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    Greece Officially Requests No Aid, But Russia’s Assistance Would Be 'Handy'

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    Greece has not officially asked for international help over its current debt crisis, but Moscow's assistance would "come in handy," Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A denial of financial aid from the European Union will not be "the end of the world," as there are other sources of assistance, the minister told Rossiya 24 television channel.

    "When it comes to the assistance, we have not so far officially asked anyone for it, but as you know, every helping hand will come in handy now, first of all, Russia’s [assistance] would be a great relief for us."

    The Greek government will hold a referendum on accepting the bailout deal proposed by the international lenders on July 5. The creditors want Greece to implement additional austerity measures in exchange for cash.

    The European Union has been "blackmailing" Athens, and the upcoming referendum will let Greece officially say "no" to the European "threat," Lafazanis said.

    If creditors do not change their stance on Greece’s bailout program following a "no" vote in the referendum, Athens will implement its prepared "Plan B," the minister said, providing no additional details.

    Earlier this month, Lafazanis said that the development of Greece-Russia relations could contribute to substantial financial and energy-related benefits for Athens.

    Poll

    The Greek bailout referendum is set for July 5. What do you think the outcome will be?
    • The Greeks will vote 'No', and an immediate Grexit will follow
      53.2% (1057)
    • The Greeks will vote 'Yes', and the austerity policy will remain
      12.1% (240)
    • The Troika will finally agree to work out a reasonable compromise and Greece won't have to leave the EU
      34.7% (689)
    Voted: 1986
    Greece established a multibillion-dollar debt by accepting large loans from international creditors following the 2009 economic crisis. The nation has sought additional financial assistance to avoid a possible default and exit from the eurozone.

    Athens' current bailout deal with its creditors expires Tuesday night. The stalled negotiations between the parties on extending the deal in exchange for unfavorable austerity reforms have not reached yielded results.

    On Tuesday, Greece must deliver the $1.7-billion payment to one of its major lenders, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), or face a default. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis stated that the country would not make the payment.

    Topic:
    Greece's Gordian Knot: Syriza Tackles Austerity (404)

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    Tags:
    European Union, referendum, economy, debt talks, Panagiotis Lafazanis, Greece
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