The stunning decision by Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou to hold a referendum on the $178 billion European bailout package has laid bare the miserable economic options the country has in front of it. On Wednesday, Papandreou's move to hold the referendum was swiftly rejected by a slew of Greek lawmakers, The New York Times reports, and raises the possibility that he will be removed from power in a no-confidence vote to be held on Friday. Why pass the decision on to the people? Papandreou is casting it as a democratic move, empowering the people. But take a look at the abysmal options Greece has in front of it and you may see why he'd like to punt the decision:
Accept the bailout Though Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy would prefer Greece take the rescue package they labored over, Robert Reich, former labor secretary under President Clinton, explains why it's a tough pill to swallow. "If Greek voters accept the bailout terms, unemployment will rise even further in Greece, public services will be cut more than they have already, the Greek economy will contract, and the standard of living of most Greeks will deteriorate further," he writes in Guernica.