from Macro and Markets

Greek Polls Close; Surveys Say No

July 5, 2015

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Budget, Debt, and Deficits


The polls have closed in Greece and the initial surveys show a narrow win for the "No" side.  One GPO poll, for example, had Yes at 48.5%, No at 51.5%, within the margin of error; others also show a No lead of 3-4 points.  As I understand it, these polls are not exit polls--they were done by phone rather than as voters exited.  Phone polls are quite sensitive to assumptions about those difficult to reach, including the elderly (a majority who are expected to vote yes) and the youth (expected to vote no by a large majority). So, too early to call.  Despite this uncertainty, the major Greek TV stations are all predicting a victory for the No side, rejecting the policy measures earlier offered by creditors.

The government has talked of seeking to immediately restart negotiations with creditors, but European governments appear divided over how to respond.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande reportedly will meet tomorrow; ahead of that the focus will be a meeting of the ECB Board tomorrow to decide whether to extend additional emergency liquidity to Greek banks.  Without a positive decision, the banks will run out of notes within a day or so, which could be a forcing event for the Greek government.