Greek PM Alexis Tsipras calls bailout referendum

 
Joe Hall
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Tsipras described the bailout deal as "humiliation" (Source: Getty)

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a 5 July referendum on a bailout deal on with its creditors, saying "the people must decide free of any blackmail".

Read more: European Commission President says proposals "good basis for progress"

Proposals for a five-month extension to its bailout deal, aimed at unlocking €7.2bn (£5bn) to avoid the country defaulting on its debts, was rejected by Greece yesterday.

Following the failed talks, Tsipras gave a televised address in which he said the proposed plan included "unbearable" reforms and represented "severe and humiliating austerity without end".

Tsipras said:

These proposals, which clearly violate the European rules and the basic right to work, equality and dignity show that the purpose of some of the partners and institutions was not a viable agreement for all parties, but possibly the humiliation of an entire people.

In contrast German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday described the proposed plan as an "extraordinarily generous" offer, while European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker remained "quite optimistic" of concluding an agreement.

Eurozone finance ministers will meet again today to discuss the offer. The dispute centres over what Greece believes to be unacceptable public spending cut requirements and Athens' desire for a "concrete commitment to debt relief".

Greece has to make a €1.8bn payment due to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, failing to do so would put into arrears and potentially lead to a default and, ultimately, an exit from the euro.

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