|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-06-30
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Tuesday, 30 June 2015 Issue No: 4988
 PM Tsipras: 'We'll survive; we will stand on our feet'Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras send on Monday the message that Greece will stand on its feet and survive despite the difficult times in an interview with public broadcaster ERT, following an announcement by European Council President Donald Tusk that the country's programme will not be extended after Wednesday.
"We'll survive, we'll stand on our feet, we'll be alive and we'll choose in a sovereign way what our future will be like," Tsipras said during the interview.
Asked what he will do if Greeks choose "Yes" in the referendum, he clarified that he's not "an all-weather" prime minister. "I didn't assume this position because I love power. I'm in this seat because it was the choice of the people. As long as the people support this decision, I will be present, I will respect the people's verdict, we'll initiate procedures so that what people voted will become a law of the state."
Commenting on the intentions of the institutions on Greece, Tsipras rejected claims they want to push the country out of the euro. "They won't do it because the cost will be too big."
 Thousands gather at Syntagma square to say 'No' to blackmails from creditorsThousands of people rallied on Monday evening in central Athens to protest against "the blackmails of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund".
Main coalition partner SYRIZA, leftist ANDARSYA and EPAM, unions, political groups, and many others held banners and chanted slogans to favour "dignity, democracy and life", ahead of the referendum on July 5. "No to new memorandums, not to austerity, debt write-down, our lives belong to us," were some of the slogans chanted at the rally.
Commenting on the rally with a tweet, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was giving an interview to state broadcaster ERT, said people's reaction gives his strength.
"On my way to @ErtSocial, the people's grand rally on Syntagma square, for the proud 'No', gives us strength," he tweeted.
Earlier, Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Panagiotis Lafazanis, who participated in the rally, told ANA-MPA the "crowd of the 'No' majority will be at the referendum on Sunday."
"The Greek people will say a big 'No' and a big 'Yes' in a new, progressive Greece," he noted, adding that the people don't accept "agreements-robberies" and ultimatums.
 PM Tsipras' letter to EU leaders asking an extension of the programmePrime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a letter to EU leaders asking them to re-examine their position for an extension of the Greek programme that expires on June 30. This decision will contribute to our common goal of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, to secure fiscal, financial debt sustainability, that will return Greece to growth within the eurozone.
The letter is as follows:
"As you are aware, over the past five months intensive negotiations have been held between the Greek Government and the institutions - within the framework of the 20th February 2015 Eurogroup Statement - on the financial assistance program of Greece.
On the 27th of June 2015, a Cabinet proposal was approved by the Hellenic Parliament, by enhanced majority, to hold a referendum, on Sunday July 5, 2015, that allows the Greek people to decide whether or not to accept the proposals submitted to our Government by the institutions in the framework of the aforementioned negotiations.
In order to carry out the referendum in a calm and positive climate that allows the Greek people to make this crucial decision without external pressure, the Hellenic Republic submitted - on the 27th June, during the Eurogroup session - a request for an extension of the Master Financial Assistance Facility (MAFA) for a period of one month from the date of its termination. Negotiations will recommence on Monday July 6 2015, with a view to reaching an agreement immediately afterwards in line with the decision of the Greek people. Regrettably, and on unclear grounds, this request was not accepted. This decision - in combination with the related ECB decision that followed - led to serious repercussions on the financing of the Greek banking system and the liquidity of the Greek economy. I would like to underline that holding a referendum on these proposals is a sovereign democratic right of the Greek people, necessary to ensure ownership over the financial assistance program that will be eventually agreed with the institutions. Furthermore, the referendum focuses solely on the institutions' proposals and does not raise directly or indirectly any issue regarding Greece's EMU membership, to which the Greek government is fully committed.
In this context, I would like to request that your Government reexamine its position on the issue and support the reconsideration of the request of the Hellenic Republic by the Finance Ministers of the Eurozone with a view to granting it. This decision will contribute to our common goal of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, to secure fiscal, financial debt sustainability, that will return Greece to growth within the Eurozone."
 Greece open to proposals but none have been submitted, gov't sources sayThe Greek government is open to proposals and to repeating the negotiations with the creditors but no proposals have been submitted, government sources said on Monday.
Commenting on the statements made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier on Monday, the sources said the effort to blame the Greek government "does not correspond with the reality".
The same sources said that a Eurozone leaders' summit will not finally take place - something that was considered almost certain on Sunday - while noting that the government would be positively disposed to a summit in order to clarify some things regarding the proposals made and the positions of each side. The latest information says that a summit is not currently on the agenda of European Council President Donald Tusk, however, though this might change.
In the meanwhile, feverish preparations ahead of Sunday's referendum are underway at SYRIZA's headquarters, with all the party's MPs and ministers expected to mobilise in support of a 'no' vote by Thursday and Tsipras expected to address a rally in Athens on Friday.
 PM Tsipras has phone contact with Jean-Claude JunckerPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras had a phone contact on Monday with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker before the latter's press conference.
According to government sources, Tsipras said that hindering the democratic expression of the Greek people by shutting down the banks is "outside of Europe's democratic tradition."
He also underlined that himself, as a European citizen, must defend the European traditions in order for the Greek people to decide without distractions on Sunday.
Moreover, he asked him to contribute to the extension of the Greek programme for a few days and to the restoration of the Greek banking system's liquidity.
 EuroParliament President Martin Schulz contacted Greek PM on the phone, sources sayEuropean Parliament President Martin Schulz has contacted Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the telephone, government sources said on Monday.
The prime minister asked Schulz to support Greece's request for an extension to Greece's programme that will allow the country's banks to open and let the Greek people cast their vote in the upcoming referendum without distractions, they said.
