Parliament agrees Greek referendum

Published: Sunday 28th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Greece’s parliament voted in favour of holding a July 5 referendum on creditor proposals for reforms in exchange for loans, with the country’s future in the eurozone looking increasingly shaky.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ surprise call in the early hours of yesterday for a vote stunned Greece’s international debt negotiators.

The country took a big step closer to leaving the euro currency union after fellow eurozone member states refused to extend its bailout programme past its expiry date on Tuesday, leaving Greece on the brink of financial chaos.

In the streets of Greece, worried people queued outside banks for cash from dawn to dusk after Mr Tsipras’ announcement, after billions of euro had already been emptied in the preceding weeks.

Greece has a 1.6 billion euro (£1.1billion) debt due to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday and its bailout programme expires the same day, after which it is unclear how the country might survive financially.

The referendum is set for next Sunday with the question on whether to accept proposed reforms needed to get bailout loans from other eurozone countries and the IMF. The government is advocating a rejection of the proposals.

The radical left-wing leader accused the creditors of using blackmail and ultimatums against his proud but struggling people.

European officials and all Greek opposition parties except the extremist far-right Golden Dawn party called his move for a vote a foolish and rash gambit that effectively ended negotiations to keep Greece financially afloat.

Published: Sunday 28th June 2015 by The News Editor

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