European markets solid as Greek referendum looms

Still, Varoufakis said, it’s possible that a majority of Greeks will vote in the referendum to accept the creditors’ plan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “There can be no negotiations for a new credit program before the referendum”.

Political watchers say the powerful Merkel is watching Tsipras twist, waiting to see if he’ll resign on Sunday if the people vote Yes.

Greece now looks poised to become the first country to default on the International Monetary Fund since Zimbabwe in 2001, and the wealthiest, in terms of standards of living.

Another option, of course, is that Greek voters will vote “Yes” in the referendum despite their left-wing government urging them to reject the bailout proposals.

And his application for a third bailout was accompanied by a request for debt restructuring that other eurozone countries would, at this stage, be unwilling to consider, he adds.

Whether enough Greeks join the “Yes” ranks before Sunday to keep it in the eurozone “is the million-drachma question”.

Tsipras has called for a referendum on the EU’s proposals as a show of Greek defiance to the austerity measures the European Union insists Greece use to restore stability to its participation in the Eurozone.

Greece is in a financial limbo now that its bailout program has expired, cutting it off from vital financing and pushing it one step closer to leaving the euro.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was right to have said that the Greek decision to hold a vote after the June 30 deadline was “irresponsible” and the move could well backfire on Mr Tsipras – especially if he is on the losing end after telling his countrymen to reject the offer on the table.

The ministers “take note” of a letter from Tsipras that emerged Wednesday telling creditors he was ready to accept terms they offered at the weekend.

But European leaders, fed up with Tsipras and in no mood for quick compromise, dashed any hopes of a breakthrough.

Two ex- Greek prime ministers, who oversaw the country’s descent into austerity policies, Kostas Karamanlis and Antonis Samaras of the right-wing New Democracy party, have both separately urged Greeks to vote yes.

And in a blog post on Wednesday afternoon, finance minister Yanis Varoufakis wrote on why the government is recommending a “No” vote, in six short bullets.

(AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos). Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally by supporters of the “No” vote to the upcoming referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. It may demand even greater sacrifices in return for more help.

“We are committed to avoid a catastrophe for Greece and difficulties for Europe and France”, Sapin said. “I’m afraid it will be worse soon”.

In the event, the ECB on Wednesday night did not change the collateral requirements, nor did it increase the amount of emergency loans it would provide to the banks.

The European Commission wants Greece to raise taxes and heavily cut welfare spending to meet its debt obligations.


p style=”text-align: center;”>A group of demonstrators from Greece's communist party KKE staged the protest atop the Acropolis as Athens braced for a 48-hour


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