According to the same sources, Schulz informed Tsipras that he intends to immediately convene a meeting of the Parliamentary Group leaders in the EU Parliament in order to examine Greece's request and the overall situation and undertake initatives.
 PM Tsipras briefs Cabinet on recent developments in meeting running into Monday morning, gov't sourcesAt a late Sunday night Cabinet meeting that ran into Monday morning, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras briefed ministers about recent developments.
The government considers the Eurogroup's refusal of an extension to the current programme "unacceptable", according to government sources, while it believes that it is necessary to allow the Greek people to make their own decision, especially because the lenders' ultimatum exceeds the public mandate, through the referendum scheduled for Sunday.
The government also believes that the Eurogroup did not follow rules when it convened on Saturday because it excluded the Greek finance minister and his signature is missing from the joint statement; it added however that there is constant contact with its European partners.
Neither was there any problem in the collaboration with the governor of the Bank of Greece, the sources said, especially related to his actions in terms of ELA.
 PM Tsipras to meet with heads of social partners on TuesdayPrime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with the representatives of social partners on Tuesday at Maximos Mansion at 11.00 (Athens time).
The representatives attending the meeting are the head of the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) Theodoros Fessas, the president of the small businesses' confederation GSEVEE Giorgos Kavvathas, the head of retail federation ESEE Vasilis Korkidis, the head of Greece's tourism enterprises association SETE Andreas Andreadis, and the president of the Central Union of Chambers Konstantinos Mihalos.
 Referendum 'another means of negotiating, not one of leaving Europe,' Admin. Reform Minister Katrougalos saysSunday's referendum is another way of negotiating, not a means of leaving Europe, according to Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform George Katrougalos, exiting Maximos Mansion late on Sunday night after a Cabinet meeting under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Speaking to the press, Katrougalos said, "We see the referendum as a continuation of the negotiations by other means, it is not a way of leaving Europe, it is a way to remain in a Europe which will be a social Europe, not a Europe of austerity."
He said details of whether banks would be open on Monday would be "announced later, in detail, by the economic group, so that the Greek people are fully informed tomorrow (Monday)."
He added that "the Greek people always reacts in accordance with the gravity of the challenges placed before it, therefore in this great challenge they will answer in the way we all expect: with pride, without fear, calmly, without creating an artificial new national rift, but in the belief that we must safeguard democracy - because all these things are fundamentally against democracy - and the best future for us and our children."
Asked whether the government was expecting a new proposal by its lenders, he said "it is obvious that by levelling even greater pressure, the lenders are trying to cancel the referendum or force its outcome... for this reason we must be calm before this blackmail and see where our real interests lie."
When the Greek people speak up, he said, "and when they say a loud 'No', then our lenders' proposals will be much better." He added, "The main defence the people have is their unity and ability to withstand pressure, and as long as they withstand the pressure we may all be optimistic about the future."
 The referendum ballot for July 5Greek Interior and Administration Reconstruction ministry published on Monday the ballot for the referendum which will be held at July 5 (Sunday).
Voters will be asked to decide on the question:
"Should the draft agreement which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund at the Eurogroup [meeting] on June 25, and which consists of two parts, which make up their single 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'.
Next to the question, voters will have two boxes to select from, which will read:
NOT APPROVED/NO, or APPROVED/YES."
 Banks to shut down June 29-July 6; pensions and wages to be paid normally, tourists not affected by daily ATM limitGreek banks will shut down from Monday, June 29, to Monday, July 6 inclusive, the government said following a Cabinet meeting that ran into early Monday, following the breakdown of talks between Greece and its creditors.
Greek citizens will be allowed to withdraw a maximum of 60 euros from ATMs per card daily - pensioners being exempted - while both pensions and wages will be paid as normal.
Foreign visitors currently in Greece or planning to visit Greece will not be affected by the daily cash limits, the government added, as long as their debit/credit cards were issued outside Greece.
All transactions within Greece carried out electronically will also not be affected, as long as transfers are not made to overseas accounts.
Details of the measures were published online in the Government Gazette and go into effect immediately.
The measures come after the failure of an agreement between Greece and its creditors (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund), and following an announcement by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calling for a referendum this coming Sunday on approving the creditors' proposals, voted on by Parliament.
 FM Kotzias: Strong and resounding 'no' will give wings and power to the government"The referendum is part of the negotiation and Greece's proposal to the Eurogroup is on the table," noted Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias to the ambassadors of EU state members (including Norway and Switzerland) within the context of his meeting at the Foreign Ministry on Monday in order to brief them on the latest developments.
Kotzias said to the national broadcaster ERT that he briefed the ambassadors why the Greek government imposed the measures and mostly on the referendum issue underlining that other countries also hold referendums with positive consequences for the further development of Europe.
He made a particular reference to the referendum in Ireland "where twenty state-members had already approved the agreement and Ireland rejected it and forced the EU to restart the negotiation".
The Foreign Minister underlined that they must stop interpreting something natural for EU's history as something unnatural and odd when Greece does it. Greece, he said, does not want to leave the eurozone, has not said something like that but it does not want to succumb. Before the dilemma subordination or Grexit, Greece has chosen to give the battle for more democracy in EU and in the country.
"The referendum is part of the negotiations that offers to the people the opportunity to express their opinion on a certain query" clarified Kotzias and noted that "the foreign media should stop misrepresenting the meaning and the target of this referendum," he said.
Asked if there is margin the deliberations to restart until Sunday, he expressed the certainty that the Greek government's proposal remain on the negotiations' table adding that "we are always open to continue this negotiation".
