27th June 2015
The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a referendum on the bailout terms given the “unbearable” pain of the bailout plan. As the Greek parliament began meeting to consider whether to ratify the vote, some queues were seen outside banks in Athens.
For the referendum even to take place, eurozone finance ministers will have to agree to extend Greece’s current bailout, which expires on Tuesday.
The Greek prime minister said eurozone finance ministers had presented Greece with an “ultimatum that is against the values of Europe” as he called the vote for 5 July. Creditors had offered Greece a five-month, €12bn extension of the country’s current bailout programme.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had described the deal as “extraordinarily generous”. Tsipras said the reforms would hurt the jobs market. He said he was obliged to respond based on the sovereign will of the Greek people, who would be asked to accept or reject the offer in the referendum question in just over a week.
He urged Greek voters to send a “sound response” to the world and sought to reassure them that whatever the outcome, “Greece will stay part of Europe”. Greece had previously put forward plans to make €8bn in savings through VAT rises, wealth taxes and defence spending cuts.
But the IMF claimed the proposals were insufficient and said further cuts to salaries and pensions were needed.