Sunday, July 5, 2015


Greece Resoundingly Rejects Austerity
In Referendum On Bailout Deal

Greeks on Sunday decisively rejected a bailout deal proposed by the country's international creditors, which demanded new austerity measures in return for emergency funds. The vote amounted to a stinging rebuke of the austerity measures imposed on Greece since 2010.

The win for the "no" camp constituted a major victory for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras, who had campaigned heavily against the deal put forward by the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission. But it also raised uncertainty about the country's financial future and its place in the eurozone.

"Even in the most difficult circumstances, democracy can't be blackmailed -- it is a dominant value and the way forward," Tsipras tweeted on Sunday night, adding that Greece intends to restart negotiations with Europe next week.

A final tally of votes indicated that 61.31 percent of voters decided against the bailout deal. More than 60 percent of Greeks participated in the vote, well over the 40 percent turnout needed for the referendum to be valid.

Waving flags and chanting "No, No, No," thousands of "no" voters descended on Athens' Syntagma Square on Sunday night in anticipation of an official announcement about the referendum's result.

"This is an imprint of the will of the Greek people and now it's up to Europeans to show if they respect our opinion and want to help," Nikos Tarasis, a 23-year-old student, told Reuters.

Sunday's vote came after a week of heated rhetoric from the Greek government and European leaders. Athens' years-long bailout program ran out without a renewal agreement Tuesday, the same day the country failed to make a 1.6 billion euro debt payment to the IMF.

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