On Sunday, Greek voters rejected the bailout conditions drafted by the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, submitted to the Greek government on the 25th of June. Here follows a brief photographic account of developments on Sunday evening in central Athens, prior to and in the wake of news of the referendum result.
5.30 pm : An hour and a half before polling stations close and the first exit polls are released, broadcasters are taking positions in Syntagma Square.
…recording their impressions of the vote for supporters at home.
Signs of the eight-day campaign are however conspicuous throughout Athens…
…and overwhelmingly so in favour of OXI.
Amidst a tight police presence in the vicinity of Parliament, in anticipation of perhaps Greece’s most important vote in decades, the Evzones’ ‘little changes’ proceed as usual.
7 pm : Polling stations have closed, and honking cars emblazoned with OXI signs circle Syntagma, providing a first clue as to the result.
The screens of a neighbouring restaurant, filled with cautiously pleased politicians and activists from across Europe, transmit the reactions of stone-faced private broadcasters to the first exit poll.
OXI supporters stream into Syntagma to celebrate.
…and I miss Yanis Varoufakis’ entry into the Ministry of Economy and Finance by a whisker. I would like to think that this is his motorcycle helmet beside the metal detector…
…and his motorcycle parked inside.
9 pm : Crowds continue to swell in Syntagma.
Syriza supporters begin to come out in force.
Celebrations spill onto streets ringing the square.
The morning after, the media are again camped outside the Ministry of Economy and Finance, breaking news of Varoufakis’ resignation.
Syntagma has largely emptied overnight, though is still populated by broadcasters and politicians continuing to digest the referendum’s outcome.
The newspapers have drawn their own set of conclusions regarding the result.
And all is quiet at Syriza’s headquarters.
Queues at banks, however, continue to stretch, and Greek voters’ many lingering questions and fears remain unanswered and unassuaged.
If a deal of some form were brokered with Greece’s creditors, would it one day offer a modicum of respite, let alone relief, for those their policies have already wrought most destruction upon?
A glimmer of light for this country to eventually recover, clear up the mess of the last half-decade and beyond, and be capable of shielding its society once more?
An opportunity to someday circumvent barbed limitations imposed from elsewhere?
The next turn may tell us a little more…