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Validity of the greek referendum

Germany
03.07.2015
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Greece awaits court decision on referendum ahead of rallies
Greek officials were braced Friday for a decision by the country's supreme administrative court on the legality of this weekend's bailout referendum, ahead of rival campaign rallies in central Athens.
GALLERY
Athens (dpa) - Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote "no" on Sunday, in a referendum he called to determine whether the country should accept reforms demanded by its international creditors.
Members of the Greek Communist Party Youth during a demonstration against the EU and the Greek Government in Athens, Greece on the 2nd of July 2015.

Greece is rapidly running out of money after defaulting on a loan repayment and losing access to bailout aid this week. Temporary bank closures, capital controls and a cap on cash withdrawals are hampering day-to-day life.

European officials have warned that it will be much harder to reach agreement with Athens on any new bailout arrangements if the country votes "no". But Tsipras is telling voters that rejecting the reforms will give him a mandate to negotiate a better deal for Greece.

Questions have been raised about the validity of the referendum.

Earlier this week, the Council of Europe, a democracy watchdog, said Sunday‘s referendum would not meet international standards, as voters have not been given enough time to prepare and the question posed is too vague.

"The referendum question is neither factually nor legally correct," European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told German daily Die Welt, arguing that the reform package Greeks are being asked to vote on does not reflect the current realities.

Later Friday, the Hellenic Council of State is due to give its verdict on the constitutionality of Sunday‘s poll.

But Triantafyllia Lina Papadopoulou, a law professor law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, says the referendum is unlikely to be challenged.

"Even if they go into the substance, I think it will be too late to annul the referendum," she told dpa.

Latest opinion polls suggest a close race.
A woman watches Greeces Prime minister Alexis Tsipras TV announcement in a electronics shop in central Athens, Greece, 01 July 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that anyone who says a no vote in Sundays referendum would mean a Greek exit from the eurozone is telling lies. Speaking in an address to the nation, Tsipras vows to press ahead with the referendum on bailout terms and once again urges the Greek people to vote no.

According to a survey by ALCO published Friday in the Ethnos newspaper, the "yes" camp is slightly ahead with 44.8 per cent, compared with 43.4 per cent for the "no" camp. A further 11.8 per cent are undecided. The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.

The survey also found that 74 per cent of Greeks want to stay in the euro and just 15 per cent want to return to a national currency.

According to Greek media, Tsipras is expected to attend a "no" rally in central Athens later Friday, where a number of leading musicians and singers will also stage a concert. A separate campaign event was being planned by the "yes" camp.

Tsipras‘ decision to call the referendum brought a sudden end to months of negotiations between Athens and its creditors - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - on reforms needed to access bailout aid.

A key demand out of Athens is a debt restructuring or haircut, in order to reach sustainable debt levels.

On Thursday, the IMF agreed that the country would require a restructuring of its debt, with longer maturities for its European loans, in addition to around 50 billion euros (56 billion dollars) in new funding to get through the end of 2018.

A worsening of the country‘s economic situation and a "weak reform effort" were to blame, the Washington-based fund said.

 

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