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Greek leader calls for referendum on bailout

Jeremy Hobson: The prime minister of Greece will ask his citizens to vote on whether they want to accept the tough measures the country has to accept to get more bailout money.

That puts the "grand plan" that was unveiled last week to solve the European debt crisis in doubt.

Marketplace's Europe correspondent Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Sixty percent of the Greek people -- according to the opinion polls -- oppose the second bailout plan, because it entails another 100,000 job losses in the public sector and big pension cuts. To ask the people directly in a referendum whether this is what they want seems like political suicide.

But Greek journalist Matinas Stevis says the prime minister is facing so much opposition, he's decided to take a high risk gamble.

Matinas Stevis: He's saying, "this is the deal. I believe it's the best deal we can get. If you don't like it you can vote against it in this referendum. If you do like it vote in favor of it, and stop complaining."

The referendum is likely to be in January. If the Greeks vote "no," that could lead to a disorderly default and Greece's ejection from the euro zone.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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