Greeks could call election if deal breaks promises

Chris Papadopoullos
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Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said there could be a referendum on bailout terms
EUROZONE officials will meet today as Greece rushes to hammer out a deal that will allow it to avoid defaulting on its debt.

But Greece’s finance minister warned a referendum or even an election could be called if the deal contradicted his Syriza party’s election promises.

“There could be problems. But, as my Prime Minister [Alexis Tsipras] has said, we are not yet glued to our chairs. We can return to elections, call a referendum,” Varoufakis yesterday told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

If Greece secures a new deal, it will be granted an extra €7.2bn (£5.2bn) of funding, just as its finance ministry runs out of cash.

Today’s talks were requested by Varoufakis on Friday in a letter to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the group of Eurozone finance ministers, which also included policy proposals.

“The proposals described in your letter will thus need to be further discussed with the institutions [the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank],” Dijsselbloem wrote in response in a letter obtained by Reuters.

“Let me also clarify that in the course of the current review the institutions will have to take a broad view covering all policy areas.”

One proposal will be to hire tourists as spies to catch tax-evading business, according to leaks.

Varoufakis also yesterday reiterated concerns that Greece will soon be unable to pay its debts.

“I can only say that we have money to pay the salaries and pensions of public employees. For the rest we will have to see.”  One of his main proposals – to link the interest on Greece’s debt to the country’s growth – has still not garnered a response from other Eurozone finance ministers, he said.

“I’d like for Europe to understand that this would be a way of paying back more money, not less.”

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