by Peter Spiegel
June 26, 2015
Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has announced a national referendum on whether his country should agree to creditors’ demands that would release desperately-needed bailout aid to avoid national bankruptcy.
In a televised address to the nation after a late-night meeting of his cabinet, Mr Tsipras announced that the plebiscite would be held on July 5, a week on Sunday.
Mr Tsipras was unenthusiastic about the referendum, saying the creditors’ proposal was “blackmail” and an “indecent proposal”. But he said he would abide by the will of the Greek people as to whether to accept the agreement, presented at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Thursday.
In a sign of how tendentious the vote will be, Panagiotis Lafazanis, the leader of the hard-left group in Mr Tsipras’s governing Syriza party, announced he and his faction would not support a “yes” vote.