Greece on brink: No campaign 20% lead votes are counted country's bailout referendum leaving their Eurozone in turmoil (usa next

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Tsipras made sure he updated his followers on social media, tweeting about democracy after votingEarly indications suggest Greece has voted against Europe's latest bailout package, plunging the country's future in the Eurozone into further doubt. 

With more than a third of the votes counted, the 'No' campaign has raced into a 22 point lead - on 61 per cent - leaving the nation teetering on the edge of a possible exit from the Euro.

Six opinion polls released moments after voting ended predicted a victory for the 'No' campaign.

Within minutes of polls closing, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande called an emergency meeting to find a 'solution' for Greece.

With an announcement of the final result imminent, anti-austerity voters took to the streets in celebration, singing as they waved Greek flags.

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Early indications suggest Greece has voted against Europe's latest bailout package, plunging their future in the Eurozone into further doubt

Early indications suggest Greece has voted against Europe's latest bailout package, plunging their future in the Eurozone into further doubt

 Six opinion polls released moments after voting ended showed a lead for the 'No' campaign

Counting: Six opinion polls released moments after voting ended showed a lead for the 'No' campaign

 Anti-austerity voters cheered as it appeared that the 'No' campaign was taking a lead

Celebrations: Anti-austerity voters cheered as it appeared that the 'No' campaign was taking a lead

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was seen hugging friends after casting his vote earlier today

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was seen hugging friends after casting his vote earlier today

 

 

Nearly 10 million people are thought have turned out to vote on whether Greece should accept Europe's latest bailout package and introduce tougher austerity measures. Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said more than half of the Greek electorate voted.

The polls closed amid increasing fears the central Bank of Greece is on the brink of collapse.

Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande will meet tomorrow afternoon to discuss Greece's future, as will senior Eurozone officials.

If European leaders refuse to back down on their proposals for Greece's finances, it would lead to the ECB end its support for the debt-stricken nation and potentially force it out of the Eurozone.

Greece's defense minister Peter Kammenos tweeted: 'The Greek people have proven that they won't be blackmailed. They won't be terrorised. They won't be threatened. Democracy has won.'

Meanwhile Nikos Pappos, Tsipras' main aide, said a deal with creditors would be reached by July 20 - the day Greece is due to repay 3.5billion euros to the European Central Bank (ECB).

Politicians also reportedly remained poised to fly to Brussels tomorrow after EU leaders threatened to withdraw the euro in the event of a 'No' vote.

Early indications suggest Greece has voted against Europe's latest bailout package, plunging their future in the Eurozone into further doubt

Early indications suggest Greece has voted against Europe's latest bailout package, plunging their future in the Eurozone into further doubt

The central Bank of Greece is feared to be on the brink of collapse as voters flocked to the polls to decide on their country's future 

The central Bank of Greece is feared to be on the brink of collapse as voters flocked to the polls to decide on their country's future 

A little girl pulls a face as she carries her father's ballot paper to one of the boxes in a polling station in Athens

A little girl pulls a face as she carries her father's ballot paper to one of the boxes in a polling station in Athens

Her father holds her carefully as she slips the envelope into the ballot box in the hope the vote will make a difference

Her father holds her carefully as she slips the envelope into the ballot box in the hope the vote will make a difference

David Cameron is expected to hold crisis talks with the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney tomorrow to discuss the result's impact on the British economy.

He is also likely to attend further emergency meetings with the EU on Tuesday. 

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, said: ‘If these poll figures are correct, I commend the Greek people for calling the EU’s bluff.

‘The EU project is now dying. It’s fantastic to see the courage of the Greek people in the face of political and economic bullying from Brussels.’ 

Greek officials are set to ask the ECB for emergency cash after tonight's referendum result in a bid to stave off financial ruin, it has been reported.

Plans for a last-minute meeting between the country's finance minister, ECB and the Bank of Greece were announced this afternoon, just two hours before voting ended.

Let us therefore make this act of strong will, this celebratory act of democracy, an act of determination for a better future for all of us, both in Greece and Europe. I am very optimistic 
Alexis Tsipras 

From as early as 7am, residents could be seen queuing outside polling stations ready to mark their 74-word ballot paper with a cross in the 'Yes' or 'No' box. 

Greek army forces and riot police ramped up security this morning as it emerged a secret plan had been drawn up to ensure troops can cope if there is widespread public disorder. 

Yesterday, polls showed the campaigns neck-and-neck with the 'No' vote just 0.5 percentage points ahead in one. Many people remained undecided.

