ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest on the bailout referendum in Greece (all times local):
The final results of Greece’s bailout referendum are in, with all 19,159 precincts reporting. The “No” side won with a higher than expected 61.31 percent, while “Yes” got 38.69 percent.
A total of 6.16 million Greeks voted in Sunday’s referendum, or 62.5 percent of eligible voters. The poll needed a minimum 40 percent turnout to be valid.
The president of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, calls the outcome of Sunday’s referendum “very regrettable for the future of Greece.”
The Dutch finance minister has over the past five months of negotiations resisted Greece’s attempts to get easier terms for its bailout program. He says that “for the recovery of the Greek economy, difficult measures and reforms are inevitable. We will now wait for the initiatives of the Greek authorities.”
He says the 19 finance ministers will discuss the outcome of the Greek referendum on Tuesday, the same day a summit of the eurozone leaders will be held.
Upon the request of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos has convened a meeting of the leaders of the seven parties represented in Parliament.
In a meeting with Pavlopoulos, Tsipras was expected to have presented his plans for negotiating a new bailout deal with the country’s creditors.
Pavlopoulos says he accepted Tsipras’ demand, saying that the referendum was not about staying in or leaving the euro.
Police say about 100-150 anarchist protesters have started throwing firebombs at riot police and setting trash cans on fire in the central Athens neighborhood of Exarcheia. This is far from the place where celebrations are taking place by supporters of the “no” vote in Sunday’s referendum.
There was no indication that the violence was connected to the political campaigns involved in the vote.
A somber European Parliament President Martin Schulz says a summit of eurozone leaders planned for Tuesday should discuss a “humanitarian aid program for Greece” after Greeks voted to reject demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans.
Schulz says in a statement that Athens should make “meaningful and constructive proposals” in the coming hours to get the talks with the other 18 eurozone nations going again. He says: “If not we are entering a very difficult and even dramatic time.”
Schulz says ordinary citizens, pensioners, sick people or children in kindergarten should not pay a price for the dramatic situation the country is in, which he blamed the Greek government for. He says the country needs a humanitarian program immediately.
The euro has fallen sharply as investors get a chance to react to the results of the Greek referendum.
The European currency slumped to $1.0993 late Sunday, when spot trading resumed, from $1.1110 late Friday.
Greeks have voted overwhelmingly against a proposal of economic reforms that Greece’s creditors had offered in exchange for loans.
The win of the “no” vote puts Greece in uncharted waters and markedly increases the risks of the country falling out of the 19-country euro currency union.
Greece and its creditors are expected to try to restart negotiations on a financial rescue package for the country, but it is unclear what scope there is for compromise.
European Council President Donald Tusk says he’s called a eurozone summit for Tuesday to discuss the situation in Greece.
Voters in Greece resoundingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans Sunday.
The opposition accused Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of jeopardizing the country’s membership in the 19-nation club that uses the eurozone and said a “yes” vote was about keeping the common currency.
Germany and France asked for the summit after the “no” vote won.
Greece’s prime minister says the “no” result in the bailout referendum shows that “democracy won’t be blackmailed.”
Alexis Tsipras says Greece is willing to return to talks, but “this time the issue of debt will be on the negotiating table.”
He was speaking in a live TV address on Sunday after the government-backed “no” side won by a wide margin in the referendum.
Tsipras thanked Greeks for making “a very brave choice.”
Germany’s vice chancellor and economy minister says the Greek government is leading its people “onto a path of bitter austerity and hopelessness.”
Sigmar Gabriel told German daily Tagesspiegel that Alexis Tsipras had claimed a “no” vote would improve Greece’s negotiating position. In fact, the Greek prime minister had “torn down the last bridges, across which Europe and Greece could move toward a compromise.”
He added: “By saying no to the eurozone’s rules, as is reflected in the majority ‘no’ vote, it’s difficult to imagine negotiations over an aid package for billions.”
Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras announced his resignation after suffering a big defeat in Sunday’s referendum.
Samaras, the 64-year-old former prime minister, has announced his decision to step down in a televised address after campaigning for a “yes” vote.
Samaras said that “I understand that our great party needs a new start.”
He urged Greeks to put divisions behind them and hold the government to its promise to find a quick agreement with creditors.
Samaras, who served as prime minister between 2102 until January this year, did not say how long he intended to stay on as leader of his center-right New Democracy party before a new leader is elected.
