Long lines in Greece as banks reopen; new proposal weighed

In an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday, Mr Varoufakis said he would not remain Finance Minister after a “yes” vote, but that he would help his successor steer Greece out of its debt crisis. About 1,000 bank branches around the country were ordered by the government to reopen W…

REUTERS/Yves HermanGreek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. “And it will be there on Monday, immediately after the referendum with better terms for the Greek side”. Eurozone finance ministers decided Wednesday to…

Days after Athens defaulted on an IMF loan repayment, the Fund said Greece needed an extra 50 billion euros over the next three years, including 36 billion from its European partners, to stay afloat.

Europe’s main stock markets steadied on Thursday as attention turned to USA jobs data ahead of Greece’s weekend referendum on its bailout. The problem is, the 37-year-old farmer isn’t sure what he’s voting for.

Dijsselbloem said it will be “incredibly difficult” to build a new bailout package for Greece if the country votes “no”. “Some form of short-term political fix in the coming days might delay this for a while, but only at the cost of additional and counter-productive austerity”.

When it emerged this morning that the Greek government had accepted the the bulk of the troika’s conditions, the assumption was that the referendum scheduled for Sunday would be called off. But in a characteristically defiant TV address this afternoon, Alexis Tsipras dismissed this possibility.

“Europe’s top official in charge of the euro said the question being put to the Greek people was “neither factually nor legally correct””.

However, even if the country votes ‘yes, ‘ analysts say it might be too late – as the terms of the bailout offer expired with Tuesday’s deadline.

“They are making a serious mistake”. “‘No’ does not mean a rupture with Europe”.

Tsipras, at loggerheads with Greece’s creditors since his election in January, insisted a “No” vote would “not signify a rupture with Europe” despite efforts by European Union leaders to cast it as a referendum on Greece’s place in the bloc.

Hollande said it was the responsibility of other countries that use the shared currency to keep Greece in the eurozone.

“If it’s the yes, even if it’s on the basis of proposals that have already expired, negotiations can resume and I imagine be quickly concluded”, he said during a visit to Cotonou, Benin. “It’s mad. We don’t know what to do”, said 47-year-old lawyer Nicole Papathanasopoulo. “It’s up to the Greeks to respond”.

Tsipras’ letter said his government was prepared to accept creditors’ proposals, subject to certain amendments.

Greece’s banks have been shuttered to preserve their dwindling cash, and Greeks have been limited to withdrawing 60 euros, or about $67, per day from ATMs.

Elsewhere in Athens, campaigners battled for visibility as time to reach voters was running out.

“I am writing to inform you on the position of the Hellenic Republic towards the list of Prior Actions of the Staff Level Agreement as published on the European Commission website on June 28th 2015”, Tsipeas wrote in a letter today to the heads of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The country has a public debt of $361 billion from previous loans keeping the country afloat for the past five years. They agreed there could be no further talks until the result of the referendum is known.

Voicing frustration with the ongoing debt saga, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde told CNN that talks between Greece and its creditors would benefit from “a bit more adulthood”.

The “No” vote share was down compared to before capital controls were introduced Sunday. “But we have to press them to see reason”, she said, referring to the government.

She did have one question of her own, though. “It is a disgrace that we have these scenes of shame because they closed the banks precisely because we wanted to give the people the vote”.

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