16:21 GMT28 February 2020
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    Angela Merkel said that Greece has the legitimate right to hold a referendum over its outstanding state debt.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) Greece has the legitimate right to hold a referendum on the issue of its outstanding state debt, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag on Wednesday.

    “It’s Greece’s legitimate right to hold a referendum and it needs to be said that this act of democratic sovereignty is the right of all the other governments in the EU…to have their own understanding of the situation,” Merkel said.

    She added that the European Union is not under the threat of an economic disaster because of the situation in Greece.


    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
    “The remaining governments in the EU do not expect a catastrophe over Greece’s decision. Today’s situation is a challenge for us, but will also become torture for the citizens of Greece,” Merkel added.

    Tuesday was the deadline for Athens and its international creditors to reach a deal on a new bailout package in exchange for austerity reforms. Greece was supposed to repay a $1.7-billion tranche to the International Monetary Fund on that day, but missed the deadline.

    Greece will hold a referendum on July 5 to ask voters to decide whether to accept a new bailout deal offered by the country's international creditors.

    Numerous European politicians, including French President Francois Hollande, stated that they believed that holding the referendum was a right of the Greeks.


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