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Sunday, July 05, 2015 1:01 PM

Knife-Edge Greek Referendum; Voting Booths Closed; Four Polls Show 'No' in Slight Lead; Schäuble Campaigned For 'No'

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Greek Voting Closed

Voting in the Greek referendum is now closed.

Four independent polls, not exit polls, show the 'No' vote against Troika servitude in a slight lead. The polls are within the margin of error.

That all polls show the same direction increases the likelihood that 'No' will win the day. However, there are so many undecided voters, this can go either way.

Knife-Edge Referendum

The Financial Times reports Polls Close in Knife-Edge Greek Referendum

Greeks cast their ballots on Sunday in a controversial referendum called just one week ago that may determine the country’s future as a member of the eurozone.

Four opinion surveys published as the polls closed indicated a narrow lead for the No camp, ranging from 51.5 per cent to 54 per cent. But the margin of error in the surveys — which are not exit polls — was 2-2.5 per cent, leaving the outcome Greece’s first referendum in 40 years hard to call.

Greek banks are fast running out of cash. Yannis Stournaras, the Greek central bank governor, was due to call ECB president Mario Draghi on Sunday evening to plead for more emergency loans. The ECB governing council is scheduled to hold a conference call on Monday afternoon to decide on more support for Greece’s financial system.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Tsipras fought through a crowd of at least 100 camera crews packed into a school in central Athens to cast his vote. Addressing the scrum of reporters afterwards, Mr Tsipras said his country had the right to determine its own “destiny” in Europe.

“No one can ignore the will of the people to live, to live with determination, to take their destiny into their own hands,” he said, looking relaxed and smiling in an open-necked white shirt with his sleeves rolled up.

Several voters leaving a polling station in central Athens said they were confused by the convoluted, 72-word question, which referred to two technical documents, “the current [bailout] programme” and a “preliminary debt sustainability analysis”.

“If you hadn’t followed the campaign this past week and just read the question on the ballot paper you would have no idea what the vote was really about,” said Aristea, a civil servant in her 40s.

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s hardline finance minister, damped hopes of any rapid bailout deal following a Yes vote. Any further negotiations would be “on a completely new basis and under difficult economic conditions”, he told Bild newspaper on Saturday.
Schäuble Effectively Campaigned For 'No'

That Schäuble said any further negotiations would be on a "completely new basis and under difficult economic conditions" even if Greeks voted yes, essentially tells Greeks they may as well vote no.

Schäuble has clearly had enough of Greece, even if chancellor Angela Merkel hasn't.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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