In a televised address to the nation he backed a No vote and claimed that such an outcome would result in better terms for the Greek people. “‘No’ does not mean a rupture with Europe”.
Creditors have expressed frustration at what they see as the contradictory demands of Tsipras, who seems to have conditionally accepted European proposals while simultaneously asking Greeks to reject the reform measures. German Chancellor Angela Merkel countered by saying no negotiations will take place until the Greeks have gone to the polls to decide on whether to accept the creditors’ offer, which would require pension cuts and a sales tax hike. “There can be no negotiations on a new aid programme before the referendum“.
Traders thought the letter could form the basis of a new deal. That means there is still more to lose and, therefore, more negotiating to be done.
That is of course not good news for Greece, but, the Wall Street Journal notes, the nonpayment won’t cause much immediate pain for the Greek economy.
Demonstrators gather in front of the Greek Parliament.
“The world is watching us. The future of Europe would be at stake if we forgot who we are and what makes us strong – a community based on rules and responsibility”.
With its failure to repay the roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the worldwide Monetary Fund, Greece became the first developed country to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.
“Greece will have to sit down with the institutions regardless of whatever vote emerges on Sunday and try again to reach some kind of agreement on a way forward because without that, the prospects would remain so very bleak”, he said.
“Greece slipped deeper into its financial abyss …”
Tsipras’ office said the proposal was “for the full coverage of (Greece’s) financing needs with the simultaneous restructuring of the debt”.
Greece has been engulfed in a financial crisis. Online banking transactions are suspended, and depositors can take no more than 60 euros a day – about $66 – from ATMs.
The crisis is hitting hard in Greece, where banks will be closed all week, although around a thousand branches opened Wednesday to allow the elderly to receive pension payments.
Yanis Varoufakis said Greece won’t “extend and pretend” that it can pay its debts, vowing to quit as finance minister if voters don’t support the government in Sunday’s referendum.
But even that, for Greeks (and interested observers), is not a straightforward proposition because the ballot-paper question they will be asked to answer is far from easy to understand.
In February, Li urged Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to ensure protection of the rights of China’s companies and backing for a port project. The far-left party is campaigning for a “No” vote. It added that the time had come for Greece to leave the European Union and write off all its debt.
Meanwhile, eurozone finance ministers are meeting Wednesday, potentially raising the heat on Greece and its banks, and restricting access to emergency loans – a situation Sanfey said could hurt the four main Greek banks, which heavily rely on the Bank of Greece’s emergency liquidity assistance and are subject to limits set by the ECB.