Demonstrators in Greece hold a large "Oxi" (No) sign aloft. Photo: Getty Images
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Greece votes No

Greece has rejected the proposed bailout in a referendum.

Greece has voted "No" to the Troika's bailout proposals. With over 50 per cent of ballots counted, "No" was in a commanding lead of 60 per cent to 40 per cent.

The result will plunge global markets into uncertainty and tip Europe into further crisis. Greek banks will remain shuttered tomorrow morning while traders across the world brace themselves for further shocks. The prolonging of further liquidity to Greece's banking system will be decided by the European Central Bank on Monday. Francois Hollande, the French President, and Angela Merkel, the German head of government, will also meet tonight to discuss future steps.

But the early signs for a deal are poor. Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's deputy chancellor and the leader of that country's main leftwing party, the SPD, said that Greece had "torn down the last bridges on which Greece and Europe could have moved towards a compromise" by voting against the deal. 

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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.