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    France Respects Athens’ Decision on Referendum – Finance Minister

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    France respects Athens's decision to hold a bailout referendum and does not want Greece to leave the eurozone, French Minister of Finance Michel Sapin said Saturday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Greek government announced a national referendum on July 5 for voters to decide whether to accept the deal offered by the lenders. Many European finance ministers were "negatively surprised" with the move.

    "What is France's position? Respect for democracy. We have to respect this procedure [the referendum]," the French minister said at a press conference adding that no country within the Eurozone wants Grexit.

    Greece was particularly hard-hit by the aftereffects of the 2008-2009 world economic crisis. International lenders, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union countries and the European Central Bank (ECB) offered large loans to the country. The bailout multiplied by the mismanagement by previous Greek governments resulted in Athens' multibillion-dollar debt.

    Athens and its major international creditors have until Tuesday to agree on financial aid package for Greece before the June 30 deadline of the current bailout program expires.

    The same day, Greece must deliver the $1.7-billion payment to the IMF. If Athens fails to do so, it may default and exit eurozone.

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    Financial crisis in Greece (197)

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    International Monetary Fund, France, Grexit, bailout, The European Central Bank (ECB), Greece
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