Greece Bailout Referendum: 'Yes' Campaign Picks Up Pace

Southeast Europe | July 3, 2015, Friday // 10:03|  views

A woman withdraws cash from an ATM while a riot policeman stands on duty as supporters of the Greek far-left and anti-EU `ANT.AR.SY.A.` party demonstrate in Athens, Greece, July 02, 2015.

Preparation of last rival rallies is underway ahead of the referendum Greece is due to hold Sunday on bailout conditions proposed by international lenders.

Both the referendum itself and the "campaigns" led by Greek and EU officials have left Greeks divided, but many politicians, business leaders and academicians have started calling in the past few days for a "yes".

Different polls, however, suggest several possible outcomes with regard to the number of citizens who will reject the bailout terms, with the "No" camp still on the lead (one puts support for it at 54%).

A GPO poll conducted Tuesday predicted support for the bailout was at 47.1% and opposition at 43.2%, the rest of them being undecided.

Greece missed an IMF payment deadline on Tuesday, and has been in a bank holiday since the day before. Eurozone finance ministers meanwhile decided to suspend all talks with Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis (which had been held on a daily basis over the last week) or other Greek government members until after the referendum.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who turned down a reform proposals package from creditors on Sunday, called on compatriots for a "No" vote, which many economists and opposition politicians fear might push Greece out of the Eurozone.

But he also submitted a list of new Greek proposals on Tuesday which are in line with most of creditors' demands. His request for a new bailout was rejected by lenders.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, along with Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem, openly called on Greek citizens to give the green light to the bailout conditions. Both he and Parliament president Martin Schulz slammed at Tsipras for "manipulating" the opinion of Greeks by spreading distorted information about the bailout conditions.

The referendum has drawn much criticism from international bodies, and the Council of Europe said on Wednesday the hastily arranged poll will not meet international standards.

A vote is also due in Greece's Council of State, the top administrative court, which will rule if it contravenes the country's constitution.

Tsipras and Varoufakis have both pledged to step down if citizens back the conditions. Varoufakis also believes there is "100% chance of success" in negotiations with lenders after the Sunday referendum.

The IMF says that, whatever the outcome of the referendum, Greece will need some EUR 50 B over the next three years to keep itself afloat.

It added on Friday that some of the debt might have to be written off, a move that meets resistance from Eurozone leaders.


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Tags: Alexis Tsipras, Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis, Varoufakis, Jean-Claude Juncker, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Eurozone, greece, bailout referendum, Referendum, IMF


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