Sunday, June 28, 2015

Greek crisis: 'Nobody can say what will happen in the referendum'

by Helena Smith


June 28, 2015

One by one they came, smiling for the cameras, voicing optimism that at long last this day had arrived: the day when Greeks could decide for themselves.

Any doubts that the leftwing government in Athens would cave into the demands of the international creditors keeping Greece afloat were firmly dispelled on Saturday as the country’s great debt drama entered another act.

In scenes that spoke more of defiance than fear, leading Syriza party figures applauded prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s surprise decision to give Greek voters the final say over the terms of a bailout deal proposed by the EU and IMF.

The high-stakes move of calling a referendum only days away from the deadline for a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) loan repayment to the IMF may have raised fears of default – and cast an even longer shadow over Greece’s future in the eurozone – but in governing circles this weekend it was welcomed with nothing short of glee.


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