Monday

4th Jul 2022

Greece says No to creditors

  • Around 60% of Greek voters followed PM Tsipras' call for a No vote (Photo: Eric Maurice)

Around 60 percent of Greek voters said No Sunday (5 July) to the reforms asked by the country's international creditors, according to results after half of the vote were counted.

The electoral map of Greece was uniformly orange, the colour of the Oxi (No) campaign, showing an homogeneous trend throughout the country.

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By voting No with a wider margin than the latest polls predicted, Greek voters defied EU warnings that a No would be considered a rejection of the euro and Europe.

"Today's No is a No to the eurozone vision as a great cage to its peoples. It is a yes to the eurozone as a land of prosperity for its people," finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said at a press conference.

In his short campaign, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras presented the No vote as a positive act of dignity and democratic virtue.

Tsipras' message chimed with the mood of many Greeks who felt that after five years of crisis and two bailouts, they had nothing to lose by rejecting the creditors' offer of new aid in exchange for further painful reforms.

The strong No result is a major endorsement for Tsipras whose Syriza party was elected with just 36 percent of the vote in January's general election.

"The mandate of the people is clear. A new try begins for an agreement favorable to both sides, as equal partners and not as a debt colony," Tsipras' spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis said on TV.

"The goverment can go now with a very strong card to continue negotiations" with Greece's creditors, labour minister Panos Skourletis told reporters.

Greek chief negotiator with the EU Euclid Tsakalotos said the government would now talk with the creditors to try to find an agreement in the next 48 hours.

Tsakalotos also said the government was "not discussing a parallel currency".

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The Greek vote has widened the gap between Athens and its creditors, according to the European Commission, indicating that the referendum was all but irrelevant as the same problems remain.

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