The people in Greece has voted “no” on a national referendum that determined whether Greece should accept the European Union’s demands for further austerity measures in order to receive additional EU bailout funds (The New York Times - 7/5/2015). The vote secures the political future of Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, giving him additional political power to fight for a more favorable financial package from the EU leaders.

Even though the vote signals that the people of Greece oppose additional austerity measures, it does by no way show any significant support for Greece to leave either the Euro currency or the EU. Furthermore, people voting for the austerity vote should not be interpreted as people simply supporting the austerity measures but instead signifies the fear that Greece might be expelled from the EU if austerity measure was not implemented.

Simply, Greece does not want to leave the EU or abandon the currency. It simply does not accept the austerity measures imposed by the EU leaders.

Whether Prime Minister Tsipras’ ability to lift Greece out of the current miserable situation is a question for further debate, but the EU's poor performance in helping Greece brings the question on whether there ought to be a change in leadership in the EU to avert a crisis that might permanently damage the union. The austerity measures brought forth by Germany has the predictable outcome of shrinking Greece’s GDP, which would make it even harder for the country to raise funds to pay for the perpetual financial obligations for years to come.

Should Germany step aside and let other none-austery-centric nation take leadership in Europe? Perhaps.

Or perhaps the existing EU leadership should abandon austerity talks and start a serious conversation on measures on forgiving parts of Greece’s debt. This potential route might cost hundreds of billions of Euros, which is a substantial amount of money. But if there is an attainable, money amount that can avert the possibility of the EU’s slow demise, even several hundreds of billions of Euros might not be a bad amount.

The EU leadership now probably faces the most daunting test that would see whether the European Project survives or slowly deteriorates due the leadership’s refusal to lend a real hand towards Greece.


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