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Greek euro referendum scrapped

The Greek government has scrapped plans to hold a referendum on the country’s bailout and membership of the eurozone.

Greek prime minister George Papandreou announced on Monday that a referendum would be held on the new £111bn bailout, which also includes a 50 per cent write-down of government debt and further austerity measures.

Shortly after reports of Papandreou’s possible resignation were dismissed this afternoon, the Greek prime minister was forced to backtrack on its earlier promise of a public vote on a bailout.

The U-turn followed an emergency meeting of the Greek cabinet, which was prompted when finance minister Evangelos Venizelos voiced his unhappiness at the mooted referendum

According to a text of Papandreou’s speech to his cabinet released to media, he says: “I will be glad even if we don’t go to a referendum, which was never a purpose in itself. I’m glad that all this discussion has at least brought a lot of people back to their senses.”

Papandreou still faces calls to form a transitional government and resign from his post. However, he has signalled that he is willing to speak to the opposition to achieve consensus on the bailout.

Yesterday, Papandreou spoke with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on his decision to put the bailout to a public vote. Before the meeting, the offer of an €8 billion loan was temporarily withdrawn by the European Union.

The prime minister will also undergo a vote of confidence tomorrow, following three days of debate on the issue by Greek lawmakers.

At close the FTSE 100 was up 1.2 per cent to stand at 5546.


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. They should stick to selling Kebabs

  2. Why do we spend or more importantly, waste so much time money and effort on a country like Greece, that is a complete waste of space ?

  3. At a guess it would be because of how much of it’s debt our banks and government have with it!

  4. Now`s the time to ask the Germans if they want to join the Pound-Mark and dump the other European basket cases. Will mean no more european wars, cheaper holidays around the Med and much lower costs on importing red wine! A no-brainer if ever I saw one.

  5. It’s no wonder they are in so much debt. Have you seen the number of plates they smash after they’ve had their tea?

  6. Dermot Brannigan 3rd November 2011 at 4:25 pm

    If Greece leaves the euro they may well recover faster than Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy by being able to devalue the drachma (or whatever they want to call their currency).
    Has this all meant a new meaning for the word ‘greek’?
    A Greek restaurant is now one where they charge you loads to go in, on the pretext they’ll pay it all back when you leave. Then when you ask for your money, they decide to ask the staff whether they should do that.
    Will we soon have Greek mortgages, rather than adverse mortgages. Greeks are borrowers who borrow way more than they can afford, and then go on strike when a demand for payment is made.

  7. Marlene, “democracy” is a Greek word…

  8. Ken,

    Democracy is an English word. demokratía is a Greek word but that was around 2500 years ago !

    They are still a waste of space.

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