Greeks mull consequences of crucial bailout referendum

World Today

A banner reading ”NO for democracy and for dignity” referring to the upcoming referendum is placed outside a Greek Orthodox church at Monastiraki square in central Athens, Saturday, July 4, 2015. Whether Greeks decide in Sunday’s referendum to accept their lenders’ bailout deal or reject it, the government’s hold on power may be shakier than its brash prime minister has calculated, analysts say. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

With the crucial austerity referendum a day away, Greeks contemplated on Saturday how their vote will shape their future and the impact a “yes” or “no” will have on the country’s youth.

Opinion polls showed Greeks evenly split on whether to accept creditors’ proposals for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans, or defiantly reject the deal and send the message that they’re simply fed up with years of harsh economic austerity.

With no campaigning allowed the day before the vote, the natural rhythm of daily life in the capital briefly replaced the sense of urgency that was palpable all week when Greeks struggled to decipher a convoluted referendum question whilst being bombarded with frenzied messages of impending doom or defiance.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, told daily Bild on Saturday that future negotiations between Greece and its creditors will be “very difficult,” because the country’s economic situation has worsened dramatically in recent weeks.

Schaeuble repeated the German government’s position that for a community like Europe to work, all countries need to abide by the rules.

Meanwhile, Greece’s Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis launched a salvo at other eurogroup nations, accusing them of holding out on a bailout deal to allow bank coffers to run dry so they could spring a “vile ultimatum” on the government to accept what he called a humiliating deal.

Writing in the Saturday edition of daily Kathimerini, Varoufakis said other eurogroup members rejected Greece’s “honorable” counter-proposals and insisted on extracting “humility.”

Varoufakis said accepting the creditors’ terms would be a “permanent condemnation” while rejecting it would offer the “only prospect for recovery.”

With speculation swirling on the referendum’s impact on Tsipras’ government, Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis denied media reports that he would accept to lead a new “grand coalition” government.

Report by Associated Press.


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Follow Natalie Carney on Twitter @NatalieCarney77

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For many Greeks, the question of whether to endorse an aid deal with international creditors, is not an easy one. The government is urging its citizens not to let those creditors, in its words, terrorize Greece. But recent polls indicate the country is almost evenly split over what to do. CCTV's Kate Parkinson filed this report from Athens.