On Sunday, Greeks overwhelmingly voted against their international creditors’ conditions for further financial aid. The result will most likely deepen the rift between Greece and the rest of Europe and push the country closer to bankruptcy and an exit from the euro.
More than 61% of Greek citizens voted “no” in Sunday’s referendum on austerity measures that European and International Monetary Fund officials demanded in recent meetings.
In response to heightened uncertainty, investors have sent the prices of equities and commodities sharply downward.
West Texas Intermediate fell $4.40 to close at $52.53 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent for August settlement declined $3.78 to $56.54 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange; the lowest closing price since April 8.
However, for those who wish to see Greece stay in the EU, there was some good news this morning. Greece’s outspoken finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, resigned, removing a major hurdle to any deal to keep the Mediterranean nation in the EU after Greeks voted to back the government in rejecting the austerity terms of a financial bailout.
Varoufakis, an “erratic Marxist” economist and old buddy of the Greek Prime Minister, infuriated EU partners with his unconventional style and bombastic lectures, and had campaigned for Sunday’s sweeping ‘No’ vote, accusing Greece’ creditors of “terrorism”.
Elsewhere in international markets, the euro fell against the dollar on Asian exchanges after the setback for Europe’s monetary union, and European shares and bonds took a hit when markets opened after the weekend.
Asian stocks experienced the biggest daily fall in two years, but Varoufakis’ departure softened the impact in Europe, maintaining a sliver of hope for a deal to keep Greece in the EU.