Greece will have a referendum on whether to accept an accord with its creditors on July 5.
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras made a TV address to the public late Friday.
During the address, he said Greece’s creditors gave its government an ultimatum, and that the creditors’ proposals went against the EU’s rules. Their aim, he said, was to humiliate the Greek people.
Tsipras then announced he would call a referendum on the creditors’ proposals, which will take place July 5. Tsipras says he has notified both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ECB President Mario Draghi about the referendum. He said that Greece is still, and will continue to be, a part of Europe, and that the country’s response to the EU’s pressures should be democratic.
Negotiations with Greece’s creditors are down to the wire. Earlier Friday, several analysts said that upcoming negotiation round on Saturday is really, really, really the last chance to get a deal done. It’s unclear if the referendum news will push that back.
Greece has an upcoming €1.5 billion ($US1.67 billion, £1.06 billion) payment to the IMF coming up on June 30, and it has to figure out a way to pay it. June 30 also happens to be the day when Greece’s current bailout program officially ends. The ECB has said it will continue giving emergency assistance to Greece until then, but it’s not clear what happens after. In his speech, Tsipras also said he wants to ask for a short extension of Greece’s bailout program from creditors, presumably to get Greece through until the July 5 referendum.
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