Voters in Greece have started casting their ballots in a referendum to approve or reject a bailout proposal that has divided the country in YES and NO camps.
More than ten thousand polling centers opened across Greece on Sunday, 7 a.m. local time, while 11 million citizens will be heading to the polling booths until 7 p.m. tonight.
The crucial vote will take place in schools and university buildings transformed into polling stations.
Greeks are asked to check one of two boxes: “not approved/no” and “approved/yes,” in response to the following question:
“Must the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the Eurogroup of 25 June, 2015, and comprised of two parts which make up their joint proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled ‘reforms for the completion of the current program and beyond’ and the second ‘Preliminary debt sustainability analysis.'”
The referendum was announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the early morning of June 27 2015, and ratified the following day by the Parliament and the President.
It will be the first referendum to be held since the republic referendum of 1974, and the only one in modern Greek history not to concern the form of government.
The Greek government urge the nation to vote NO, hoping to renegotiate the terms of a bailout deal with its creditors.
The supporters of yes, among them most opposition parties, are saying that the vote puts at stake Greece’s membership in the Eurozone and might mean a return to drachma for the crisis-hit country.
The latest opinion poll published on Friday found that Greeks are almost evenly split between a “Yes” and “No” vote.