The Greeks became the first in history that went to vote with the banks closed and said "NO" to austerity
July 2015. For five years, Greece has been under a memorandum regime of the EU and the IMF. The salvation promised, eliminated 1/4 of the GDP - the equivalent of what Germany lost in WWI. The debt, however, didn't diminish, but grew bigger.
For the first time, Greek people can decide by referendum if they are going to say "YES" or "NO" to austerity.
Greek media that are financed by private banks by means of loan and publicity packages, threaten that Armageddon will strike if the Greek people vote for "NO". Journalists broadcast false news and even show photos from South Africa. Whoever disagrees is banned from the TV screen.
At the same time, the EU and the political status quo send a clear message: voting "NO" means being banned from the euro.
The voters listened to the warnings and the threats and made their decision. Well aware of the potential consequences, they said "NO".
But everyone wanted to give its own interpretation to the result of the referendum. The EU have always had its view on referendums and democracy. In the EU, if your vote is 'wrong' you have to try again until you get it right. When the Danes voted "NO" to the Maastricht Treaty and the Irish to the Treaty of Nice, the referendums were repeated. When the French and the Dutch rejected the EU constitution, the EU went on to include it in the Treaty of Lisbon. And as the Irish said "NO" to the Treaty as well, they had to vote again.
The EU ignored the result of the Greek referendum along with the PM that had announced it. The new Tsipras administration imposes some of the harsher austerity measures that the country has seen. At the same time, it sells out public assets starting from the ports and the airports.
Before the elections in January 2015, SYRIZA promised to write off most of the debt. But this promise has gone in less than a day after the election.
The EU sees that the government does not keep its promises, even before the negotiation, and begins a relentless attack.
The first blow comes from the ECB once more. Right after the inauguration of the new government, it stops accepting Greek bonds as a guarantee, forcing the banks to resort to the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA). This way, Frankfurt can cut off liquidity any time sinking the economy into chaos.
The ECB made sure that the Greek banks will be closed the week of the referendum. This way, sent a clear message to the Greek people. However, against all predictions, the referendum was not lost. The Greeks became the first in history that went to vote with the banks closed and said "NO" to austerity. But its voice meant nothing to the EU, or, the Greek government.