If Tsipras hoped he could impress his EU partners by inviting voters to reject the creditors’ plan, their stark rebuke proved the extent to which he had missed the target. His ill-judged move forced an exacting Bank Holiday which is likely to last for some time even if the ‘yes’ vote prevails. Should the Greeks refuse to endorse an open clash with Europe, Tsipras would fail to command enough authority for the ensuing discussions with his partners. He should resign, leaving the task to a new Cabinet, with early elections bringing chaos in the current circumstances.
Should the ‘no’ vote prevail, banks would be unable to re-open as a run on deposits would rapidly deplete their available cash. Moreover, the State would fail to fulfill its current obligations as bonds could no longer meet the collateral requirements imposed by the ECB. The financial and public implosion would inevitably lead to the hurried introduction of a parallel currency, accelerating economic disintegration.
Huge devaluation and fresh inflationary bouts would cripple creditors, while rewarding bad payers and heavily indebted players. Contrary to the optimistic diagnosis of some illustrious economists, the shock would plunge Greece into recession and prevent any sound allocation of resources. It would probably fail to increase competitiveness in the future as salaries and prices get out of control, propelled by demagogic policies. It is up to Greek voters to decide whether they prefer accepting some further sacrifices or running the risk of collective bankruptcy.