Greek Referendum: A Yes Vote Would Be Messy, A No Even Messier

Referendums settle matters definitively, right? Not in Greece. Both outcomes next Sunday – rejection of the creditors’ proposals and acceptance – would raise as many questions as they answer.
A yes vote – the more likely outcome, according to the polls – would mean the fall of the Syriza-led government. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras would have led negotiations his party regards as a failure. He would have campaigned for rejection of the creditors’ proposals. He would have lost, in Brussels and at home. A general election would follow. A no vote would be even messier. Syriza would still be in power but Tsipras would not be offered more generous bailout terms. But nor – presumably – would he think he has a mandate to lead Greece out of the eurozone. He has insisted that next Sunday’s referendum is on the narrow technical question of whether to accept last week’s proposals.