Greece debt crisis: Parliament approves Alexis Tsipras's call for referendum on bailout deal terms

Lynsey Barber
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Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has gained backing for a referendum (Source: Getty)

Ministers in Greece have approved plans to hold a referendum on the country's new bailout deal on 5 July.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a surprise referendum on the new deal terms after a week of negotiations with European leaders.

EU ministers yesterday rejected Greece's request to extend its existing bailout beyond 30 June expiration date and the deadline for a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) repayment to the IMF until after the referendum, which will be held next Sunday.

The vote on Tsipras's motion for a referendum in a meeting of parliament held in the early hours of Sunday morning won backing from at least 179 of the 300 MPs, easily passing the threshold of 151 votes needed to pass.

Tsipras has urged Greek voters to reject the new bailout proposals which call for spending reforms in the country.

The stand-off between Greece and the rest of the Eurozone has led to mounting fears that the country will default on its debts, putting the country on the path to economic collapse and an exit from the Eurozone.

"The euro area authorities stand ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure financial stability of the euro area," the Eurogroup said in a statement yesterday evening.

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