Greece says 'No' in bailout referendum
Radio New Zealand International
July 5, 2015 6:12 pm
Results published by the interior ministry showed about 60% of those whose ballots had been counted voting “No”, against some 40% voting “Yes”.
Greece’s governing Syriza party campaigned for a “No”, saying the bailout terms were humiliating.
The “Yes” campaign warned this could see Greece ejected from the eurozone.
Senior European officials had also said that a “No” would be seen as an outright rejection of talks with creditors.
But Greek government officials have insisted that a “No” vote would strengthen their hand and that they could rapidly strike a deal for fresh funding in resumed negotiations.
‘New popular mandate’
Euclid Tsakalotos, Greece’s deputy foreign minister, told Star TV that two developments would allow Greece to pursue “a solution that is financially viable”.
“Firstly, the government now has a new popular mandate and the second is the latest [International Monetary Fund] report which says that the Greek debt is unsustainable.”
Greece had been locked in negotiations with its creditors for months when the Greek government unexpectedly called a referendum on the terms it was being offered.
Banks have been shut and capital controls in place since last Monday, after the European Central Bank declined to give Greece more emergency funding.
Withdrawals at cash machines have been limited to €60 (NZ$99) per day.
Greek banks will reopen by Tuesday, they say.
The country’s current bailout expired last week and Greece missed a €1.6bn ($NZ2.6bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The European Commission – one of the “troika” of creditors along with the IMF and the European Central Bank – wanted Athens to raise taxes and slash welfare spending to meet its debt obligations.
Greece’s Syriza-led government, which was elected in January on an anti-austerity platform, said it had been presented with an “ultimatum”.
The ballot paper question:
“Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the Eurogroup of 25 June, 2015, and comprised of two parts which make up their joint proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled “reforms for the completion of the current programme and beyond” and the second “Preliminary debt sustainability analysis”.
Voters must check one of two boxes – “not approved/no” or, below it, “approved/yes”