25th Oct 2021


Greece, Greece, and Greece on EU agenda This WEEK

  • Organised in one week, the referendum will decide on Greece's euro membership (Photo: secretlondon123)

Exit polls on the Greek referendum, expected at around 9pm local time on Sunday (5 July) will give Europe a first glimpse into the future of its single currency.

Whether it’s Yes or No, the outcome is likely to prompt snap meetings of euro finance ministers, Greek creditors, and the European Central Bank’s governing board.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

A No could see Greek PM Alexis Tsipras try to restart negotiations on better terms.

It could also cause severe market turbulence, as traders bet on a potential Greek euro exit, with Japanese markets to open just two hours after the exit polls.

A Yes could see Tsipras announce his resignation, leading to early elections, and more uncertainty.

Amid strong feelings on the streets of Athens, it could also trigger protests.

The only scheduled meeting on the outcome so far is a debate with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Council head Donald Tusk at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

Other news

Despite the Greek eclipse, next week’s other big story is the EU-US free trade agreement.

MEPs will debate their position on the text on Tuesday and vote on Wednesday.

The main sticking point is ISDS - a provision, which the US wants, to let private firms launch legal actions against EU states to protect their interests.

The vote was due last month. But disarray in the centre-left S&D group, which couldn’t decide if it was pro- or anti-ISDS, led to the postponement.

Parliament will also on Wednesday vote on whether to curb pay for CEOs of publicly-listed firms.

They’ll vote the same day on how to reduce the surplus of carbon credits which bedevils the EU’s carbon-offset scheme, the ETS.

They’ll vote on Thursday on copyright. The dossier includes the right to photograph public buildings, cross-border access to online content, and protection of authors’ rights.


EU single market commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska will the next day meet the CEO of Ringier Axel Springer Media, one of the firms which loses money due to people’s use of Google to get round paywalls.

Other notable guests in the EU capital will be Lu Wei, China’s cyber tsar, who is to meet commissioner Andrus Ansip, in charge of the digital market, on Tuesday.

EU enlargement chief Johannes Hahn will hold talks with Turkey’s EU minister, Volkan Bozkir, on Wednesday.

Juncker will, on Thursday, meet Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, the PM of Iceland, whose country went through a Greece-type crisis seven years ago.


He will also meet Serb leader Alexandar Vucic on Thursday.

Their meeting comes ahead of solemnities, on 11 July, to mark 20 years after Serbia’s genocide of Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica, Bosnia.

Vucic, a nationalist, says it wasn’t genocide.

Meanwhile, Russia and Western powers have turned the anniversary into a political tug-of-war. The Netherlands and the US have sponsored a “genocide” resolution at the United Nations Security Council.

So far, Russia is saying No. But the price of its veto could be Vucic’s allegiance, complicating Serbia’s plans to join the EU.


Athens on edge as referendum looms

Three days before the referendum, closed banks, frequent demos, and streams of leaflets are a reminder that the future of Greece is at stake.


Srebrenica revisited

Twenty years after the massacre, Srebrenica still triggers dispute, and an endless stream of resolutions.

Energy and gender in EU focus This WEEK

In the European Parliament, the home affairs committee will start to work on new migration laws: providing the legal framework for the new migration policy in the EU.

EU leaders meet This WEEK amid EU-Poland clash

Vaccine roll-outs, energy prices, migration and an upcoming climate summit will top the agenda at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, while MEPs in Strasbourg tackle rule of law.

News in Brief

  1. Timmermans cancels Moscow visit ahead of COP26
  2. Report: EU to open new mission in Kabul
  3. Bulgaria and Romania run out of beds for Covid-patients
  4. Afghanistan 'on brink of collapse', Sweden warns
  5. Far-right vigilantes stopped on Polish-German border
  6. Croatian right-wingers seek euro referendum
  7. Orbán accuses EU and US of election meddling
  8. Militants free international observers in Russia-occupied Ukraine

UN annual meeting plus Poland in focus This WEEK

The Polish Constitutional Tribunal is holding a hearing on the issue of whether EU law has primacy in the country. It is not clear whether the tribunal will deliver a ruling.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Erdoğan orders out US and EU ambassadors
  2. EU banks play 'major role' in deforestation, report finds
  3. NGOs reveal 71 'revolving-door' cases at fossil-fuel giants
  4. Energy and gender in EU focus This WEEK
  5. Nato invite sees Nordic states stepping up security cooperation
  6. Lessons for the EU in Sahel, from Afghanistan
  7. EU states want more Belarus sanctions
  8. Gas price spike exposes rift at EU summit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us