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Greek Alt Min: Tsipras Called for a Referendum Otherwise the Govt Would Have Fallen

tsakalotos_2.7_708Greece’s Alternate Minister for International Economic Relations Euclid Tsakalotos told CNN on Thursday that the Greek government decided to hold a referendum otherwise it would have fallen. The Minister repeated the same on Greek television on Friday morning.
Tsakalotos, the head of Greece’s negotiating team, said that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could not bring the deal creditors proposed to parliament because SYRIZA MPs would vote against it, therefore the government would have fallen.
The Minister also admitted that if Greek citizens vote “Yes” on Sunday’s referendum, the government would have been defeated but it will follow the people’s mandate.
Tsakalotos blamed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for being adamant in its austerity proposals, therefore being partially responsible for Greece not reaching a deal with creditors.
CNN’s Christian Amanpour asked the Greek Minister to explain Tsipras’ attitude, who was telling European Union leaders that he will accept their proposal with some changes and the next moment he was telling the Greek people he was blackmailed and asked them to vote “No.” Tsakalotos replied: “The government’s position is simple. The proposal of the institutions is not a viable solution. It does not create the conditions for us to do what we promised to do. This meant that we could not table it in parliament because they would vote against it and the government would have fallen. For this reason we proceeded to the referendum for the people to decide if it is a fair compromise. If you answer ‘Yes,’ we will respect that. If you say ‘No,’ we will continue to negotiate for a sustainable agreement.”
When the CNN journalist said there is no reason for a referendum since it is based on a proposal that has been withdrawn, the Greek Minister said: “There is always reason for democracy. If Europe decides they cannot live with a government with slightly different priorities, social and economic, it closes the door to democracy and opens the door to dangerous right-wing policies. If there is nothing on the table after the mandate of the people, then the whole world will draw the conclusion that in Europe you can vote what you want, but you will always have the same policies. This is not good for democracy.”

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