Portugal divided over ‘no’ in Greece’s historic referendum

Portugal’s political parties are divided over the victory of the ‘no’ vote in Greece’s historic referendum yesterday (July 5), with some celebrating the news and others taking a more cautious approach and reminding all that Greece still has a “big debt to pay back”.

While representatives from the PSD/CDS-PP coalition government say the Greek government now has “the responsibility to present a solution to the deadlock it has created”, Portugal’s Socialist Party (PS) stressed that “the Greek voted against a proposal, not against the Euro or Europe” and that it still believes the country can reach an agreement with its creditors.

Euro MP for the Communist Party (PCP) João Ferreira said the referendum was “an important defeat for the European Union and the IMF”, while spokesperson for the Left Bloc (BE) Catarina Martins considered it “a great lesson to Europe” that showed that the Greeks “chose democracy over blackmailing”.

Shortly before it was announced that the ‘no’ had won, Portuguese PM Pedro Passos Coelho had said that “no matter what the Greeks voted, Greece still had a big debt to pay back” and that he hoped this was not “forgotten”.

In a nutshell, the victory of the ‘no’ means that the Greek population has refused a billion euro deal in exchange for more austerity.

Whether this will put the final nail in the coffin of the negotiations between Euro politicians and Greece is still a mystery.

What effect it will have on countries such as Portugal is also unknown. While Passos Coelho has admitted that no country is immune to a possible “Grexit”, he has guaranteed that Portugal is prepared to brace the financial storm that might be coming.

Meantime, the Greek government is expected to start renegotiating its debts with its creditors today (July 6).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Holland will also be meeting today in Paris to discuss the results of the referendum.

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