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EU searches for Plan B with Greece

Saturday, June 27, 2015 - 02:06

The Greek Prime Minister risks default by calling for a referendum on debt deal, EU ministers debate ''Plan B.'' Sean Carberry reports.

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Story: As EU finance ministers arrived in Brussels Saturday for an emergency meeting, Greeks lined up at banks and ATMs to withdraw cash. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras late Friday night rejected a bailout proposal from European creditors and has called a July 5th referendum on the austerity demands. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem called it a regrettable move. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP PRESIDENT JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "That is a sad decision for Greece because it has closed the door on further talks whereas the door was still open in my mind." Speaking after the emergency meeting, Dijsselbloem said that the EU proposal to Greece had already used all of the flexibility that the Eurogroup had to bargain with. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP PRESIDENT JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "I think we must conclude that, however regretful, that the program will expire on Tuesday night." Meaning Greece faces a default on its $1.6 billion International Monetary Fund debt. Greece had asked for an extension in order to allow for the referendum. As the Greek Parliament debated the referendum on Saturday, in Brussels, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis defended the vote on an EU proposal he argues is technically inadequate. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, YANIS VAROUFAKIS, SAYING: "We were asked to say yes or no to that proposal, and what we are doing now as democrats ought to do, is ask the Greek people to tell us whether we should say that 'yes' or that 'no'." The surprise call by Tsipras not only risks a default and possible exit from the Euro, but also a run on Greek banks. Pensioner Stavros says he's been waiting outside a Piraeus Bank branch since early morning. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PENSIONER STAVROS, SAYING: "I don't have a cashcard because if I had one, I would have taken my money out last night when I heard that he (Tsipras) called a referendum. We have no spare money, this pension is what we live on." Some ATMs ran out of cash overnight. In the meantime, EU officials are continuing to discuss "Plan B" options to limit the damage from a Greek default.

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EU searches for Plan B with Greece

Saturday, June 27, 2015 - 02:06