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Greek bailout vote risks global economy

Fans show their support in the third round match between Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus and Denis Gremelmayr of Germany during day five of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park Jan. 20, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.

Steve Chiotakis: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
announced there'll be a vote on the country's economic austerity package, which could affect a deal that would both help Greece and tackle the European debt crisis.

Constantine Michalos is chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He's with us now with reaction from Athens. Hi Constantine.

Constantine Michalos: Good morning, Steve.

Chiotakis: Were you shocked by Greek Prime Minister Papandreou's surprise announcement?

Michalos: Well absolutely. The prime minister caused a tectonic earthquake tremor during last night's parliamentary speech when he announced that he intends to hold a referendum on the latest European Union aid package intended to resolve the country's debt crisis.

Chiotakis: How will the Greek vote on this measure?

Michalos: This is the reason why I'm referring to political schizophrenia -- because what's the point of a vote of confidence later on this week when he runs the risk of the people reversing the E.U. decision just a few weeks later? We've seen the polls, the recent polls, say approximately 65 percent of the people that were being polled are against the decision.

Chiotakis: These are people that are most affected by the austerity package, though -- right?

Michalos: Absolutely.

Chiotakis: I mean, many people in Greece are Greek government workers.

Michalos: Well, yes -- but when you have a poll you have a representative sample from all fractions of society, of course including public servants. But I can assure you that these austerity measures, without having any stimulus, any growth perspective in the Greek economy -- then I'm afraid there is an overall spectrum of Greek society that will vote against these measures.

Chiotakis: What is at stake, Constantine, to global economy? And even here in the U.S.?

Michalos: To be quite honest, it is highly debatable whether it's constitutionally justified and permissible to call for a referendum under Article 44 of the Greek Constitution, which clearly forbids such dilemmas and issues of fiscal regulation.

I think that this is -- we have a government which is clinging on to its ministerial armchairs at all costs. And it is evident that they're operating in a highly sensitive danger zone -- not just for the Greek economy, but for the European economy and for the global economy at large.

Chiotakis: Constantine Michalos from the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Thank you so much, sir.

Michalos: Thank you very much Steve.

About the author

Steve Chiotakis was the host of Marketplace Morning Report until January 2012.
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Listen, honestly, IF they are allowed to do this would not the corporate world benefit by all the bargain basement prices they would have access to? Also, the Greeks could be moving to a better position for their eventual ousting from the EU. At anyrate,this gradual fall is better than an abrupt another Lehman brothers.

Neither can I believe the previous comments. Democracy is about everyone having a vote, not about greed and not about everyone getting a free lunch.
If the Greeks vote and turn down the package, that's their right (or is it, under their laws?), but in doing so, where will they get any relief? Do they not understand that resources are finite, and that someone has to pay for all the goods and services they consume?
Unfortunately, I fear the US is headed down the same path. We can't talk very much as we are perhaps a decade or so away from their predicament unless we can get our fiscal house in order.

You got to be kidding me. The people od Greece are freeloaders. I have friends from Greece and they say you retire with great benefits only having to work 30 hours a week. The money is gone. The other pdopes here are probaly freeloaders also.

I applaud the Greeks. How ironic that the west's birthplace for democracy has taken a stand against the plutocrats and oligarchy. As the media vilifies the Greeks for their pure democratic approach to solve their debts, the true nature of the corporate beholden media medusa reveals itself. The world is changing and the greed must stop.

Chiotakis could not be more upset about the Greek PM calling for the nations's democratic voice to be heard in a referendum. He calls up the Chamber of Commerce in Athens, to get his concerns underlined.
How dare these peasants dare to make their voices heard, through Democracy? Didn't they hear what the Capitalist Overlords said they needed to do?
I for one, am so sick of these supposedly 'Public' Radio Employees trying to force their Capitalist AgitProp down the Public's throat.
Since Chiatakis is so fond of the profit motive, why doesn't Public Radio do what private employers are great at: and fire him?

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