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Greece Abandons Referendum

The debt deal would have given the country an extra $138 billion in rescue loans.

Greece's minister of finance confirmed Thursday the country will not go through with the recent bailout referendum to cut the country's debt.

Occupy Greece demonstrators protest recent economic woes. (YouTube user MrSteeper33)
Occupy Greece demonstrators protest recent economic woes. (YouTube user MrSteeper33)

Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou talked with conservatives Thursday and discussed the European deal and the possibility of a poplular vote. He said he was glad that all the discussion "has at least brought many people toward a rational view" of Greece's dire economic situation.

"Elections as a solution, today and at this moment, would mean a much greater danger of bankruptcy and of course exit from the euro," said Papandreou.

The European bailout that would cut the contry's debt by requiring banks to take on 50 percent of Greek bonds, took months of negotiations and led to Papandreou announcing on Monday, it would be put to a referendum.

Papandreou gained support from his opponents, who reversed themselves and agreed to broad austerity measures in exchange for a European bailout.

In response to the announcement of the referendum, the European Central Bank decided to cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage to 1.25 percent and European stocks went up Thursday with expectations that the bailout referendum would be abandoned.

Greece's finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, declared his own opposition to the referendum that would give the country an extra 100 billion ($138 billion) in rescue loans from the rest of the eurozone in addition to the 110 billion ($152 billion) it was granted one year ago.


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