EU's Juncker Urges Massive Yes Vote in Greece Bailout Referendum
Greece's government "made people [in the country] imagine wrong things after last Friday's discussions," EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said.
In a press conference aired live, he has insisted Greeks deserve to know the truth about the bailout proposals put forward by lenders last week.
Juncker has acknowledged he was not informed of Tsipras' decision to hold a bailout referendum and was "disappointed" to learn about the step.
However, Juncker has also asked the Greek people "to vote "Yes", independently of the question they are asked to answer": "From the Greek vote there will be a positive signal for Greece and for other members of the Eurozone... then the message of the other members of the Eurozone will mean that Greece wants to stay with the other states of the Eurozone and in the European Union."
A no, on the other hand, would mean "no" to Europe, he has answered to a journalist's question.
"On our side the door is still open," he has underscored, just a day before a deadline on a payment to the IMF is looming for Greece and the country is facing default.
Juncker has made clear that the policies of Athens over the past few days are "not an attitude worthy of the Greek nation" and that they don't "help other citizens."
He has criticized Greek officials from ending negotiations "unexpectedly" on Friday night.
In his words, Greek citizens who are being told to vote next Sunday in a bailout referendum need a clear picture of what's at stake.
"[Greek people] have to know all the elements of the debate we had for such a long time."
He has called the reform proposals rejected by Alexis Tsipras' government "a demanding and comprehensive package but a fair one".
Juncker has stressed that, contrary to statements in the media, "no pension cuts [are] in this package," repeated several times, reiterating several times and later also stressing defense cuts are required instead.
The package also "creates more social fairness, more growth and a more transparent public administration," he has explained.
Less tax relief for ship owners and stepped-up efforts against corruption and the enforcement of an independent tax administration ("who could be against this?") are also part of the list of creditors' offers, Juncker has underlined.
Addressing some of Greece's long-standing problems, he has cited the example of high energy prices as an example of refusal to "tackle vested interests."
"I believe growth can restart soon... as soon there is a deal."
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