Tsipras calls for 'emphatic no' in bailout referendum

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ATHENS
Published 28.06.2015 02:16
Updated 28.06.2015 02:18
Tsipras calls for 'emphatic no' in bailout referendum

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has once again urged Greeks to vote against creditor proposals for reforms in exchange for loans in a referendum he has called for next week.

Speaking in parliament on Saturday, Tsipras said the reforms proposed by Greece's creditor institutions the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission, were an ultimatum and an insult.

Parliament is now to vote on his motion for a referendum to be held. It is expected to pass, as his coalition government holds a majority of 162 seats in the 300-member parliament.

"We exhausted every limit of concessions so there could be an agreement," Tsipras said. "Perhaps some saw that as a weakness."

"This no will also be a big yes, a big yes to the decision of the Greek government to reject an ultimatum that insults the Greek people."

After months of intense negotiations with lenders, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on Friday that he would put the terms of the creditors' "humiliating" bailout offer to a popular vote on July 5.

Finance ministers of the other 18 countries sharing the euro met for the first time without Greece on Saturday, rebuffing its pleas to extend an expiring bailout until after the referendum.

Without a deal on bailout cash, Athens is set to default on 1.6 billion euros of debt to the IMF on Tuesday.

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