ATHENS: Greece was officially declared in default on Friday, injecting even more urgency into a make-or-break weekend referendum that new polls suggested was too close to call. The fund providing Greece's financial lifeline declared "an event of default by Greece". The European Financial Stability Facility added, though, that it had decided to not immediately demand repayment of its loans -- a step that analysts say could have triggered sudden "Grexit", or Greece's exit from the eurozone.
BRUSSELS: European leaders Monday pleaded with Greek voters to back hotly disputed bailout proposals in a crunch referendum or face leaving the euro as bank closures left many in Greece scrambling to find cash. On the eve of an expected debt default that could set Greece on the path to a euro exit, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought to calm nerves by leaving the door open to talks, saying the July 5 plebiscite on creditors' latest cash-for-reform plans would leave the country "better armed" in the fight for a debt deal.
Although the details of Greece’s third bailout program have yet to be finalized, Monday marked the beginning of a new dawn for Greeks. Last week, PM Alexis Tsipras forced a set of draconian "reforms" through parliament and sacked political rivals, effectively legislating away the country’s sovereignty while condemning the Greek people to a fate of even tougher austerity and ensuring that despite rhetoric out of Athens, "normality" will not return to Greece for a very long time.
ATHENS: In the shade of oak trees in a dusty Athens park, a fierce debate is raging: is it better to vote 'No' in the upcoming referendum and unshackle Greece from its creditors, or say 'Yes' to Europe? Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged people to vote against the latest bailout deal offered by European governments, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, slamming their conditions as "humiliating".
ATHENS: Voters in Greece resoundingly rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal. The opposition accused Tsipras of jeopardizing the country's membership in the 19-nation club that uses the euro and said a ``yes'' vote was about keeping the common currency. With 87 percent of the votes counted, the ``no'' side had more than 60 percent.
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 him in Sunday’s referendum.
With banks shuttered and Greece’s economy hobbled by capital controls, Varoufakis said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Athens that he would “rather cut my arm off” than sign a deal that fails to restructure Greece’s debt. The 54-year-old economics professor said he “will not” continue in his post if Greece endorses austerity in the plebiscite.
It was less than three weeks ago that, in the aftermath of the surprising announcement of the Greek referendum and the even more surprising cap on the ECB's now clearly conditional ELA, the world was greeted to massive lines of Greeks waiting at ATMs where they were allowed to withdraw only €60 per day. Following the Greek capitulation, whose sole directive was recovering access to locked up bank funds, hopes were that Greek banks would promptly reopen, and now, according to a Greek senior banker cited by Reuters we know just when that will happen: Monday.
The Greek government enforced strict capital controls after it announced the country would vote in a referendum on Sunday. People are technically only allowed to withdraw just €60 (£42.30, $66.40) a day from banks. This is to stop people draining the banks of their funds and bleeding its deposits dry.