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Greek finance minister vows to resign if Greeks vote for creditor austerity proposals

July 05, 2015, 15:44 UTC+3 BERLIN
"The majority will not say ‘yes,’" he said, however
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Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis

© JULIEN WARNAND/EPA/TASS

BERLIN, July 5. /TASS/. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday he would resign, if Greeks voted for international lenders’ proposals on more austerity measures for Greece in exchange for much-needed loans. The Greek finance minister was interviewed by the German newspaper Bild on Sunday. When asked about whether he would resign, if Greeks approved the creditor proposals, Varoufakis answered: "Absolutely."

"The majority will not say ‘yes,’" he said, however.

The Greek finance minister’s statement comes as Greeks are voting in a referendum on Sunday on international creditors’ proposals for tight fiscal reforms in exchange for loans for the debt-laden country. The referendum, in which about 8.5 million Greeks are eligible to vote, will be considered as valid, if at least 40% of registered voters come to the polls.

Greeks have to decide at the July 5 referendum whether the Greek government should accept or reject a draft agreement on a new austerity package for debt-stricken Greece worked out by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Greek Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote against creditor proposals for austerity reforms, throwing into question the country’s stay in the eurozone.

According to Tsipras, the creditors’ proposals are clearly violating the pan-European rules and the right to employment, equality and dignity. He said that many partners had not wanted to reach an agreement with all the parties. Their aim was to humiliate an entire nation, Tsipras said. He urged the Greek people to say "no" to the proposals. That "no’’ vote, according to Tsipras, will be the chief argument, which the government will use as the basis for improving the parameters of the agreement during further consultations with the creditors.

Since 2010, when Greece’s sovereign debt crisis broke out, Athens has received 240 billion euros in bailout loans from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Despite a partial debt write-off in 2012, Greece’s sovereign debt currently exceeds 315 billion euros or 175% of its GDP. This figure is almost three times the debt-to-GDP ratio set for the eurozone countries, which should not exceed 60% of GDO according to the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.

Greece’s international creditors say the Hellenic Republic can receive further financial aid, if the government undertakes to implement further austerity measures in the country.

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