EU’S big three warns Greece against referendum ‘no’ vote

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Germany, France and Italy on June 30 warned Greece that a “no” vote on Sunday’s referendum to accept austerity measures will result in the country’s exit from the eurozone and return to the drachma.

As Greeks woke up to the reality of capital controls on June 30 that included a €60 daily limit on bank withdrawals, the European commission insisted that the July 5 vote was about continued euro membership and not whether Greece could get better economic bailout terms.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece would not make a debt payment to the IMF by a midnight deadline on June 30.

S&P said the country’s “payment system would shut down and its banks would not be able to operate” without support from the European Central Bank.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to reject the referendum that would include tax increases and spending cuts.

“The greater the number of no [votes], the greater the weapon the government will have to relaunch negotiations. Greece never left the negotiating table, it is still at the negotiating table,” Tsipras said.

The 40-year-old prime minister confirmed that he and his leftist Syriza party would resign if the yes vote prevailed in the referendum.

“We will respect the result but we will not be there to serve it,” Tsipras said.

Tsipras said Greece’s international creditors “want to kill democracy in the place where it was born. Greek people have experienced more difficult moments and they will survive.”

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