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Greek referendum ‘possible’ if debt talks fail: Varoufakis

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Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis comments raise 'Grexit' chances if debt talks fail

Greece could hold a referendum on its bailout plan if European creditors reject its government proposals for economic reform, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday.

The comments were made ahead of a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday, at which the reform proposals are to be discussed.

Varoufakis told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Sunday: “If needed, if we encounter implacability, we will resort to the Greek people either through elections or a referendum.”

Varoufakis’ comments raised worries of a “Grexit,” in which Greece would leave the euro, if debt talks were to fail. However, Greece’s finance ministry has stated that Greek Eurozone membership is not in doubt.

Seven key reforms have been proposed by Varoufakis, including reforms aimed at improving the management of public finances and adopting immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis.

One proposal involves the employment of tourists as spies who would detect failure to pay value-added tax.

This list must be approved by Greece’s creditors in order for the indebted country to receive the next installment of €7.2 billion ($7.8 billion) in bailout aid.

The Greek government drafted a legislation to alleviate poverty in the short run and to provide food stamps and shelter, Varoufakis said in a letter to the Eurogroup.

However, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said at an event in Amsterdam on Sunday that Greece’s reform list is “far from complete.”

The Greek government is expected to run out of funds if the bailout payment is not made this month.Greece is now entirely dependent on the European Central Bank for emergency loans.

 Neydek
Times of Turkey

Times of Turkey

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