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Greek PM maintains referendum, calls on people to vote 'No'

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Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday his country would still hold a referendum on the terms of its bailout, urging people to vote 'No' in order to win a better deal.

[ATHENS] Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday his country would still hold a referendum on the terms of its bailout, urging people to vote 'No' in order to win a better deal.

In a televised address to the nation he said Greece would continue to negotiate with its international creditors, and insisted that Athens wanted to stay in Europe.

"A 'No' vote does not signify a rupture with Europe, but a return to the Europe of values," he said, rebutting accusations from EU leaders that the plebiscite was essentially a vote for or against staying in the European Union.

Defying the creditors at the referendum would place them under "great pressure to continue" with negotiations, and as such it would be a "decisive step for a better deal."

Greece made a fresh reform offer to its creditors a day after defaulting on the IMF, but it was immediately rebuffed by Germany, who ruled out a deal before the Sunday referendum.

Although preparations are already underway for the vote, its fate was unclear after the Council of Europe rights group said it fell short of European standards.

AFP

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