Expressing his personal opinion, Kotzias said that "a strong and resounding "no" will give wings and power to the government to achieve a better deal than the proposed one".
 Merkel: Greece is voting on its future in the eurozoneBERLIN (ANA-MPA/ F. Karaviti)
Greece will be voting on its future in the eurozone when it holds a referendum next Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint press conference with Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel on Monday.
In statements following a meeting with the heads of the German political parties in Parliament and the leaders of their parliamentary groups, both Merkel and Gabriel echoed the position expressed by other senior EU officials and said that a 'no' vote would be a clear decision against the euro.
Merkel said she was prepared to continue talks and work with the Greek government if the referendum returned a 'yes' vote, while repeatedly stating that Athens' decision to call a referendum was legitimate.
While saying that no one should put pressure on the Greek people, she also said that it was important to point out the consequences, stressing that it was Greece that broke off the negotiations.
"As a friend - and I continue to see Greece as a friend - we must say what were the developments since February and what the likely consequences will be," she said.
Merkel said that she had no plans to visit Athens and that there was no reason to call an emergency summit, though not ruling out the possibility of a summit after the referendum.
"It is up to the Greek side, after the programme expires, to submit a request for further negotiations, regardless of the outcome of the referendum," she said, announcing that a discussion on the latest developments will be held in the Bundestag on Wednesday.
 Chancellor Merkel ready to talk to Greek PM if he wishes, spokesman saysBERLIN (ANA-MPA/ F. Karaviti)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is willing to hold talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras "if he would like to," the chancellor's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters on Monday. Berlin's aim will always be to keep Greece in the eurozone, the spokesman added.
The goal was a strong eurozone, Seibert said and noted that the events were triggered by the Greek side by calling the referendum.
At the same time, he said that a government's decision to call a referendum was legitimate in Berlin's view and, not knowing the exact question that will be put to referendum, did not wish to adopt a position.
 EC President Jean-Claude Juncker urges Greeks to vote 'yes' in referendumBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ C. Vasilaki)
In a press conference on Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Greeks to vote 'yes' in the upcoming referendum, while announcing that the European Commission has no new proposals to present at the moment.
He underlined that a 'no' in the referendum would mean that Greece "distances itself from Europe."
Juncker repeated that the institutions had been "once again determined" to prepare a deal on Friday when the process was abruptly broken off by the Greek government's decision to call a referendum and to camapaign in favour of a 'no' vote.
"To set one democracy against 18. This does not help any European citizen and no Greek citizen. The Greeks must, however, know clearly what is at stake next Sunday."
The Commission's president insisted that he had done everything possible to reach an agreement and that the institutions "had really moved mountains" in the effort to strike a deal that for the good of the Greek people, while at the same time creating the conditions for unanimous agreement from the other 18 countries.
He denied that the Greek side had been presented with ultimatums, saying the institutions approach was always to set up a fair agreement, and that the institutions had adapted their working methods to what the Greek government wanted, showing determination and persistence for the Greek proposals.
Juncker said he was in favour of keeping Greece in the euro but "unable to perform miracles" and denied that the creditors had demanded cuts ot wages and pensions, but a reduction in military spending and higher taxation of ship owners, more measures to fight tax evasion and other structural reforms to make Greece competitive.
He insisted that the "door was open" for talks with Greece and indicated that new summit could be held. Juncker denied that either Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble nor Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem were to blame for the breakdown in the talks and urged the Greek people "not to commit suicide because you fear death" and cast a 'yes' regardless of the question put.
According to the European Commission president, the Greek prime minister was not telling the Greek people the truth and "the whole planet" knows that next Sunday Greeks will be voting on Greece's relations with the EU. A 'no' result would catastrophic, Juncker said.
 Jean-Claude Juncker: I feel betrayedBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Ch. Vassilaki)
"I am in favour of a Europe that patiently seeks the common interest rather than the confrontation of national interests and the rivalry of national egos. It is not a poker game during which someone wins and someone loses. Everyone wins, everyone loses. I am not happy with what happened in Europe last week. I feel betrayed," European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said in a speech on Monday.
 Gov't spokesman on Jean-Claude Juncker's statementsHonesty is necessary in a negotiation as an indication of good will and credibility, government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis said in response to a press conference given by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday concerning Greece and the referendum on July 5.
 EuroParliament Vice President Papadimoulis on Juncker's statementsEuropean Parliament Vice-President and SYRIZA eurodeputy Dimitris Papadimoulis called European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker the "Commander of the yes [camp]," in a tweet posted on Monday.
Papadimoulis commented on Juncker's statements posted, saying: "Juncker appoints himself commander of the yes [camp] and sends the message 'Overthrow the Tsipras' government'. We reply: No, we remain in Europe with dignity".
 EC chief Tusk says possible 'No' in Greek referendum will not be a bargaining chipBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Ch. Vasilaki)
A possible "No" in Greece's upcoming referendum on June 5 will not be a bargaining chip for the Greek government, European Council President Donald Tusk told journalists during a press conference after the EU-China summit in Brussels on Monday.
Tusk said that every government has the right to hold a referendum, adding it's not his role to intervene in domestic Greek politics. He clarified, however, that a negative result in the vote would limit the room for negotiation.
If someone says the government will have a stronger bargaining position with a 'No', this is just not true," he noted.
 Deliberations can continue provided Greeks want to, President Hollande saysPARIS (ANA-MPA/ O. Tsipira)
"I hope, if Greece decides so, that the negotiations will continue," French President Francois Hollande on Monday said after a meeting with France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Finance Minister Michel Sapin.
"But it will be the Greeks that will decide. France is always available to continue deliberations today or tomorrow," he added.
