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The government denies the referendum but not the early elections

09 March 2015 / 20:03:56  GRReporter
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Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis had never said that the government would hold a referendum on Greece’s remaining in the euro zone if its European partners did not agree with the proposals of Athens, as stated in a message issued by the Ministry due to the fuss that followed the publication of the interview with the Minister with influential Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

In particular, the text reads, "The Minister has stated that, as the Prime Minister says, "We are not yet glued to our chairs. If we were faced with intransigence we could turn to the Greek nation with elections or hold a referendum." Immediately afterwards, the office of Yanis Varoufakis stated that "obviously this would affect the content of reforms and fiscal policy. At this particular point in the interview, however, the newspaper added "regarding the euro", which the Minister had neither said nor implied."

The Italian newspaper has responded through an article by the journalist who had conducted the interview with Varoufakis. It ends with the following afterword: "The interview with Yanis Varoufakis that Corriere della Sera published on Sunday has raised the question of the possibility of holding a referendum, with which the Greek government would respond if its proposals on the growth agreement received a negative response. Would it be a referendum on the euro or not? Whatever the referendum that would be held in Greece in response to Brussels’ "no", it would be a referendum on "yes to the euro/no to the euro," regardless of how it would be called. This is clear both to the government in Athens and Minister Varoufakis."

While the Minister of Finance is playing "cat-and-mouse" with the prestigious Italian newspaper, a poll conducted by Marc 7 agency shows that 7 out of 10 Greeks are for Greece’s remaining in the euro zone. In particular, replying to the question as to what should happen if the continuation of the negotiations between Athens and the lenders were not positive, 69.6% of respondents state that they are for a fair consensus, followed by a general decision. The opinion that Greece should embroil with its partners, even if it meant leaving the euro and returning to the drachma is the preference of 27.4% and only 3% have not responded.

One out of every two respondents (50.4%) believes that Greece may go bankrupt in the near future, whereas 45.5% are of the opposite opinion.

The majority of respondents support the first measures that the government had announced, namely alleviating the victims of the "humanitarian crisis", solving the problem of non-performing loans, re-launching the state broadcaster ERT.

84.2% support the establishment of a parliamentary commission to investigate what had led to signing the memorandum of financial assistance whereas 12.9% are opposed to this option.

It is noteworthy that the poll was conducted on behalf of, and published in, the pro-government newspaper Efimerida ton Sintakton.

Meanwhile, the Eurogroup meeting has begun in Brussels but it is not expected that it will decide on the agreement between Greece and its lenders, as Yanis Varoufakis’ proposals for reforms that had leaked out over the past few days were accepted with humour by European capitals. According to sources, the discussion on Greece was very short and there would be no joint statements at the end of the meeting.


Tags: PoliticsMinister of FinanceYanis VaroufakisEuroReferendumEarly electionsNegotiationsMeetingEurogroup
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