Greek leader presses on with aus­ter­ity vote

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

ATHENS, Greece — Eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters de­cided Wed­nes­day to break off talks on more aid for Greece un­til af­ter it holds a week­end ref­er­en­dum, even as the Greek gov­ern­ment pressed ahead with plans to let the peo­ple de­cide whether to ac­cept more aus­ter­ity mea­sures in ex­change for a res­cue deal. Fol­low­ing a late-night tele­con­fer­ence, the chair­man of the eurogroup said the 19 min­is­ters had de­cided to put any fur­ther ne­go­ti­a­tions on hold. “Given the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, the rejection of the pre­vi­ous pro­pos­als, the ref­er­en­dum which will take place on Sun­day, and the rec­om­men­da­tion by the Greek gov­ern­ment to vote ‘No,’ we see no grounds for fur­ther talks at this point,’’ Dutch For­eign Min­is­ter Jeroen Di­js­sel­bloem said. “There will be no talks in the com­ing days, ei­ther at eurogroup level or be­tween the Greek author­i­ties and the in­sti­tu­tions on pro­pos­als or fi­nan­cial ar­range­ments.” Ear­lier Wed­nes­day, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras, who called the pop­u­lar vote for Sun­day, was de­fi­ant, say­ing it would go ahead as planned and again urg­ing cit­i­zens to vote “No.’’ In a tele­vised ad­dress to the na­tion, he said a “No’’ re­sult would not mean that Greece would have to leave the euro, as many Euro­pean of­fi­cials have ar­gued.

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