by Grandesso Federico

Greece is heading to uncharted waters as its people gave a clear “no” to lenders’ demand on austerity in Sunday’s referendum, a move further challenged the eurozone’s other 18 member states and the European Union institutions. As time is running out, a “good” agreement is in urgent need to save debt-torn Greece.

“We can not play with fire,” said Gianni Pittella, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, warning that “maybe someone did not understand” the severe consequences for the eurozone, euro and the European Union (EU) in case of “no agreement.”

He told Xinhua on Monday that, “now there are still political conditions to reopen negotiations, we have no alternatives; we don’t want Greece out of the eurozone. The NO vote of yesterday was a ‘no’ to austerity and for sure not a vote against Europe or euro. We have to restart negotiations with a new spirit based on solidarity. ”
According to Pittella, both sides have put more effort in negotiations. “In recent days we were close to a general agreement, on one side Greece will have to put aside some elements and to guarantee a real and concrete path of reforms while Europe will have to put on one side its rigidity and national egoism,” he said.

Senior trade expert Roberto Bruni said that Europe’s extreme wing parties, like UK’s UKIP, France’s Front National, Italy’s Lega Nord, Spain’s Podemos, have gained much negotiation power within their respective countries, thanks to Sunday’s vote, and they are going to challenge their governments on austerity program that have been implemented as well as the meaning of keep European Union as it is.

Bruni said that an agreement for Greece is possible due to emergency situation in the country, “but Tsipras will lose support in parliament and this will lead to general elections in Greece in next three months.”
Hardy Boeckle, spokesperson at the German Representation to the EU, told Xinhua, “the game will restart tomorrow, the Greek has said ‘no’ and now they will have to make a proposal on how to proceed.”

“If they want to negotiate, they have to tell what they are prepared to do. We are open to talk but it is up Greece to make a proposal and the resignation of the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will not change anything,” the spokesman added.

In Sunday’s referendum, 61.3 percent of voters were against the debt deal, compared with 38.7 percent voting in favor.

Heads of eurozone member states are set to meet on Tuesday to discuss situation after the referendum.
Since last Monday Greek banks have been closed and capital controls imposed to avert the sector’s collapse after the European emergency liquidity aid to local banking system was cut off. Enditem


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