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Greek parliament gives green light to Tspiras' bailout referendum

The government easily passed the 151-vote threshold needed to authorise the referendum.

FILE: The government easily passed the 151-vote threshold needed to authorise the referendum. Picture: AFP

ATHENS - Greek lawmakers on Sunday authorized Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' proposed 5th July bailout referendum, setting Greece on course for a plebiscite that has enraged international creditors and increased Greece's chances of exiting the euro zone.

The government easily passed the 151-vote threshold needed to authorise the referendum, with deputies from the far right Golden Dawn voting with the government and pro-European opposition parties New Democracy, Pasok and To Potami and the KKE Communist Party voting against.

Greeks are due to vote on whether to accept or reject the latest terms offered by creditors to Athens in order to unlock billions of euros in bailout funds.

European partners have reacted negatively to the announcement of the referendum. On Saturday, they rejected a request by Tsipras to extend the current bailout in order to cover the period leading up to the referendum. The rejection means Athens is likely to default on a key payment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday.

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