On the brink: Greece heads for default
The surprise referendum announced on Friday night by Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s prime minister, has torpedoed expectations of an 11th-hour deal between Greece and its creditors. Instead, Greece will probably miss a €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) payment to the IMF tomorrow, when its bail-out programme also expires. Last night Mr Tsipras declared that banks would not open today and that capital controls would be imposed, after the European Central Bank decided to cap the emergency liquidity it provides to Greek lenders. More surprises are likely before next Sunday’s vote. One question is what Greeks will vote on. The government will recommend that they say no to reforms the creditors proposed last week. But their offer expires with the bail-out. It is hard to see how Mr Tsipras can stay in office if they say yes. A more immediate concern is markets’ reaction to the weekend’s turbulence. It will be a dizzying week.