Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, the European commission and council presidents:
With today's approval by the Greek Parliament of the revised economic programme, the country has taken an important step forward along the necessary path of fiscal consolidation and growth-enhancing structural reform. But it has also taken a vital step back – from the very grave scenario of default. This was a vote of national responsibility.Max Johnson of forex specialists, Currency Solutions (and just about everybody else):
And so another 10p looks set to be put into the meter of Greece's financial life support machine. With the Greek economy in intensive care, the Athens government finally has the mandate it needs to prescribe more bitter economic medicine. The Eurozone is now likely to approve a second bailout but there's every danger that the medicine will kill the patient.From here
Few Greeks look like they will take it lying down either. The popular anger convulsing the streets of Athens with strikes and protests will surely get worse.
There is every possibility that poorer Greeks, who will be hit hardest by the austerity measures, will simply refuse to pay their taxes. If that happens the prospects of a Greek default will go from highly likely to inevitable, plunging the country into the abyss and undermining any benefit the austerity measures may have had.
Paul Mason on the violence in Athens:
What Greece is being forced to do is threatening the legitimacy of a democratically elected government and putting at risk the legitimacy of the political system in general. And the question for the EU and IMF is simple: is it worth it?