Greek-Americans in Tarpon Springs, Florida, gathered in a local Greek café to watch the referendum results on television and celebrate the historic outcome. They felt pride as they watched their compatriots back in the homeland dancing and cheering when they heard the news.
Tarpon Springs hosts one of the largest Greek community in the United States and most of its members were thrilled to hear the country opted for the “No” vote. The Greek-Americans believe that the referendum outcome will show the European leaders that Greece’s deal was not sustainable. “Now they’re going to give Greece more respect,” said 80-year-old John Vouros to the Tampa Bay Times.
However, there was one café customer who believed the “Yes” vote would have been a better outcome. “Without the bailout, Greek leaders will not know where to go next,” he said.
Meanwhile, there are others who believe that the bailout program proposed by Greece’s creditors would only make things worse for the working class, by imposing harsher austerity measures and more taxes, leading to a fall in tourism.
Most Greek-Americans have relatives in the homeland and they are worried about the crisis and how it has affected the lives of their loved ones. There are people who are not able to send money to their relatives due to the closure of Greek banks. People in Greece have seen their salaries and pensions drop dramatically over the last few years, and sometimes help from their children or close relatives abroad is necessary.
Finally, the Greeks in Tarpon Springs believe that the “No” vote will give people in Greece a reason to be hopeful for their future.