Despite the gloom following the collapse of the talks between the lenders and the Greek government last weekend, all is not lost.
The surprise decision by Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to call a referendum for next Sunday could represent a last chance for Greece to stay in the euro zone, if that is what the majority of Greeks really want.
The Greeks are being asked to either accept the proposals from the trio of lenders, the European Central Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, or follow the recommendation of their leftist government and vote “No.” (What a “No” for Greece would mean, read here)
A week of closed banks and capital controls may persuade many Greeks to swallow more austerity, or it may infuriate them even more.
While Mr. Tspiras and his radical left Syriza party might succeed in appealing to national pride, disgust with the lenders and weariness of the austerity regime, there may be more Greeks who fear the impact of a banking collapse and possible exit from the euro zone.
In polls conducted before the announcement of the referendum but published on Sunday, the majority of Greeks said they favored a deal with the creditors. In a poll conducted by Alco for the Greek newspaper Proto Thema, 57 percent of the respondents said they believed Greece should make a deal with its E.U. partners.
Another poll conducted by Kapa Research for To Vima found that 47 percent favored a deal with the creditors, while 33 percent opposed it.