As you may have heard, the Greek nation has been going though a serious debt crisis, and has been for nearly five years. This past weekend, it culminated in a nationwide referendum vote regarding whether to accept additional debt bailout money from other European nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This money would go towards paying their sky-high debt of 320 billion Euros, which is currently owned by a number of European countries and global financial institutions.
On Sunday, the Greek people voted “NO” to taking additional foreign assistance. This decision came after two previous bailouts, both of which came with harsh conditions. Greece was required to overhaul their economy, streamline the government, and eliminate tax evasion. Unfortunately, their economy has shrunk since then and unemployment is at nearly 25%. This time around, similar conditions would come with this new bailout money, which is why they voted no.
The European Union is extremely worried about what next steps the Greek government will take. If the Greeks choose to leave the Eurozone and stop using the Euro, it is believed that this action could have widespread repercussions on the region’s financial stability. EU leaders are frustrated and are asking the Greeks to come to an agreement on how to pay down their debt by this Sunday. They’ve already defaulted on a loan from the IMF this past Tuesday; the next debt payment will be due at the end of July to the European Central Bank. If there is no plan by then, the ECB will have to leave the Greeks to fend for themselves.
Meanwhile, Greek citizens are terrified. They’re lining up at ATMs and banks across the country to withdraw their money. No one knows what will happen next. Hopefully the Greeks will come up with an emergency plan quickly to stabilize their country and the entire European region.
More info can be found via the New York Times.