Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Greek day of decision

Published:Sunday | July 5, 2015 | 7:00 AM
A banner reading ''NO for democracy and for dignity'' referring to today's referendum was placed outside a Greek Orthodox church at Monastiraki square in central Athens yesterday.

ATHENS, Greece (AP):

Whether Greeks decide in today's referendum to accept their lenders' bailout deal or reject it, the government's hold on power may be shakier than its brash prime minister has calculated, analysts say.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is banking on fellow Greeks to deliver a resounding 'no' in the popular vote that he believes will give him strong leverage in his negotiations with creditors to swing a softer bailout deal for a country ravaged by years of harsh austerity, deep recession and crushing poverty.

A win for the 'no' campaign, the reasoning goes, could also furnish Tsipras with an endorsement for his five-month rule and allow his government to consolidate and extend its grip on power.

That may not be the case, analysts say, since a 'no' vote could still plunge Tsipras' position into uncertainty if negotiations drag on with lenders who see such an outcome as a Greek snub of the euro. Without a quick deal, banks could stay shuttered to keep their reserves from running dry.

A win for the 'yes' campaign could cast Tsipras' public mandate into doubt and force him to broaden his coalition government.

The new government may have Tsipras' radical left Syriza party at its core, but the cabinet's composition could change to include "respected personalities who can be recruited to fill that role".