Referendum Now

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced minutes ago that he will proceed to a referendum on the new bailout plan that was agreed in the recent EU Summit Meeting. He will before ask for a vote of confidence, probably tomorrow, from the Greek Parliament. His decision aims to stop the internal PASOK resentment.

To understand the seriousness of the move, one needs only to reckon what will happen if the outcome of the referendum is negative.

A negative vote (i.e. a rejection of the current bail out plan) will certainly mean that we will have General elections to chose a new government with a new plan.

It is the second referendum taking place in Greece since 1974 when Greeks were called to approve or disapprove the Greek Monarchy.

George Papandreou also suggested a reform of the Greek Constitution and asked that, in the next General election, the political parties should commit to a common program of reforms. This will probably look like the Portuguese elections in June 2011 where the socialists and the righ-wing parties competed on who is the best to implement the same package of EU dictated measures.

3 responses to “Referendum Now

  1. wow – you’re quick!

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  2. shouldn’t he have made the referendum before he agreed on the package?

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    • The package measures must pass from vote in the Greek Parliament. If Papandreou brings the deal to the Parliament for vote before the referendum (151 out of 300 MPs needed – PASOK now has 153 members in the parliament) then the Parliament should make a new vote where at least 180 votes will be needed to approve the referendum. And for the referendum to be valid, at least 50% of the electorate should participate. I would expect that the logical thing to do is to have the referendum first and then vote about it in the Parliament. Otherwise we will see the paradox of the opposition voting No for the measures in the Parliament, then no in the Referendum (which will probably be negative) and then become the new government which will have to implement the exact same measures since they will have been passed already from the Parliament. Welcome to Greek Politics!

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