Sunday, June 28, 2015

In Two Polls a plurality of Greeks say they would vote to accept the Troika Proposal

According to greekreporter.com

In a poll conducted by Alco for the Greek newspaper ‘Proto Thema’, 57% of the participants said they would vote yes in the upcoming referendum, favoring a deal.

Another poll conducted by Kapa Research for ‘To Vima’ found that 47% of the population will vote yes approving the agreement, while 33% will vote ‘NO.’

According to the referendum, voters will be asked to respond to the following question: “Greek people are hereby asked to decide whether they accept a draft agreement document submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, at the Eurogroup meeting held on June 25.”

I am very surprised. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras called for the referendum (which has been approved by parliament) and advised Greeks to vote no. I just assumed that he had good reason to expect to win the referendum -- that he had internal polls or something.

I don't know what happened so I will speculate. It is possible that Tsipras is surprised too. It is also possible that he guessed (and guesses) that Greeks will vote yes. Finding himself in the minority in a referendum is preferable to finding himself with the confidence of a minority of parliament. If the referendum is held and a plurality vote yes, then it would be extremely unwise to vote no confidence in Tsipras because he obeyed the instructions of the people. Earlier, I argued that Tsipras can't just concede the the Troika proposal. But he can if voters tell him too. It is conceivable that he wants to concede (to the troika) and this is his strategy. Finally, it is even possible that he is being fully honest. He promised an end to austerity without Grexit. He might feel that he wasn't delegated the authority to decide which promise to keep, so he should ask the people. You know Democracy -- another one of those crazy Greek ideas.

It isn't clear to me that, even given these polls, Greece will make it to the July 5th referendum without defaulting. They owe a payment to the IMF due Tuesday June 30th. The Eurogroup must release some rescue money by Tuesday to prevent default. I think it certain that at least finance minister (cough Schauble cough) will oppose this. For the Eurogroup to cause default before a referendum in which polls suggest the people will accept the Troika's current bargaining proposal would be for it to prove that a blocking coalition of non Greeks is determined to achieve Grexit (presumably to make an example of Greece to scare the Spaniards). This would be moderately politically costly. I doubt that such proof would be very costly given public opinion about Greece and Greeks in important European countries Germany.

I won't try to guess if the one week loan to allow time for Greeks to say uncle will be extended. I also have no idea if the IMF has any flexibility which would allow it to ignore the eventuality that the Greek payment is a week late but not a Euro short.

I now must recognise that I have no idea what is going to happen. update: The alco poll with 57% didn't ask about the deal offered by the troika. According to the AP

"In the poll by Alco for the Proto Thema Sunday paper, 57 percent said they believed Greece should make a deal with its EU partners while 29 percent wanted a rupture."

This is not the question Greeks will answer in the referendum on July 5th which refers specifically to the deal offered to Greece on June 25th.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the situation in the Ukraine has shown that the IMF does, in fact, have that discretion, but chooses not to exercise it in the case of Greece.