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Lagarde claims “Greek Referendum will be legally invalid”

IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde finally found the needed strength to express her view on Greece’s Referendum. Speaking to BBC, Lagarde said that next Sunday (July 5th) referendum will not be valid as the creditors’ proposal and program end on June 30th.

“I can’t speak for the IMF program, because the IMF program is on, but the European financial arrangement expires June 30. So, at least legally speaking, the referendum will relate to proposals and arrangements that are no longer valid.”

She also warned Greeks that the IMF will not provide further aid if Athens missed the 30. June payment and justified the IMF’s position saying that “the IMF is not the bad guy at the negotiations.

I don’t know how suddenly Lagarde mutated into a Constitutional Law Professor playing in her fingers the Greek Constitution and judging when a referendum in a country is valid or not. But what I know and see in the interview is that she is extremely tense with her face muscles find it extremely difficult to relax and let her lips pronounce vowels and consonants. So, most probably she was meaning to to say that  “referendum will be irrelevant.”

Enjoy, the video:

Interviews’ transcript here

Bloomberg’s report here

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14 comments

  1. costa sakellariou

    there is still room for crazy things to happen…the screws are also being turned on these ‘captains of economic development’ – and it is good to see not everything going their way!

    whatever happens will be better than 100 years of increasing debt!

  2. The 30.6 deadline is why I dont understand why the referendum comes now instead of a week ago.
    If I understand it correctly the programm runs out at 30.6 and for an extension all the governments and at least 5 parliaments have to agree. Obviously this isnt possible until after the referendum but by that time at least this package will have run out, so yeah thats legally void then(not on the greek side, thats a constitutional issue, but its weird to vote onb a proposal that, at least in this form, doesnt exist anymore).
    THen again Tsipras never wanted THIS package, so maybe this can be an opportunity get on with some debt restructuring, I dont see the creditor budging on the austerity, but even 90% of the hardcore austerity fans realize the debt cant be paid back 100%

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      No “package” since August 2014, measures ended December 2014, extension of package is called blockade, so money was blockaded since August 2014
      Referendum is answer to last escalation of blackmail, an ultimatum that left a few hours to vote a “deal” although these hours are not enough time to read the old shit on new papers or even discuss

      • This deadline was clear for months, why not set the referendum one week earlier?
        If the idea is to break of any negotiations and just end the farce like this then this makes no difference, but if this ends with acceptance to the creditors demands, then the whole chaos of this and next week was unneccessary and thats on the greek government then.

  3. The referendum will be legal. However the content is no longer valid. Greek people vote for or against a creditors’ proposal which is no longer there. It was part of the already agreed program which will stop tuesday. Tspiras is five days too late with his referendum, but the door is not closed yet according to the EU financial ministers. So an option is open.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Some parts of the story in Belgium that were not reported are:
      a) Greek team is still negotiating in Brussels
      b) Vauroufakis told the media that the Troika-institutions can send in proposals for the Referendum
      c) Last weeks the European public was told that Varoufakis is sidelined
      and now as he gets kicked out from EU-finance-ministers meeting and being sidelined became a true lie
      WE CAN’T FORCE THEM TO TELL THE TRUTH BUT MAKE THEIR LIES EVEN MORE BOLD

      • on (b): So according to Varoufakis the creditors can still change the question of the referendum — less than a week before the vote? Isn’t that a prerogative of the Greek parliament? How about having enough time to debate for and against different positions (let alone the time and money needed to organize the vote and print the voting materials)?

        Sorry, but I believe this referendum is a mockery of democracy.

  4. I don’t understand the surprise related to Mrs. Lagarde’s statement. Logically, she is correct, the offer will expire on June 30, so it is unclear what Greeks will vote on July 5. If Tsipras really wanted a referendum, he had the possibility to ask his European partners for an extension during the negotiations, or organize the referendum this Sunday (June 28). However, all Europeans (including Greek negotiators) figured out on Friday by internet that Greece will run a referendum, and the negotiations are closed. It seems to me that Tsipras want to isolate Greece, transform it in a “Cuba” of Europe in order to keep the power. As in all revolutions, the first step is to manipulate the majority of the people with nationalism…Greek pride and dignity 🙂

    • Lagarde is an employee, who should confine her comments to professional judgements relating to the interests of the IMF. She has consistently abused her position to make political attacks on the Syriza government, and is unfit to serve as head of the IMF. I consider her conduct to be a reason for dismissal, in contrast to the outrageous way in which DSK was treated (for fraudulent allegations of a personal nature) merely because Sarkozy wanted to remove a political rival from competing in elections.

      All of Europe is knee-deep in political shit, and it stinks. Lagarde is one of the people most covered in shit — which you can see from her face.

      • one reason why I changed my mind about the Greek problem in the last few months, from very sympathetic to the Greeks to very cold about it all, is that whenever I read a comment from Greek people, they *always* attribute their problems to foreign causes. I am Italian and we are in a similar position (just a bit better perhaps for now) as Greece, but I and most of my fellow citizens know so well how much of our problems is due to our own actions, to our terrible politicians, to our attitudes, lack of a sense of State etc etc. Sure, EU could have helped more than it did, but woe to the country that expects help from abroad to solve its own problems. If Greeks don’t trust the EU, IMF etc, why didn’t they pull out 1,2,10 years ago? It’s easy, just say no

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          Hope to not speak again after “Lidl” and “Aldi-Hofer” have destroyed all Italian ’round the corner shops – kick’em out before they come (as they plan on it: “4 in 5 shops in Italy are family run” /LIDL, 2015)

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      If people are that stupid why let them vote or drive?

    • The European partners decided to do not give more days, probably in order to make this referendum more difficult.
      After 5 months negociations, this partners say that Greece “broke unilateraly the negociations by announcing a referendum. This is a joke or what ? 30 hours before the deadline ! If it was to be an agreement it could be before. They thought that as the deadline approch, Tsipras would be in so bad position and obliged to accept their conditions, the continuation of a wrong program, as even members of IMF said, and DSK, former pdt of IMF said too… Now they have 2 days more to find a deal. Lagarde is worry to see that may be it will be more difficult for her to be again Pdt of IMF… Germans have difficulties to go back because of their electors… And Greece is ready to go out if need. You can find the official reasons why Greece did not accept the “last offer” of “partners” : http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/06/28/as-it-happened-yanis-varoufakis-intervention-during-the-27th-june-2015-eurogroup-meeting/ Read it and talk after.

      • You can find the official reasons why Greece did not accept the “last offer” of “partners”
        That is if you think that Varoufakis is a reliable source – every politician puts his own spin on everything to make himself look as good as possible.
        I don’t trust that guy not any more or less than any other politician…