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Tsipras sticks with referendum, calls for ‘No’ vote

AFP | Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses the nation in Athens on July 1, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras confirmed Wednesday that a referendum on the terms of a bailout deal would go ahead Sunday and urged people to vote “No” in order to win "a better deal".

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  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pressed ahead with his plan to put austerity measures to the ballot in a July 5 referendum. In a televised address to the nation, Tsipras called on the people to vote "No" in order to get a better deal with creditors.
  • The Greek leader’s vow to push ahead with Sunday’s referendum came despite many European leaders ruling out any deal with Greece before the vote.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German parliament that, “There can be no negotiations on a new aid programme before the referendum.”
  • In sharp contrast, French President François Hollande said France wants the eurozone to push for a deal before the referendum. "(A deal) must be found before the referendum, it wouldn't have much sense afterwards," said Hollande. "If it doesn't happen, if we have to wait for a referendum, there is always a risk ... of entering a period of turmoil and the unknown. It's better to be sure than to leap into the void."
  • The Council of Europe, an independent body that monitors elections and human rights, said the Greek referendum is not consistent with international election standards.
  • The latest statements came as Tsipras sent a letter to Greek’s creditors offering new concessions to his country’s creditors.

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