France and Germany accept Greek referendum

Francois Hollande & Angela Merkel say the Eurozone accepts and respects the outcome of Greece’s referendum.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras voted during the Greek referendum in Athens on 5 July, 2015. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - French President Francois Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the Eurozone accepted and respected the outcome of the referendum in Greece.

Greeks voted 'no' in a referendum on proposed austerity measures by creditors yesterday, amid fears the country is on the brink of a total financial shutdown.

Hollande and Merkel were speaking at a press conference in Paris following a meeting to discuss the consequences of the Greek poll.

Merkel said all of Europe needed to agree on a solution to the crisis.

"It's important to hear from the Greek prime minister what he thinks about the future and what proposals he can make leading to Greek growth and prosperity."

Eurozone leaders will hold an urgent meeting on Tuesday where Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to present the country's proposals to resolve the current situation.

Hollande said while they had shown solidarity with Greece, a solution was a matter of urgency.

The leaders of France and Germany told Greece's government the door for negotiations with creditors remained open but urged it to make credible proposals at a euro zone summit to reach a cash-for-reform deal and so avoid a euro zone exit.

"The door is open for discussion," Hollande told reporters.

He said the two of them had taken note of the message sent earlier by Greek political parties expressing their desire for Greece to remain in the euro zone.

"It's now up to the government of Alexis Tsipras to offer serious, credible proposals so that this can be turned into a programme which gives a long-term perspective, because Greece needs a long-term perspective in the euro zone with stable rules, as the euro zone itself does."

He added, "I stress that there is not much time."

Merkel said the conditions for a discussion on a programme involving the European Union's bailout fund were not yet in place and urged Greece to put proposals on the table this week.

"We say very clearly that the door for talks remains open and the meeting of euro zone leaders tomorrow should be understood in this sense. But at the same time we say that the requirements for starting negotiations about a concrete ESM programme are not present at the moment," she said.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank said it would maintain its current emergency liquidity assistance to Greece.