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European Parliament president appeals to Greeks to vote 'yes' in July 5 referendum
On the background of an amassed sell-off on European and North American stock markets and the deepening disquiet over how the EU might get over the aftermaths of the Greek financial crisis, European Parliament President Martin Schultz urged the Greeks to vote for cooperation with creditors in the July 5 referendum so that their country could remain in the euro area.
"I was asked to go to Greece by the conference of European Parliament presidents and I am prepared to go," he said at a news conference.
"We make an appeal to the Greek people to vote 'yes'," Schulz said. "I will run and I will fight to convince the Greek people to stay."
He said the referendum was a legitimate instrument for expression of the people's opinion and he said Greek voters should come to the polls and do it, as the EU was ready to grant more than €30 billion to them.
Schultz said this did not mean humiliation of Greece in any way but it did mean an opportunity for development.
In the meantime, the chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem the door for negotiations between the Greek government and the creditors was still open.
"I continue to say our door is open, although the options and the time are very limited," Reuters quoted him. "This really is about the future of Greece and of the euro zone, but mostly of Greece."
Since the beginning of last week, the Greek government and the creditors were holding talks literally day and night but the Greek delegation left them late at night on Friday, June 26.
Right after that, Alexis Tsipras declared a referendum on the country's relations with the international creditors. More than that, he recommended the Greek voters to vote against the creditors' recommendations on new measures of economic austerity, which they set forth as a term for granting further aid to the country.
The referendum has been scheduled for July 5.
The cancelation of talks has made the threat of the Greek government's default on the IMF loans a looming reality. The creditors who had an emergency meeting of the Eurogroup on Saturday refused to prolong the international program of financial aid for a third time in the absence of agreement of programme of reforms in Greece.
With a big degree of probability, this may lead up to a non-repayment of €1.6 billion on to the IMF on June 30, which will make any further loans to Athens on the part of the fund impossible before Athens pays off the debt.
[Source: Itar Tass, Brussels, 29Jun15]
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