Defiant Tsipras Urges Greeks to Vote ‘No’ in Bailout Referendum
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday called on Greeks to vote ‘No’ in Sunday’s referendum on the conditions of bailout assistance proposed by international creditors.
Sunday's referendum is not about whether Greece will stay in the eurozone or will leave it, Tsipras said in a televised address to the nation, according to amna.gr.
The vote, he said, will represent the people's clear choice on how they want to live the day after.
Tsipras also said Greece "remains at the negotiating table” with his government still aiming for an agreement with the country’s creditors.
The referendum will ask Greeks whether to accept or reject the latest terms offered by the creditors to Athens in order for the country to be granted a further bailout.
Tsipras spoke after he wrote to creditors that he would accept the bailout offer made by the European Commission on Sunday with several amendments.
Greece wants to keep a lower VAT level for its islands, reduce the size of cuts to its defence budget and delay the phasing out of a supplement for some pensioners.
A ‘No’ vote will mean that Greeks want a return to European values, Tsipras said.
He also stressed that a 'No' vote would not push Greece out of the eurozone, but rather win better bailout terms for the country.
"I never expected a democratic Europe not to give space and time [to hold the referendum]. It is a disgrace that we have these scenes of shame because they closed the banks precisely because we wanted to give the people the vote," Tsipras said.
He promised people’s salaries and pensions would be paid and they would not lose money during the capital controls currently in place.
Tsipras also said that a ‘No’ vote means a strong pressure for a viable economic agreement to give a solution to Greece's debt problems.
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