An agreement is still possible today, we do not know about tomorrow, it will depend on the Greeks' response to the referendum, Hollande stated. France is in favour of Greece remaining in the eurozone, it is ready to act, but it can do so provided there is common willingness for a solution.
 Schulz joins in urging Greeks to vote 'yes' in referendumBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ M. Aroni)
European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Monday added his voice to the chorus of European officials and leaders urging Greeks to vote 'yes' in the referendum on July 5.
A 'yes' vote will be a "good basis for future cooperation," Schulz said, noting that the outcome would primarily affect the Greeks themselves but also the other member-states of the EU and the eurozone.
Schulz referred to his earlier conversation on the phone with Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, during which he pointed out that the referendum will affect all the eurozone. Schulz also raised an issue concerning the question to be put to the voters in the referendum, pointing out that the existing Greek programme will not formally exist when the referendum was held.
The European Parliament president noted that a way must be found to "bridge" the four days that intervened between Tuesday, when the Greek programme officially expires, and the vote on Sunday. He noted that there was no legal solution to the issue but that "in critical situations we must be creative."
Finally, he noted that the proposal presented by the institutions did not include wage and pension cuts, or VAT hikes in energy, pharmaceuticals and the healthcare sector, while it also included the European Commission's 35-bln-euro package to boost investments and employment in Greece.
 Italy's PM Renzi: Referendum in Greece will be a choice between euro and drachmaROME (ANA-MPA/Th. Andreadis-Syngelakis)
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday the referendum in Greece scheduled for July 5 will be a decision between the euro and the drachma.
"The point is: Greek referendum won't be a derby [between] EU Commission vs Tsipras, but euro vs dracma. This is the choice," Renzi posted on his Twitter account.
 There is no 'Grexit', Austrian finance minister saysVIENNA (ANA-MPA/ D. Dimitrakoudis)
There is no 'Grexit' and Greece continues to be a part of the eurozone and the Eurogroup, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jorg Schelling said on Monday, on the sidelines of a conference.
Justifying the Eurogroup's decision to refuse Greece's request for a one-month extension to its programme, which ends on Tuesday night, Schelling said the Greek side refused to accept any of the creditors' terms.
The Greek government's decision to call a referendum with a negative recommendations had not left the partners any other choice, he added.
"We have the all the doors open and are willing to talk at any time. The finance ministers want to keep Greece in the Eurozone and are willing to discuss every solution and do whatever is necessary toward this end," he said, but Greece had quit the negotiations and announced a referendum "which is not a good way to behave."
He accused Greece of playing a "risky game" and noted that the two programmes were not so far apart as to prevent an agreement. Greece had instead chosen the political route and to foist the responsibility onto the Greek people but the question remained what will happen if the Greek people return a 'no' vote, he added.
In his opinion, Schelling said, if a new proposal was brought to the negotiating table this would be examined immediately but the current proposals of the Greek side were clearly not deemed adequate by the institutions with respect to their sustainability.
Concerning the decision to close the Greek banks, he said this was the right decision in order to stop the massive outflow of capital seen in recent months.
 ND leader Samaras: The real question is 'Yes' or 'No' to the euroMain opposition leader Antonis Samaras said on Monday that the real question of the referendum which will be held in Greece on July 5 will be whether to stay in the euro or not.
Speaking to New Democracy's (ND) parliamentary group, Samaras said some important things have to be clarified and called on his lawmakers to explain them to the public until Sunday.
"We're in a crisis for five years but we haven't lived yet the disaster they are preparing for us," Samaras said, adding that by calling a referendum, "they bring the country one step before the exit from the euro."
"The real question is 'Yes' or 'No' to Europe, 'Yes' or 'No' to the euro and 'No' leads to chaos," Samaras told MPs.
He also clarified that even if Greece exited the euro, its debt wouldn't be written off, as some people are claiming. Instead, the country will have to repay its debt in drachmas with a depreciated euro, while domestically; salaries will have half their purchasing power.
The leader of ND noted that while everything will be destroyed, the only thing standing will be the large party state, while nobody will want to invest in Greece.
Samaras accused the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the government of lying and deceiving the public. "In five months they brought us closed banks, domestic suspension of payments, one step before default and social unrest and now with the referendum, one step before Greece's exit from the euro," he noted.
He then criticized the country's lenders for "getting to this point" saying that his government also "has experience of trying to add changes and tax cuts in the memorandums which the troika didn't accept."
 ANEL criticise ND leader Samaras for comments on referendumJunior coalition partner ANEL criticized on Monday main opposition leader Antonis Samaras for his comments on the scheduled referendum on July 5, saying he aligns himself with Greece's lenders.
"Mr. Samaras' absolute alignment with the artificial blackmailing dilemmas of our lenders on whether our country will stay in the Euro is sad. Obviously though, he feels he's easy with his conscience," Independent Greeks spokeswoman Marina Chrysoveloni said.
"But his disgraceful effort to terrorize the Greek people once more will fall in deaf ears," she added.
 Potami leader Theodorakis urges PM to call off referendumOpposition Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis on Monday appealed to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to cancel the referendum on July 5 and 'stop the destruction'.
"We will not become beggars in the Balkan neighbourhood. The 'yes' to Europe will win," Theodorakis said, adding that the young people "who don't want Greece to turn into North Korea" will be on the front lines.
"We call on Mr. Tsipras to find the courage to tell the Greek people the truth. To set aside opportunism. To withdraw the referendum and enter into an agreement with the EU," Theodorakis said.
 There is still time for an agreement, says US envoy after meeting with FM KotziasUS Ambassador David Pearce estimated that "there is still time for an agreement in order Greece to remain in Europe" after his meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Monday.
