ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Whether Greeks decide in Sunday’s referendum to accept their lenders’ bailout deal or reject it, the government’s hold on power may be shakier than its brash prime minister has calculated, analysts say.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is banking on fellow Greeks to deliver a resounding “no” in the popular vote that he believes will give him strong leverage in his negotiations with creditors to swing a softer bailout deal for a country ravaged by years of harsh austerity, deep recession and crushing poverty.
A win for the No campaign, the reasoning goes, could also furnish Tsipras with an endorsement for his five-month rule and allow his government to consolidate — and extend — its grip on power.
That may not be the case, analysts say, since a “no” vote could still plunge Tsipras’ position into uncertainty if negotiations drag on with lenders who see such the outcome as a Greek snub of the euro. Without a quick deal, banks could stay shuttered to keep their reserves from running dry.
“A deteriorating import-dependent economy will provoke
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