Live from London

Greeks mull over possible voter referendum

Joanna Kakissis Oct 7, 2011
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Live from London

Greeks mull over possible voter referendum

Joanna Kakissis Oct 7, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Steve Chiotakis: Germany’s economic minister said today Berlin supports investment in Greece to get the debt-burdened country’s economy growing again.

Greece’s economy is expected to shrink by 5.5 percent this year, and polls there show nearly
all Greeks believe the austerity measures there are making the economy much worse. But Greeks may get a chance to shape some financial reforms
in a voter referendum later this year.

Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens.


Joanna Kakissis: “Let’s hit the streets!” That’s become the fight song for Greeks who say they can’t afford lower wages, pension cuts and tax hikes. But turnout for the demonstrations earlier this week was much smaller than expected.

Elena Roussoglou owns a toy shop in Athens. She says she stayed home because she feels powerless. A referendum, she says, would give voice to the people.

Elena Roussoglou: The referendum may be a solution because all of us will vote on our future and what we want for the next days. It will be the real voice of us.

The referendum aims to get public approval to change the constitution. That would make it easier to fire unproductive civil servants and collect taxes.

But most people really want a referendum on austerity measures. They don’t believe the European Union, or even their own politicians, know what Greeks going through.

In Athens, I’m Joanna Kakissis for Marketplace.

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