05:36 GMT10 July 2020
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    Greece's Gordian Knot: Syriza Tackles Austerity (404)
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    The Greek government will reach a deal with the international creditors regardless of the outcome of what has been dubbed a Greferendum, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said, adding that a "Yes" vote will result in "an absolutely disastrous" agreement.

    "Europe needs an agreement, Greece needs an agreement, so we will reach an agreement. What happens is that if 'Yes' wins in the referendum, we will have not just a bad deal, but an absolutely disastrous one," Varoufakis told the Spanish daily El Mundo.

    Should Greeks vote against accepting the deal, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have the leverage to fight for a better agreement with its ‘Troika’ of creditors: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission.

    "Don't get me wrong, if 'No' wins, we will not reach a fantastic agreement, but not as bad as the one currently offered," Varoufakis explained. The finance minister reiterated that in the event of a "No" vote, Tsipras would go to Brussels on Monday to secure a deal and the banks, which closed last week, would reopen.

    Varoufakis also promised to resign if Greeks vote in favor of accepting the new set of austerity measures offered by the Troika. The country’s government, run by the left-wing party Syriza, has campaigned hard for the people to vote against the latest proposal.

    EU officials, including Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, have said that the "No" vote would be interpreted as a step toward an exit from the Eurozone.

    The current Greek government came to power on an anti-austerity platform in early 2015. It has been engaged in months-long talks over the bailout deal but has failed to reach an agreement with the creditors, prompting Tsipras to call for a nationwide referendum.

    The second bailout program for Greece ran out on June 30. The same day, Athens failed to transfer a $1.7-billion loan repayment to the IMF. The country's overall debt stands at about 350 billion USD, or more than $31,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.

    Approximately 10 million Greek citizens are expected to take part in the Sunday referendum. The question on the ballot reads: "Should the plan of agreement, which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of June 25, 2015 and is comprised of two parts that constitute their unified proposal be accepted?

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


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