On Sunday, Greece once again set the stage for a roiling of global financial markets when voters there said “Oxi” to conditions set forth by international creditors for additional financial aid, a decision that could push the country closer to financial ruin.
Greek voters rebuffed a plan that would include more austerity measures, including trimmed public pensions and increased consumption taxes on the belief that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras coul push the country’s creditors for a deal that is painful to ordinary citizens.
Big questions remain, including how will Greece’s creditors, namely Germany, view the vote and what impact it will have on other PIIGS nations, namely Italy, Portugal and Spain. Some market observers have nominated Italy as the other shoe to drop in Europe while some argue Spain would be next if Greece goes bankrupt and defaults. [Tests for the Spain ETF]
“A succession of leftist political victories in Spain too closely resembles what happened in Greece before it raised issue with its creditors. I believe it will lead to division between Spain (perhaps emboldened now by Greece’s display of strength) and more progressive economies to the North. While Spain is not in the same situation as Greece, its political policies and direction moving forward are likely to trouble investors,” writes Markos Kaminis in a Seeking Alpha post.
Last week, while equity markets in Athens were closed, leaving the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) to function as the price discovery mechanism of necessity for Greek stocks, the iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWP) fell 5.3%. Greek 10-year bond yields are up nearly 15 basis points since June 25.