Kotzias continues his series of meeting and currently holds talks with the envoy of the People's Republic of China Zou Xiaoli. Later Kotzias will meet with the ambassadors of Russia and Israel.
 Cyprus President agreed to PM's request for extension to Greek programme, spokesman saysNICOSIA (ANA-MPA/ A. Viketos)
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has agreed to an brief extension of Greece's bailout programme, requested by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a letter to the 18 eurozone leaders, according to an announcement by the Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides on Monday.
 Energy Min Lafazanis: Greece is not hostageProductive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis on Monday accused the institutions of exploitation, Machiavellian stance and an effort to impose "predatory policies" to the country.
"Our country has been ruthlessly destroyed for five years from the memoranda and suffered a Machiavellian stance and slow torture from the institutions in the last five months," Lafazanis said and added "the country needs to go smoothly on Sunday's referendum to vote in order for the Greek people to give their vote for a powerful "No" to the elimination proposals and the devastation of their children.
Euro-submission to harsh austerity and memorandum programmes is not the only way for Greece. Greece is not a hostage, it is not trapped, Lafazanis underlined.
The powerful 'No' of the Greek people to the referendum will be a big 'Yes' to an independent and sovereign Greece which is determined, despite any temporary difficulties, to support with decency the democratic tradition and the future of our people.
 German economist Hikel to ANA-MPA: Referendum 'democratically inevitable'German professor of economy Rudolph Hikel in an interview with ANA-MPA called the referendum in Greece "democratically inevitable."
"It must become clear to the lenders that (prime minister Alexis) Tsipras' government was elected with a mandate to prevent a further social bleeding due to the extreme austerity policy. If the three institutions had made proposals for fiscal consolidation and social-economic restructuring of the country, the referendum would be unnecessary," estimated Hikel, who is, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, among the 10 economists with the higher influence in Germany.
Professor Hikel stated that he is "one of the most acute critics of the austerity policy" saying that it is "a neoliberal policy which says: we give money and you make reforms but with the word 'reforms' the lenders mean drastic cutbacks which brought the internal market to its knees and led to the collapse of the Greek economy. At this point I must clarify to the Germans that over 90 percent of the 230 billion euro support package did not go to Greece as fresh money but exclusively for the re-financing of the debt. There was never fresh money. Moreover, the austerity policy, the blind measures of cuts in the public sector and the cuts in salaries totally devastated the domestic market.
The German economist noted that he is against the Grexit because as he estimated "the repercussions of Greece's exit from the eurozone would be catastrophic for everyone. Greece would become poorer and there would be a high devaluation of the drachma. Tourism would be the only sector that would gain but on the other hand an imported inflation would follow. Nobody can boost exports and with a weak currency a different policy is necessary. For the euro, Greece's exit would be a catastrophe because of the phrase "irrevocable commitment" existed in the Maastricht Treaty ratified in 1992. So, it would be the first time that this rule would be infringed, the "eternal trust", and this would lead to speculations for the exit of other member states such as Italy and France that are in the list. Germany's exports would also be affected because the euro would be certainly revaluated, said Hikel.
 Russian economy will not be seriously affected by the Greek crisis, says Alt. Economy MinMOSCOW (ANA-MPA/ Th. Avgerinos)
The condition in Greece can increase the uncertaintly in the markets, however, Russia will not be seriously affected, stated on Monday Alternate Economy Minister of Russia Maxim Areskin.
Referring to the Greek issue he said that it is difficult to say how it will affect Russia. "The developments on the Greek financial issues may lead to a certain instability to the market and we should be ready", he underlined noting that now it is very important for the government and the central bank to safeguard its reserves in order to be ready to "respond correctly to every provocation".
According to Russian TASS agency , "IMF chief Christine Lagarde earlier ruled out every possibility of an extension to Greece in order to pay its installment to the Fund that expires on Tuesday with high possibility this to lead to Greece's bankruptcy in relevance to IMF's loans...The result would be the country's exit from the eurozone, something that will be a very strong blast not only for the euro-currency but it could have a negative effect to the world economy".
 Kremlin voices concern over situation in GreeceMOSCOW (ANA-MPA/ T. Avgerinos)
Russia is very closely watching the crisis in Greece and concerned about the possibility of a default and its knock-on effects on the rest of the EU, Kremlin press spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti on Monday.
"Moscow is monitoring in the most careful way how events are unfolding in the EU in the midst of this crisis in Greece. We are, of course, worried about the possible negative repercussion for the entire territory of the EU," he said.
 Russia's Lavrov says he understands actions of Greek governmentMOSCOW (ANA-MPA/ T. Avgerinos)
Russia's foreign minister expressed his "understanding" for the actions of the Greek government and its prime minister Alexis Tsipras, as well as hope that Brussels will not proceed to implement "negative scenarios," a Russian foreign ministry announcement said on Monday. The announcement was issued after talks held on the telephone between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.
Kotzias briefed his counterpart on the situation concerning the negotiations between Athens and the institutions representing Greece's lenders and the decision for a referendum on July 5, the announcement said.
They also discuss the prospects for further developing bilateral relations in light of the talks between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin in April and on June 19, noting a mutual interest in the construction of natural gas infrastructure on Greek territory in the context of a plan for the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline, the announcement said.
 FM Kotzias talks with Turkish and German counterparts, ministry condemns events in EgyptForeign Minister Nikos Kotzias talked by telephone with the Turkey's Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday evening, the ministry announced.
