EC says Greek ‘no’ vote widens gap with partners

Brussels, (IANS/EFE) Vice president of the Euro and Social Dialogue of the European Commission (EC) Valdis Dombrovskis stressed on Monday that Greece’s “no” vote in Sunday’s bailout referendum widened the gap between the country and its European partners.
“The European Commission takes note of the result of yesterday’s referendum in Greece. We respect the democratic choice of the Greek people. The ‘no’ result, unfortunately, widens the gap between Greece and other Eurozone countries,” Dombrovskis said in a press conference on Monday.

“There is no easy way out of this crisis. Too much time and too many opportunities have been lost,” Dombrovskis said, although also expressed the EC’s willingness to begin new talks with Greece “immediately”, and recalled that the Eurogroup must first make a decision on the matter.

The EC official also said that the outcome of the referendum, in which 61.3 percent of voters opted to reject the latest proposals of Athens’s creditors, does not undermine the stability of the euro.

“The Eurogroup reiterated that the euro area authorities stand ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure financial stability of the euro area,” Dombrovskis said in response to a question regarding the possibility of other Eurozone countries-southern states-following suit.

Greece’s place “is, and remains, in Europe”, the vice president affirmed, however he was not clear as to whether Greece would remain in the Eurozone or not.

A “yes” vote would have sent a positive signal to Europe, while the actual outcome further complicates the situation, the EF official said.

Dombrovskis recalled statements made by EC president Jean-Claude Juncker, who warned that a “no” vote “would dramatically weaken Greek negotiating position”.


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