61-39 isn’t 43-43


With more than 87% of votes counted, preliminary results showed more than 61% of voters had cast ballots against creditors’ demands in the historic referendum — a heavier-than-expected victory for the “no” campaign against the austerity policies demanded by Greece’s lenders, the rest of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Tsipras might soon find it difficult to deliver on his promise to secure a more lenient bailout deal from Europe, where other governments, led by Germany, are in no mood to offer Greece more generous terms.

So there will be no civil war due to the 43-43 split forecast by pollsters, but there will be huge problems with this outcome. Let’s go back 5 years, when everyone was speculating about contagion: who’s next after Greece? Once again that may be an issue. For example Italy is awash in government debt at 135% or so of GDP. Increased concessions to Greece by the IMF, EU and ECB translate into an obvious political strategy elsewhere: hold a referendum.

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