During the talks, which took place in a very warm climate, there was an exchange of views on the latest developments in the economic sector. Cavusoglu assured Kotzias of the solidarity of the Turkish people and the political and state leadership of Turkey with the Greek government's efforts to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with its partners in the Eurozone.
Kotzias also spoke with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
In a separate announcement, the foreign ministry also condemned the murder of Egypt's Attorney General.
"We unequivocally condemn the brutal murder of Egypt's Attorney General, Hisham Barakat, in Cairo. We express our support for the victim's loved ones and for the friendly Egyptian people and government, as well as our certainty that such actions aimed at destabilizing Egypt are doomed to failure," the ministry said.
 All steps taken to ensure adequate supply of pharmaceuticals, health ministry saysAll measures have been taken to ensure access to necessary pharmaceuticals in all areas of Greece, the health ministry assured the public on Monday. According to ANA-MPA sources, Health Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis held successive meetings with all those involved in the sector, asking them to continue supplying the market at the same rate as before the latest developments.
All sector organisations assured the minister that there will be no "deviations" and promised to cooperate in order preserve the 90-day supply of pharmaceuticals as normal.
Well-informed sources said that the minister has instructed the country's main state healthcare provider EOPYY to settle at least some outstanding payments to third parties, while announcements will be made concerning the sums to be given to pharmacists and pharmaceutical firms.
 Gov't posts details on bank transactions, including daily limit and exemptionsGreek banks will shut down as of Monday, June 29 (today), to Monday, July 6, inclusive, in a series of measures that follow failed talks between Greece and its creditors.
Followinga late Sunday Cabinet meeting that ran into Monday morning, the government reiterated that "deposits are fully guaranteed" and said pensions and visitors to the country would be exempted from the provisions.
Details follow, as posted on the Government Gazette:
"The payment of pensions is exempted from the restrictions of bank transactions as published herein. The administrations of credit institutions will announce the way they will be paid out.
Electronic transactions within the country will not be affected. In other words, all transactions using credit or debit cards and other electronic payment methods (web banking, phone banking), will proceed as normal. Prepaid cards can be used to the limit that had been established before June 29.
At the same time, as of midday on June 29 (today), automated teller machines (ATMs) can be used, to a limit of 60 euros per day, per card; this corresponds to 1,800 euros per month. Foreign tourists will be able to withdraw cash as normal through the ATMs, as long as their cards have been issued abroad.
A special Committee of Bank Transaction Approvals has been set up, within the State's General Accounting Office and in cooperation with the Finance ministry, the Bank of Greece, the Hellenic Bank Asscoation and the Hellenic Capital Market Commission. This Committee will deal with requests for urgent and necessary payments that cannot be carried out because of the limit on cash withdrawals or electronic transactions (for example, payments abroad for health reasons).
Wages that are paid electronically to a bank through bank accounts will proceed as normal.
A list of Q & A follows on frequent questions.
WHAT DOES A BANK HOLIDAY MEAN?
It means the banks will shut down for a few days.
WHEN WILL BANKS OPEN AGAIN?
Banks will reopen on Tuesday, July 7.
IS THERE A POSSIBILITY THAT I MAY LOSE PART OR ALL OF MY DEPOSITS?
Deposits are guaranteed. Greek banks are reliable and have recently passed evaluations of the European Central Bank successfully.
AS LONG AS THE HOLIDAY LASTS, WILL ATMs OPERATE?
ATMs will open the latest by midday Monday (June 29), and will remain open during the short duration of the bank holiday.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I BE ABLE TO WITHDRAW FROM AN ATM?
The daily limit is 60 euros per card.
IF ONE CARD IS LINKED TO SEVERAL ACCOUNTS, WHAT HAPPENS?
All cards with linked accounts have a 60-euro-per-day limit.
IF A BANK ACCOUNT HAS SEVERAL HOLDERS LISTED, WHAT HAPPENS?
In bank accounts with several owners/holders, the daily limit is 60 euros per holder card. For example, if a bank account has two owners, each of whom has a card, the daily limit is 60 euros per card, or 120 euros for the account.
IF AN ACCOUNT HAS ONE OWNER BUT SEVERAL LINKED ATM CARDS, WHAT HAPPENS?
In that case, the daily limit of 60 euros relates to all the cards together. For example, if a bank account has one owner and two linked cards, the daily limit is 60 euros for both cards.
CAN I WITHDRAW CASH WITH MY CREDIT CARD?
A credit card can be used to withdraw a maximum of the daily limit (60 euros). Added to this transaction will be the interest rate and fee that the card-issuing bank's agreement sets out.
WILL I BE ABLE TO DRAW AN OVERDRAFT FROM A CHECKING ACCOUNT OR A CONSUMER LOAN ACCOUNT?
Overdrafts can be carried out based on the daily limit as long as the contract with the bank allows it.
WILL I BE ABLE TO USE MY CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD FOR PURCHASES?
Credit and debit cards will be usable as normal for purchases within Greece, up to the limit given by the bank contract.
WILL I BE ABLE TO USE MY CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD FOR PURCHASES ON THE INTERNET?
Credit and debit cards will be usable as normal for purchases online at electronic stores that have an account in a Greek bank.
WILL I BE ABLE TO PAY WITH A PREPAID CARD?
Payments with prepaid cards will be carried out, under the limit they had prior to this regulation. Prepaid cards cannot be recharged, nor can new ones be issued.
WILL I BE ABLE TO TRANSFER FUNDS THROUGH INTERNET/WEB BANKING OR PHONE BANKING?
Transfers of funds through the Internet or by phone will be carried out as normal as long as the account to which funds are transferred is in Greece.
CAN I MAKE PAYMENTS THROUGH INTERNET/WEB BANKING OR PHONE BANKING?
