460
Washington, DC – The resounding victory for the “No” vote in Greece’s referendum today shows that the vast majority of Greeks agree with the vast majority of economists that the European authorities' program has failed and offers no hope for the future, Center for Economic and Policy Research Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said. The New York Times reports that with 40 percent of ballots counted, the “No” vote was carrying the day with over 60 percent, despite “Ads predicting doomsday scenarios and long newspaper articles on the plight of retirees [that had] been coming fast and furious from Greece’s oligarch-dominated news organizations, which critics say are all in on the yes side."
Weisbrot has recently appeared on a number of U.S. and international news programs to explain the failures of the past six years of austerity and the alternatives needed for Greece to recover, including the PBS Newshour, CNN International, Al Jazeera English and Huff Post Live.
“This is a triumph for democracy in the face of massive intimidation, media manipulation and deliberate strangling of the Greek financial system, all in order to force a 'yes' vote,” Weisbrot said. “This reaffirms the strong mandate the people of Greece have given the Syriza-led government to pursue an alternative path to allow the Greek economy to recover and end the prolonged economic downturn that has resulted from the policies pushed on Greece by the troika.
“The ECB and its partners in punishing Greece should be chastened by this show of resistance, and ideally would return to negotiations with the Greek government with a sincerity and good faith that they have yet to exhibit so far. The international community should also pressure the troika to change course, as members of the U.S. Congress did in a letter to the IMF last week.”