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Greece 'Yes' and 'No' voters tied for Sunday's referendum, shows latest poll

Saturday, July 4th 2015 - 07:33 UTC
Full article 45 comments
“This is not a protest. It is a celebration to overcome fear and blackmail,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told a crowd of 25,000 “This is not a protest. It is a celebration to overcome fear and blackmail,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told a crowd of 25,000
Public opinion polls showed an overwhelming majority of people, 75% want Greece to remain in the Euro currency Public opinion polls showed an overwhelming majority of people, 75% want Greece to remain in the Euro currency
About 17,000 people gathered outside the Panathenian stadium for the “yes” rally, waving Greek and EU flags and chanting “Greece, Europe, Democracy.” About 17,000 people gathered outside the Panathenian stadium for the “yes” rally, waving Greek and EU flags and chanting “Greece, Europe, Democracy.”

Greeks packed city squares for dueling rallies late into the night Friday, as polls showed a dead heat between the 'yes' and 'no' camps ahead of a bailout referendum Sunday that could be Greece's most important vote since it joined the European Union.

 More than 40,000 people gathered at the two rallies, 800 meters apart, before Sunday's vote on whether to accept creditors' proposals for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans, or reject the deal as a show of defiance against years of harsh economic austerity.

“This is not a protest. It is a celebration to overcome fear and blackmail,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told a crowd of 25,000 in front of parliament, who were chanting “oxi, oxi” — “no, no.” Tsipras angered Greece's creditors by calling the referendum and is urging Greeks to vote no.

Meanwhile, police said about 17,000 people gathered outside the nearby Panathenian stadium for the “yes” rally, waving Greek and European Union flags and chanting “Greece, Europe, Democracy.”

Rallies for both campaigns were also held in 10 other Greek cities Friday.

Tsipras is gambling the future of his five-month-old left wing government on Sunday's snap poll — insisting a “no” vote will strengthen his hand to negotiate a third bailout with better terms.

But the high-stakes standoff with lenders this week saw Greece default on debts, close banks to avoid their collapse, and lose access to billions of Euros as an existing bailout deal expired.

The country's top court stayed in session till the late afternoon before rejecting a petition to declare the referendum illegal, while party leaders, personalities, and church elders weighed in with impassioned pleas to vote “no” or “yes” on the airwaves and social media.

In a rare public declaration, 16 former armed forces leaders wrote an appeal to citizens to show “calm and national unity.”

A series of polls published Friday at the end of a frantic weeklong campaign showed the two sides in a dead heat, with an incremental lead of the “yes” vote well within the margin of error.

But they showed an overwhelming majority of people, 75% want Greece to remain in the euro currency. Much of the ambiguity arises from the complicated question on the ballot paper:

“Must the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the Eurogroup of 25 June, 2015, and comprised of two parts which make up their joint proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled 'reforms for the completion of the current program and beyond' and the second 'Preliminary debt sustainability analysis.'”

“People don't even understand the question,” Athens Mayor George Kaminis told supporters at the “yes” rally.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    He should be the new president of TDC: he certainly has the 'gob' to lie with a straight face.

    Who GAF anyway, not me?

    Jul 04th, 2015 - 11:20 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1. If you don't GAF, why comment?

    How about reality? The European Commission desperately wanted another sign-up. The EC is crooked so it connived at some false accounting to indicate that Greece had met the appropriate criteria. With such an important matter as accession to an economic bloc at stage, who wouldn't check all the data? Didn't Greece get told to expect economic miracles? Who could really blame them? And here we are, years down the road. Syriza was elected with a mandate to oppose austerity. Given the many EU pronouncements about “solidarity”, what might Greece expect?

    What is it getting? The Troika (EC, ECB and IMF) are quite prepared to sit back and watch Greeks, and others in the country, DIE! Reports say that, by Monday, there will be no money and no medication. The Troika is prepared to stand by and watch starvation, life-threatening illness. So much for “solidarity”.

    But, at least here in the UK, we can see the truth about the EU. It's all about power, privilege and money. Mostly for the Commissars. The people of the UK should remember this!

    It shouldn't be beyond the competence of a 5 year old child to work out how to help Greece survive and make a start on repayment. What does it matter to the EC, ECB and IMF if the money isn't repaid for 20, 30, 40 years? It's not their money. The money comes from the taxpayers of the world. Why not ask them whether they want to see Greeks dying on the streets?

    Jul 04th, 2015 - 01:51 pm 0
  • Pugol-H

    Europe has clearly stated they regard this as a referendum on being in/out of the Euro zone and probably the EU as well.

    Yet this clown is telling his people that a “no” vote will strengthen his hand in negotiations that are never going to happen, if there is a no vote.

    EU creditors are not going to change their insistence that Greece implements the reforms it has already agreed to, in order to get the bailout funds it has already received.

    Only then will they talk about debt relief, anything else would not go down well with the (mostly German) taxpayers back home. Greece owes several EU countries a LOT of money.

    Whatever the Greeks “vote” it will not change that.

    Tsipras seems to view the world through similar lenses to TinPotMan.

    Jul 04th, 2015 - 04:12 pm 0
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