So there we have it. In the cradle of democracy there was a vote, and a resounding 61.3% of the Greek electorate chose to eschew a further round of EU-led funding (and the attached austerity measures) in favour of going it alone. The grass may have not been particularly green on either side of the fence in this instance, but the Greeks overwhelmingly felt that they were better off without the meddling technocrats in Brussels looking over their shoulder at every turn.
To Greece, their crippling debt had become a monetary Lernaean Hydra - for every head they cut off, two sprouted in its stead, as repayments spiralled out of control and more and more loans had to be undertaken. However, the Greeks would be foolish to cast Tsipras as their modern-day Heracles. Whilst he has managed to tear them out from under the thumb of the EU, the fact remains that he did so through a campaign fraught with misinformation and alienation. His constant assertions, fired from a distance, that the EU were 'terrorists' and were 'blackmailing Greece' in the hopes that it would crumble, are a whole world away from the Socratic method once championed by his people.
The Greek people must now enter a period of grave political self-reflection. The 'no' vote almost certainly represents a false dawn - there will be years, if not decades, of hardship ahead - and it is time for them to realise that it is the never-ending stream of socialist governments that have brought their once glorious nation to its economic knees. The socialists, to paraphrase Mrs Thatcher, have now officially run out of other people's money. They are left with a depleted workforce thanks to a decreasing population (-0.6% in 2013) coupled with their ridiculous early retirement and pension policy (included the oft-mentioned 'hazardous profession' list - including the frankly risible hairdressers and bakers). Even if anti-austerity measures were capable of kickstarting an economy - more on that left wing fallacy another time - the Greeks simply do not have the taxable workforce required to fund their public spending, especially with rumours swirling that whole droves of highly skilled professionals, such as surgeons and lawyers, were preparing to move abroad for employment in the instance of a 'no' vote.
With their likelihood of getting another loan from the EU, or anyone else, probably somewhere south of 0.01% despite the hubristic claims of the 'Oxi' lobby, they face a serious challenge in fixing their shattered economy. They need to remove the Tsipras government (the resignation of cowboy Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis this morning is a welcoming sight) and install a more centrist leadership. The Syriza party, just like decades of similar far left governments before them, have conned the Greece public whilst demolishing the economy even further, and have now burnt bridges with most of Europe on top of that. Renegade lefties cannot, and most certainly would not, install the measures and policies required to slowly rebuild Greece's brutalised economy.
There will, of course, be ramifications on the British referendum. Many are already decreeing the probable Greek exit from both the Union and the Euro a victory for the Eurosceptics. It is not logical, though, to draw too many parallels between the situation in Greece and the playing field upon which the British referendum will be played out. To Brussels, Greece is very much the red-headed stepchild - a terrible debtor run by cavalier anti-establishment types, and who probably shouldn't really have been allowed into the EU and Euro in the first place. Britain, however, is a different kettle of fish entirely. As a key economic force in the union, and a whipping boy for the bureaucrats running it, you can bet your mortgage that the campaign to keep Britain in will involve a lot more charm and pizazz than a handful of veiled threats issued via video conference by grey-faced EU automatons. With our economy in a far more favourable state than that of Greece, it's still an uphill battle for the British Eurosceptics.
As for Greece, the renegade Marxists have finally flown too close to the sun, and without the fiscal support of the EU and the IMF it's time for the electorate to grow up and elect some adults that can resuscitate their flatlining country.