Payments through the Internet or by phone will be carried out as normal with no restrictions as long as the account to which the payment is made is in Greece.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH REOCCURRING PAYMENTS (UTILITY BILLS, LOAN, RENTS)?
These will be carried out as normal, as long as they relate to accounts in Greece.
CAN I MAKE INTERBANK PAYMENTS?
Interbank payments are carried out as normal, as long as they are within Greece.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN'T PAY MY BILLS/THE TAX SERVICE/MY LOAN INSTALLMENTS, ETC.?
These payments can be made electronically through web banking, phone banking, or ATMs. In any case, if the payments are not made, there will be no interest/fees levelled.
IF THERE ARE DELAYS IN ARRANGED PAYMENTS IN INSTALLMENTS TO THE STATE OR BANKS, WILL I FORFEIT THE ARRANGEMENT?
These payments can be made electronically through web banking, phone banking, or ATMs. In any case, if payment is not made, there will be no forfeiture of the arrangement.
AM I IN DANGER OF LOSING MY INSURANCE CONTRACT (CAR, HEALTH INSURANCE)?
These payments can be made electronically through web banking, phone banking, or ATMs.
HOW WILL I BE ABLE TO SEND A CHECQUE ABROAD (TO STUDENTS, OR MONEY FOR HEALTH REASONS)?
In this case, you need to address yourself to the Committee of Bank Transaction Approvals, at the State's General Accounting Office.
CAN CREDIT CARDS OF FOREIGN BANKS BE USED AS NORMAL?
Debit and credit cards of foreign banks can be used as normal, as long as they have been issued abroad. Debit and credit cards of foreign banks issued in Greece come under the same rule as those of Greek banks.
WILL PENSIONS BE ISSUED AS NORMAL? WILL I BE ABLE TO GET MY MONEY?
Pensions will be credited to accounts as normal. Withdrawals will be carried out on the basis of the daily limit.
WILL WAGES BE PAID OUT AS NORMAL?
Yes, as long as the employer makes payments electronically."
 Statement on behalf of the European Commission by Jonathan Hill on the capital controls imposed by the Greek authoritiesThe full statement of European Commission's Jonathan Hill follows:
"The European Commission takes note of temporary restrictions on the free movement of capital which were announced by the Greek authorities on Sunday evening. In accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Member States may take measures in respect of capital movements which are justified on grounds of public policy or public security.
In accordance with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, measures may also be introduced for other overriding reasons of general public interest. Such exceptions to the principle of the free movement of capital must be interpreted very strictly, and be non-discriminatory, as well as suitable and proportionate in light of the objective. This also means that capital controls must be applied for the shortest possible period.
As guardian of the Treaties and with a view to safeguarding the integrity of the single market, the Commission has made an immediate, preliminary assessment of the Greek measures that introduce the controls and finds them to be, prima facie, justified.
In the current circumstances, the stability of the financial and banking system in Greece constitutes a matter of overriding public interest and public policy that would appear to justify the imposition of temporary restrictions on capital flows. Maintaining financial stability is the main and immediate challenge for the country.
While the imposed restrictive measures appear necessary and proportionate at this time, the free movement of capital will however need to be reinstated as soon as possible in the interest of the Greek economy, the Eurozone, and the European Union's single market as a whole. The Commission will closely monitor the situation and the implementation of the imposed restrictive measures on capital movements.
The Commission stands ready to assist the Greek authorities with the technical aspects of this work."
 Alt. Tourism Minister: Tourists will not face any problem in GreeceAlternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura underlined that "Greece continues to guarantee the high quality of services offered to visitors that have rendered it top international tourism destination".
At the same time she stated that "the Greek tourism remains high on the tourists' preference. The tourists that are currently in Greece as well as those that are going to come will not be at the least affected by the latest developments and can continue to enjoy their vacations in Greece without the slightest problem."
On its part, Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Ministry in an announcement on Monday stated "the restriction measures on the capitals imposed by the Greek authorities do not refer to those who want to make transactions via ATM with credit or debit cards issued abroad".
Moreover, it underlined that there is sufficiency in fuel as well as in products and services that secure the smooth daily life of the tourists the cities, the regions and on the islands.
 Greek banks to open 850 branches on Thursday to service pensionersGreek banks will open 850 branches on Thursday to service pensioners who do not own cash cards, sources from the vice-presidency of the government said on Monday.
The sources said that National Bank will reopen 250 branches, Piraeus Bank 250 units, Alpha Bank 200 units and Eurobank another 150 units, which will cover the entire country. Pensioners will be able to draw up to 60 euros per day.
The vice-presidency of the government said that a special Bank Transaction Approval Commission, of the General Accounting Office, has began operations in cooperation with the Finance ministry, the Bank of Greece, Hellenic Bank Association and the Capital Market Commission. The Commission is examining demands for urgent and necessary payments that cannot be done because of the imposition of capital controls. The same sources said that problems appearing early in the day in money deposits by supermarkets and petrol stations (daily turnover) were gradually been resolved, while the government -in cooperation with Greek embassies abroad- was taking measures to facilitate Greek tourists abroad by raising credit/debit card limits to allow Greek citizens to meet their financial obligations (hotels, air fares, etc).
The government sources did not exclude the possibility that banks could reopen sooner than the bank holiday to service certain transactions.
 BoG on transactionsThe Bank of Greece (BoG) in an announcement on Monday said that it will carry out only transactions related to the Greek State, legal entites of public law and social security funds from Monday 29 June until Tuesday 7 July. No other transaction will be carried out, said Bank of Greece.
