The Greek referendum on accepting new austerity measures in exchange for a bailout from the rest of Europe was supposed to be close. Prognosticators had anticipated razor-thin margins, perhaps too close to even be decided.
But instead, Greeks appeared set to roundly reject the new austerity provisions, a move that others in Europe have warned could imperil the future of Greece in the European Union and part of the euro monetary system. But based on exit polls and preliminary counts, Greek officials quickly forecasted a clear victory for the opponents.
For days opponents of the referendum rallied in favor of "oxi" or "no." They rallied across the nation, carrying the Greek flag. They proved to be too strong a force for the supporters of the referendum to overcome.
Anti-austerity backers began to gather for celebrations even before the counting of ballots was complete. In Athens, large crowds began to form in Syntagma Square, the central square of the city. Thousands of opposition protesters had marched through the square before the vote was taken.
There are some very happy people here in Syntagma Square. pic.twitter.com/x7QSwCKt8g
— NickdMiller (@NickdMiller) July 5, 2015
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) July 5, 2015
Throngs of people descending on Syntagma Square in front of Greek Parliament, waving flags, to celebrate apparent No victory in referendum
— liz alderman (@LizAlderman) July 5, 2015
— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) July 5, 2015
— Benjamin Alvarez (@BenjAlvarez1) July 5, 2015
There were lots of attempts to understand why the vote happened and what it could mean for other European nations.
Age demographic split on Greek referendum vote was the same split as in Scotland.
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) July 5, 2015
— The Monkey Cage (@monkeycageblog) July 4, 2015
There was an outpouring of support from other corners of Europe. Many on the left cheered the result, calling it a victory not for Greece but all of Europe.
Well done Greece, every generation someone has to stand up to bullies. #oxi it won't be easy but first step achieved !
— David Hall (@davidhall75) July 5, 2015
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) July 5, 2015
If #OXI wins by 10% it will be astonishing feat for anti-austerity forces in Greece. They are taking on entire media/political establishment
— Aaron John Bastani (@AaronBastani) July 5, 2015