The snap referendum was called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on June 26, days before the country became the first Western democracy to fail to pay its debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It was due to pay £1.1billion by 11pm last Tuesday after negotiations between the government and creditors, who were asking for reforms in exchange for extending the country's bailout deal, collapsed.

After casting his own vote on Sunday morning Tsipras said his debt-laden country was determined to decide its own 'destiny' in the eurozone. 

He said: 'No one can ignore the will of the people to live, to live with determination, to take its destiny into its own hands. 

'I am certain that from tomorrow we will have broken a path for all the peoples in Europe. A path of return to the founding values of democracy and solidarity in Europe, sending a strong message of determination, not only to stay but also to live with dignity in Europe.

'Let us therefore make this act of strong will, this celebratory act of democracy, an act of determination for a better future for all of us, both in Greece and Europe. I am very optimistic.'

A MARKET CRASH AND A WEAK CURRENCY: WHAT COULD A 'NO' VOTE LEAD TO?

A 'No' vote would bring about a huge drop in the strength of the euro, experts said, and it is thought interest rates on government bonds could also rise. 

It could also lead to an exit - or a 'temporary' exit - from the eurozone, which would result in even greater uncertainty and the prospect of a sudden financial collapse. 

This morning the country was warned by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz that it would have to introduce another currency if the 'No' vote wins, as 'the euro [would not] be available as a means of payment'.

He also said it is risking the collapse of its health system and power network - as well as a blockade on imports.

 

 

Politicians are thought to be particularly concerned a Grexit - or Greek exit - would lead to other countries doing the same.

A 'No' vote could also impact further afield, with George Osborne warning MPs the UK economy would be affected by the chaos. 

LONG NEGOTIATIONS AND A NEW BAILOUT PACKAGE: WHAT COULD A 'YES' VOTE LEAD TO?

'Yes' vote backing the reform proposals would likely see Greece turn immediately to talks on a new rescue package.

The government has said it will respect the verdict but both Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are expected to resign if this is the case.

The country would have to negotiate a new bailout package with its creditors. It is thought it will involve more money for the government and the banks, as well as new economic austerity measures.

Banking restrictions on money withdrawals and transfers could remain in place for longer than anticipated as officials negotiate, although Varoufakis said banks will reopen Tuesday whatever the referendum's outcome.

An additional difficulty is that the International Monetary Fund has said it will not get involved in a third bailout unless it includes substantive debt relief for Greece.

The Europeans, on the other hand, have ruled out debt relief until Greece makes its reforms.

 

Casting his vote in Athens, Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis added that the referendum 'gives hope to Europe that a common currency and democracy can coexist'. 

He also said he believed a deal could be reached in 24 hours in the event of a 'No' vote. 

'I don’t need to be confident, this is a beautiful democracy,' he added.

Today's voting follows a week of frenzied campaigning by supporters of both camps, with many ramping up the rhetoric in the last two days.

Varoufakis, who announced he will resign if the country votes 'Yes', yesterday said the level of fear being spread by opponents to the 'No' vote was akin to 'terrorism'.

'What they're doing with Greece has a name: terrorism,' he said in the interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo. 

'Why have they forced us to close the banks? To frighten people. And when it's about spreading terror, that is known as terrorism.'  

Meanwhile, residents spent the week desperately queuing outside banks in an attempt to withdraw cash as the country slid further towards financial ruin.

Capital controls were brought in with a withdrawal limit of 60 euros (£42) per day, with sources claiming only 40 per cent of ATMs still had cash in. 

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras votes at a polling station in Athens as security forces prepare for widespread disorder following today's referendum 

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras votes at a polling station in Athens as security forces prepare for widespread disorder following today's referendum 

The snap referendum was called  as the country became the first Western democracy to fail to pay its debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The snap referendum was called as the country became the first Western democracy to fail to pay its debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Tsipras, pictured talking to the media after voting, has been engaged in a high-stakes standoff with lenders, which resulted in Greece defaulting on its debts

Tsipras, pictured talking to the media after voting, has been engaged in a high-stakes standoff with lenders, which resulted in Greece defaulting on its debts

Tsipras made sure he updated his followers on social media, tweeting about democracy after voting

Tsipras made sure he updated his followers on social media, tweeting about democracy after voting

Casting his vote in Athens, Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (pictured) said the referendum 'gives hope to Europe that a common currency and democracy can coexist'

Casting his vote in Athens, Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (pictured) said the referendum 'gives hope to Europe that a common currency and democracy can coexist'

A woman hugs  Varoufakis (centre), who said he will resign if the country votes 'Yes', as he arrives at the polling station with his father Giorgos, 90

A woman hugs Varoufakis (centre), who said he will resign if the country votes 'Yes', as he arrives at the polling station with his father Giorgos, 90

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras casts his vote

 

Pensioners were also pictured queuing outside branches, with many banks telling them they would not be opening their doors.

