In the early hours of Sunday, the Greek parliament approved a motion to hold a referendum on the proposals submitted by the institutions to the government on July 5. Voting by roll call vote, 178 lawmakers approved the motion, 120 were against, while two were absent, Parliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou announced.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras issued a defiant call on Greeks to reject an "insulting" bailout offer from foreign creditors in the referendum. "The day of truth is coming for the creditors, the time when they will see that Greece will not surrender, that Greece is not a game that has ended," he said in an address to parliament laced with references to democracy and national dignity.
"I am certain that the Greek people will rise to the historical circumstances and issue a resounding 'No' to the ultimatum," he said as he wound up the debate before a vote to authorize the referendum.
“We will all respect the result. We will defend democracy, popular sovereignty and the founding values of Europe,” Tsipras told lawmakers, while adding that the government will not ask permission by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble or Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem to allow the people to have their say and secure democracy in the country it was born.
He criticized the esclusion of Finance Minister yanis Varoufakis by the second Eurogroup meeting earlier today, saying “this day will go down in our common European story as gloomy, not only because some decided outside and beyond any institutional process to block an equal partner from a meeting, but also because finance ministers questioned the right of a sovereign country to decide on its future democratically.”
Earlier in the House debate, former Conservative Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said the July 5th referendum proposed by the ruling Syriza government on the country's bailout terms would end up thrusting Greece out of the euro zone. "In the referendum, it's not really the deal that is being decided; it's the fate of our country in staying in the euro," Samaras said during the heated late-night debate in parliament.
Source: Reuters, AMNA