Europe appears to be shocked at the decision of UK citizens to leave the EU voting by 51.9 percent on Thursday for an exit while conservative parties across the 28-member bloc are now calling for referendums in their countries placing European unity at risk.
In the meantime, British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned earlier this morning (effective in October) as the British pound plummeted to a 30-year low, falling in value against the euro and the US dollar this morning. The European Central Bank has warned that a potential Brexit could force euro trading out of the London Stock Exchange.
In a historic referendum yesterday, Britons voted by 51.9 percent against 48.1 percent (with 72 percent turnout) to exit the European Union after 43 years of membership, with the UK being the second country after Greenland in 1985 to leave the bloc.
Analysts are now expecting turbulence in EU relations and a domino effect with many parties across the Union already calling for similar referendums. Indicatively, Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, tweeted the decision a “Victory for freedom”, adding that the French too must now have the right to choose.
In Greece, few politicians have expressed reactions to the decision (on publication). However, according to the BBC, the decision is expected to cause a commotion rekindling fears that Greece may be forced out of the eurozone and the EU.
Greek exports to Britain — estimated at 2.5 billion euros annually and 1.4 percent of the GDP — may also be affected as well as Greece’s tourism industry, which depends in large part on UK vacationers. Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Andreas Andreadis expressed his concern through a tweet: “Upsetting and unforeseen consequences for Greek tourism.”
Britain’s decision to leave the EU will now have to be implemented bringing to the fore a series of considerations, including preserving access to the European free market, coping with the resultant volatility and increased job security fears.