The measures have turned many people towards the 'No' vote.  

Eleni Deligainni, 43, said: 'I voted 'No' to the 'Yes' that our European partners insist I choose.

'I have been jobless for nearly four years and was telling myself to be patient... but we've had enough deprivation and unemployment.' 

Ioannis Nikolaou, from Athens, added: 'I voted for Tsipras and want to vote 'No' because I've lived in Europe and know what rights Europeans and Greeks have. For that reason alone. They don't have the same rights.'

But other residents think the only way the country will stave off financial ruin is by voting 'Yes'. 

Yannis Kontis, 76, said: 'You call this dignity, to stand in line at teller machines for a few euros? I voted 'Yes' so we can stay with Europe.'

Conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras added: 'Today, we Greeks decide on the fate of our country. We vote 'Yes' to Greece. We vote 'Yes' to Europe.' 

Yesterday Greece was warned it is risking the collapse of its health system and power network - as well as a blockade on imports - if it votes 'No' in today's referendum. 

WHAT WAS THE QUESTION? GREEK VOTERS CONFUSED BY BALLOT PAPER

Some Greek voters were confused by the baffling ballot paper (above)

Some Greek voters were confused by the baffling ballot paper (above)

Many Greek voters have been left confused by the baffling wording on the ballot paper they will use to vote today.

Nearly 10 million Greeks will take to polling stations to vote 'Yes' or 'No' in the referendum, called to decide if the country will accept more austerity measures in return for bailout funds.

But many are baffled by the strange wording of the 74-word question, which asks: 'Should the deal draft that was put forward by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of June 25, 2015, and consists of two parts, that together form a unified proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled "Reforms for the Completion of the Current Programme and Beyond" and the second "Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis".'

Those against the proffered deal are asked to vote 'No', while those in favour will choose 'Yes'.

The overly complicated question has been slammed by critics as 'confusing' and 'too technical'. 

Many Greek voters have been left confused by the baffling wording on the ballot paper they will use to vote today

Many Greek voters have been left confused by the baffling wording on the ballot paper they will use to vote today

An Orthodox priest clutches a piece of paper as he prepares to cast his ballot, as the polls open from 7am to 7pm 

An Orthodox priest clutches a piece of paper as he prepares to cast his ballot, as the polls open from 7am to 7pm 

It comes as polls showed the 'Yes' and 'No' camps neck-and-neck, with many people undecided as voting got under way

It comes as polls showed the 'Yes' and 'No' camps neck-and-neck, with many people undecided as voting got under way

Different generations ensured they had their say in the referendum, as one mother carrying her little boy used the booth next to an older gentleman

Different generations ensured they had their say in the referendum, as one mother carrying her little boy used the booth next to an older gentleman

Voting officials check people's identification in Meyisti, which is on the Island of Kastellorizo

Voting officials check people's identification in Meyisti, which is on the Island of Kastellorizo

Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, made the stark warning just hours before Greece's residents were due to go to the polls.

10 MILLION VOTES IN 12 HOURS: KEY FACTS FOR TODAY'S REFERENDUM 

How many people can vote? 9.9million 

How old do you have to be to vote? 18 

When did voting open? 7am local time (05:00 BST)

When does voting close? 7pm local time (17:00 BST)

When will we get the result? The first official projection of the result is expected at 9pm local time (19:00 BST) 

Schulz - who earlier called for the ruling Syriza party to be replaced - said the EU might have to have emergency loans in place, should the country side with its government, The Telegraph reported.

'Without new money, salaries won't be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won't be able to import vital goods because no one can pay,' he said. 

Speaking to German radio on Sunday morning, he added that Greece, which has been using the euro since 2001 when it replaced the drachma, would have to introduce another currency if the 'No' vote wins. 

'Is Greece still in the euro after this referendum?,' he asked. 'That is certainly the case, but if they say 'No' they will have to introduce another currency... because the euro is not available as a means of payment.'

'The moment someone introduces a new currency, they exit the eurozone. Those are the elements that give me some hope that the people will not vote 'No' today.' 

