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Greece debt crisis: MPs back referendum on bailout

The Greek parliament has backed plans for a referendum on international creditors’ terms for a new bailout.

The 5 July referendum was called by PM Alexis Tsipras, who opposes further budget cuts. He urged voters to deliver a “resounding ‘no’” to the package.

Eurozone partners have criticised Greece’s referendum announcement, and rejected its request to extend the bailout programme beyond 30 June.

Greece faces default if it fails to pay €1.6bn (£1.1bn) to the IMF on that day.

There are fears the country may leave the euro and that its economy may collapse without new bailout funds.

Mr Tsipras’s motion on a referendum easily won the backing in the 300-member strong parliament, with at least 179 MPs voting “yes” in the early hours of Sunday.

Speaking just before the vote, Mr Tsipras described the creditors’ proposal as “an insulting ultimatum” and said an emphatic “no” vote on 5 July would strengthen Greece’s negotiating position.

His government had earlier rejected the creditors’ offer of a five-month extension to Greece’s bailout programme in exchange for reforms.

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On Saturday, eurozone finance ministers rejected the Greek proposal for the bailout extension beyond Tuesday’s deadline. A Eurogroup statement said Greece had broken off negotiations over a new bailout deal “unilaterally”.

Source:https://www.bbc.com

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