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Greece PM Alexis Tsipras thanks people for making ‘brave choice’ as country votes ‘No’ in referendum

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece is willing to return to talks, but "this time the issue of debt will be on the negotiating table."

By: Associated Press | Athens |
Updated: July 6, 2015 2:44:24 pm
greece, greece referendum, greece referendum result, greece referendum vote result, greece referendum vote, greece referendum voting, greece, greece euro crisis, greece urozone, euro crisis, euro crisis greece, european union, european union greece, EU greece, EU, greece economy, greece news, europe news, world news, world economy, indian express Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks with the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos after the results of the referendum at the Presidential Palace in Athens, early Monday, July 6, 2015. (AP Photo)

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday said the “no” result in the bailout referendum shows that “democracy won’t be blackmailed.”

Alexis Tsipras said Greece is willing to return to talks, but “this time the issue of debt will be on the negotiating table.”

He was speaking in a live TV address on Sunday after the government-backed “no” side won by a wide margin in the referendum. Tsipras thanked Greeks for making “a very brave choice.”

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Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras announced his resignation after suffering a big defeat in Sunday’s referendum.

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Samaras, the 64-year-old former prime minister, has announced his decision to step down in a televised address after campaigning for a “yes” vote. Samaras said that “I understand that our great party needs a new start.”

He urged Greeks to put divisions behind them and hold the government to its promise to find a quick agreement with creditors.

Samaras, who served as prime minister between 2102 until January this year, did not say whether he intended to stay on as leader of his center-right New Democracy party.

Germany and France, meanwhile, have called for a European Union summit on Tuesday to discuss the Greece financial crisis after the “no” vote won the bailout referendum.

Germany’s vice chancellor and economy minister says the Greek government is leading its people “onto a path of bitter austerity and hopelessness.”

Sigmar Gabriel told German daily Tagesspiegel that Alexis Tsipras had claimed a “no” vote would improve Greece’s negotiating position. In fact, the Greek prime minister had “torn down the last bridges, across which Europe and Greece could move toward a compromise.”

He added: “By saying no to the eurozone’s rules, as is reflected in the majority ‘no’ vote, it’s difficult to imagine negotiations over an aid package for billions.”

 

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