 All credit/debit cards can be used normally, Finance ministry saysAll credit and debit cards can be used normally for purchases in Greece, up to the limit offered by the issuer bank, the Finance ministry said in an announced on Monday, adding that "holders of cards issued by a foreign bank, either Greeks or foreigners, can use them to draw cash from ATM machines".
The ministry announced said that all banks will remain closed from Monday 29 June until Monday 6 July. The ministry said that all deposits are fully safe and noted pension payment was excluded from any limitations in bank transactions. Greek banks' managements will announce the way of pension payment within the day. All electronic transactions within the country will not be affected (all transactions using credit, debit or other electronic ways of payment -web banking, phone banking- will be made as usual. All prepaid cards can be used up to the limit agreed with the issuer bank. The ministry said that all ATM will begin operating from noon today with a daily cash draw limit of 60 euros per card, or 1,800 euros per month. Foreign tourists can make cash draws from ATM using their cards. The ministry also said that salaries and wages paid electronically through bank accounts will have no problem.
 Greek SMEs warn of grave consequences on business activity, demand solutionOnly the food market stays alive, the heads of Athens and Piraeus Chambers of Craftsmen and Traders, representing around 60 pct of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Greece, said on Monday.
In a joint news conferece, the heads of the said that the domestic market has totally frozen, except from the food sector while they warned that consumer sentiment could take up to two months before recovering from the current situation. They added that SMEs have been forced to give forced leaves to their employees. They noted that around 10,000 enterprises have closed down since the start of the year, while around 600 workers lose their jobs everyday and stressed that this trend was likely to intensify. They warned that product shortages could emerge in the market unless banks reopen by next Tuesday.
They said that recessionary proposals -which put further burdens on the private sector- was not an one-way road, but Greece could present an alternative proposal, while they warned that the impact on business activity after the referendum would be the total loss of the current tourist season, a further capital outflow because of uncertainty over the financial system of the country, a credit crunch in the economy, the strangling of export businesses and the inability of the state to collect taxes.
"It is imperative to find a solution now," a memorandum signed by all four Chamber heads noted.
 TUI gives vote of confidence to Greece's tourism product, presenting winter programmeTravel industry giant TUI on Monday sent a message of confidence in Greece and the Greek tourist product, while presenting its winter programme to German journalists in Hania, Crete.
Despite the crisis being played out in the country and the latest political developments, TUI appeared confident that both 2015 and 2016 will be good years for tourism in Greece and saw no reason why developments would affect the country's tourism sector.
"Of course we are interested in political developments but they do not affect the flow of tourism toward this country. We do not give special advice to our clients that come to Greece. Apart from advising them to bring some cash, but also cards, in order to facilitate their transactions," TUI's head for the eastern Mediterranean said.
He said the decision to present TUI's programme on Crete was not coincidence, stressing that TUI puts emphasis on the island as a tourist destination.
 Athens stock exchange to remain closed until July 6The Athens stock exchange will remain closed until July 6, the Capital Market Commission decided on Monday.
 Credit card payment system operates normally, sources sayThe credit card transactions settlement system is operating normally and it is unaffected from a six-day bank holiday, Eurobank sources told ANA-MPA.
The sources said that all credit card payment must be accepted by all enterprises, exactly as it happened until now, adding that enterprises can transfer all the money they wanted to suppliers' accounts through e-banking services without any problem.
 Acropolis site to accept credit/debit cards for first timeThe ticket booths for entrance to the Athens Acropolis will for the first time be able to accept credit cards and debit cards, in addition to cash, the culture ministry announced on Monday. The announcement said that the option of paying with "plastic" would be open to both individual tourists and for organised groups, while adding that this had been a "long-standing demand" that was finally being met.
The decision was taken in light of the recent decision to impose capital controls and the 60-euro limit on cash withdrawals.
For as long as access to cash is difficult, the announcement added, groups would be able to enter using vouchers, while for those that have no vouchers, the tour operators must submit a note supplying their full tax details, which will be cashed in when banks open again.
 Means of transport in Athens free from June 29 to July 6Means of transport in Athens will be free from June 29 to July 6, Alternate Minister for Transport Christos Spirtzis said on Monday.
The decision is expected to be announced in the day so as to facilitate citizens and will concern the metro, buses, trains and electric train, but not the suburban train.
The decision does not apply to the city of Thessaloniki and other cities where means of transport are run by private companies.
 Courts to remain closed June 30-July 5Courts will remain closed from June 30 to July 8 ahead of the referendum on July 5, Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said.
Home foreclosures, evictions and detentions are also suspended for the same period.
 Clouds, rain on TuesdayClouds, rain and northerly winds are forecast for Tuesday. Wind velocity will reach 4 on the Beaufort scale. Clouds and rain in the afternoon in the northern parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 16C-27C. Same weather in the western parts with temperatures between 17C-29C. Partly cloudy in the eastern parts with possibility of rain in the afternoon and temperatures between 15C-30C. Partly cloudy over the Aegean islands and Crete, 19C-29C. Possibility of rain in the afternoon in Athens, 17C-30C. Rain in Thessaloniki, 18C-27C.
 The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: The referendum shakes Europe
DIMOKRATIAL 8-day war with closed banks
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Closed banks, open negotiation
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Premeditated crime
ESTIA: What a possible "no" means
ETHNOS: The country in turbulence, people get into adventure
KATHIMERINI: Referendum with closed banks
KONTRA NEWS: The IMF-Schaeuble junta closed our banks
NAFTEMPORIKI: Dramatic hours. Banks closed until July 6
RIZOSPASTIS: 'No' to the proposals of the creditors and the government
TA NEA: When will banks open again?
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