International

Greece proceeds with vote plan

Employees of the Ministry of Finance and National Economy stand by a banner unfolded from a balcony of the Finance Ministry in Athens on Wednesday.

Employees of the Ministry of Finance and National Economy stand by a banner unfolded from a balcony of the Finance Ministry in Athens on Wednesday.  

Greece’s government pressed ahead on Wednesday with its plan to put austerity measures to voters after European creditors rebuffed its latest proposal for a new aid programme. But Finance Ministers were still discussing the country’s situation and nothing seemed set in stone.

Many European officials had ruled out any deal with Greece before a referendum called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for Sunday. He is asking Greeks whether they want to accept creditors’ reform proposals in return for rescue loans.

Mr. Tsipras on Wednesday defiantly said the referendum would go ahead and called on the people to vote “no.” In a televised address to the nation, he said a “no” result would not mean that Greece would have to leave the euro, as many European officials have argued. Rather, Mr. Tsipras claimed, it would give the government a stronger negotiating position with creditors.

Eurozone Finance Ministers were to discuss Greece’s new offer made on Tuesday night. Mr. Tsipras sent a letter to creditors saying his government was prepared to accept their proposals, subject to certain amendments.

Some European countries including Germany, the largest single contributor to Greece’s bailout said the proposal wasn’t good enough and that a deal remained impossible in any case before the referendum.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 7:14:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/referendum-would-go-ahead-says-greece-prime-minister-alexis-tsipras/article7375497.ece

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