EMERGENCY TALKS IN THE UK AS POLLS CLOSE IN GREECE 

David Cameron will hold emergency talks with George Osborne and the Bank of England chief Mark Carney tomorrow morning to discuss the fallout from the Greek referendum, it emerged today.

The Prime Minister is expecting to be called to a crisis summit in Brussels on Tuesday if Greece votes ‘no’ to the bailout offer.

Speaking this morning, Mr Osborne insisted ‘Britain is prepared’ whichever way Greece votes.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: ‘We have the plans in place for whatever the outcome is. The Prime Minister will be chairing a meeting tomorrow morning with myself, the Governor of the Bank of England and others to assess the situation.

‘But I don’t think anyone should be in any doubt: the Greek situation has an impact on the European economy, which has an impact on us, and we cannot be immune from these.’ 

A woman walks next to a mural as she makes her way to a polling station, which has the names of voters stuck outside on pieces of paper

A woman walks next to a mural as she makes her way to a polling station, which has the names of voters stuck outside on pieces of paper

 'The only time I will say 'Yes' today is to my new husband'

Greek bride Irene poses for photographs outside parliament and declared: 'The only time I will say 'Yes' today is to my new husband'

Voters look up their names on a list outside a polling station ahead of an anxious wait for tonight's result

Voters look up their names on a list outside a polling station ahead of an anxious wait for tonight's result

Smoke rises over barricades prior to the referendum, which will decide on whether Greece should introduce tougher austerity measures, in a street in Athens

Smoke rises over barricades prior to the referendum, which will decide on whether Greece should introduce tougher austerity measures, in a street in Athens

 

 

His comments come as a poll revealed an overwhelming majority of Greeks - around 75 per cent - wanted Greece to remain among the 19 European nations using the shared currency.

Meanwhile, the German Finance Minister suggested Greece could leave the eurozone 'temporarily'.

Wolfgang Schaeuble, one of the country's biggest creditors and toughest critics, said: 'Greece is a member of the eurozone. There's no doubt about that.  

'Whether with the euro or temporarily without it: only the Greeks can answer this question. And it is clear that we will not leave the people in the lurch.'

He added that while some individual banks might collapse the risk of it spreading to other parts of the eurozone was small. 

'The markets have reacted with restraint in the last few days. That shows that the problem is manageable,' he said. 

An elderly woman waits at bus stop next to banners reading 'Yes to Greece, yes to Euro' 

An elderly woman waits at bus stop next to banners reading 'Yes to Greece, yes to Euro' 

A man walks past graffiti reading 'No' as he leaves a polling station after voting. It is thought around 10 million citizens will vote today

A man walks past graffiti reading 'No' as he leaves a polling station after voting. It is thought around 10 million citizens will vote today

Residents wait their turn to cast their vote as EU leaders warned other countries are not immune from the turmoil that could follow from today's result

Residents wait their turn to cast their vote as EU leaders warned other countries are not immune from the turmoil that could follow from today's result

Meanwhile, residents  desperately queued outside banks in an attempt to withdraw cash as the country slid further towards financial ruin

Meanwhile, residents desperately queued outside banks in an attempt to withdraw cash as the country slid further towards financial ruin

Despite Schaeuble's confidence, Chancellor George Osborne warned this morning that the UK is not immune from the turmoil that could arise from today's result.

He said: 'I don’t think anyone should be in any doubt - the Greek situation has an impact on the European economy, which has an impact on us. We cannot be immune from these developments.

We all want Greece to prosper… but ultimately if you’re in the single currency there are rules you have to abide by 
Chancellor George Osborne 

'That’s all the more reason why we have to keep our house in order, run that Budget surplus, pay down our debts be better prepared for whatever the world throws at us.

'I think there is a lot of sympathy I suspect in Britain and elsewhere in Europe for the hardship that the Greek people have endured. It’s not their fault. It’s been the fault of some pretty terrible governments they have had in the past.

'Of course we want Greece to prosper and succeed - it’s a country we feel a lot of affection for. But ultimately if you are in the single currency, there are rules you have to follow.'

But Varoufakis condemned European action towards the country and added that a trillion euros would be lost if Greece was allowed to crash. 

Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis, meanwhile, denied media reports that he would be picked to lead a new 'grand coalition' government after the vote.

He said: 'The country has a prime minister who will have an even stronger popular mandate and support. I will serve this mandate.'  

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3149848/Greek-army-riot-police-braced-street-battles-millions-polls-country-s-bailout-referendum-result-close-call.html#ixzz3f2mzLPww
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