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Greek PM issues referendum pledge

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has vowed to push on with his plan for a referendum this Sunday on the recent proposals from the country's creditors.

In a televised national address, Mr Tsipras also reaffirmed his support for a "no" vote in the referendum.

He insisted that a "no" vote would not put Greece's place in the euro or in the European Union at risk.

Mr Tsipras said Europe must stop acting in an "undemocratic way" and sought to reassure Greeks that their bank deposits were safe.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is sticking to her position that there can be no negotiations on a new aid package before Greece holds its referendum.

"I have set out my position and I have nothing to add to it," she said after meeting with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi in Berlin.

Ms Merkel says her personal relationship with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hasn't suffered and that she backs "the right of a sovereign state" to make its own decision.

However, she added that it is equally right for other countries to have their own positions.

Earlier, Ms Merkel said there can be no new Greek deal until after the referendum, a viewpoint that contrasts that of French President Francois Hollande.

Mr Renzi said he thinks a referendum is a "mistake" but that he respects the will of the Greek people.


From Belfast Telegraph