Germany and France, meanwhile, have called for a eurozone summit on Tuesday to discuss the Greece financial crisis after the “no” vote won the bailout referendum.
This item has been corrected to show that Germany and France called for a eurozone summit, not a European Union summit.
Poland’s prime minister says that if final results in Greece’s bailout referendum are confirmed as “no,” she believes that Greece will have no choice but to leave the eurozone.
Ewa Kopacz spoke on Sunday as a partial count showed a significant majority of Greeks voting “no” in Sunday’s referendum.
Kopacz said that she suspects that if official results confirm a “no” victory, “the path of Greece can be only one: leaving the eurozone.”
Poland has not adopted the 19-member joint European currency. Though it has pledged to adopt the euro in the future, the prospect is very unpopular among Poles and politicians continue to postpone euro adoption.
Greece’s finance minister says the country’s citizens have said “no more” to continued austerity as returns show the “no” side leading in the bailout referendum.
Yanis Varoufakis, wearing a T-shirt while speaking live to TV cameras, says that creditors had planned from the start to shut down banks to humiliate us and to force us to make a statement of contrition for showing to them that debt and loans are unsustainable.
Varoufakis said “the Greek people said ‘no more’ to five years of austerity.”
Greeks voted on its financial future on Sunday, choosing in a referendum whether to accept creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans or defiantly reject the deal. Final results are expected later Sunday.
The head of the socialist grouping in the European Parliament has called for new negotiations with Greece in a spirit of “solidarity and cooperation” after returns show the “no” side leading in the bailout referendum.
Gianni Pittella says that the socialists would “expect the Greek government to come back to the negotiations with a renewed responsible attitude.”
He acknowledged the international lenders would also have to show a new approach.
Pittella said Sunday that “it will also be time for some member states and ministers to stop with unacceptable rigidity, national selfishness and domestic political games.”
Thousands of government supporters have gathered in celebration in Athens’ main square, waving Greek flags and chanting “No, No” after returns show their side leading in Sunday’s referendum.
Vendors have set up stalls to sell kebabs, sandwiches, whistles and Greek flags in Syntagma square in front of parliament.
Athens resident Yiannis Gkovesis, holding a large Greek flag, says “we don’t want austerity measures anymore. This has been happening for the last five years and it has driven so many into poverty. We simply can’t take any more austerity.”
The 26-year-old Gkovesis says “if the Europeans really wanted Greece to stand on its feet, then they could have done so without imposing such harsh measures.”
Supporters of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza party staged the rally two days after he drew massive crowds to his final campaign rally — also in front of parliament.
Belgium’s finance minister is one of the first eurozone ministers to react to an official projection and opinion polls that the “no” vote will win in the Greece referendum, saying it will complicate matters.
Johan Van Overtveldt insists, however, that the door remains open to resume talks with the Greek government “literally, within hours.”
He told VRT network on Sunday that the eurogroup of 19 finance ministers can again discuss measures “that can put the Greek economy back on track and gives the Greeks a perspective for the future.”
Greeks voted on its financial future, choosing in a referendum whether to accept creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans or defiantly reject the deal. Final results are expected later Sunday.
A senior Greek opposition official says the expected “no” vote win in Sunday’s bailout referendum will increase pressure on the government to reach a deal with creditors.
Vangelis Meimarkis says “if we don’t have an agreement within 48 hours as the (prime minister) promised, then we are being led to a tragedy.”
Meimarakis, a former parliamentary speaker and a senior conservative lawmaker, tacitly acknowledges that the government has won the critical vote, but says Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is likely to make further concessions if the talks restart.
Meimarakis said Sunday that “I think the government has got the message that the time is over for game theory and gambling.”
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is conferring with the country’s bankers over what to demand next from the European Central Bank, a ministry spokesman has confirmed.
The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity pending official announcements. It wasn’t immediately clear where the talks were taking place.
According to the head of the Greek Banks’ Association, cash is only going to last until Monday.
Although banks are expected to re-open Tuesday, it is almost impossible to have banks open without a large infusion of cash. Greek financial media have reported the Bank of Greece will ask the ECB for 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in emergency assistance.
Meanwhile, a close aide to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said a “no” vote win should not be regarded as an intention by the government to leave the euro.
It is wrong to link a “no” result to an exit from the eurozone. If a “no” prevails that will help us get a better agreement,” Minister of State Nikos Pappas told private Alpha television.
–By Demetris Nellas.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Paris on Monday to discuss the outcome of the Greek referendum with French President Francois Hollande.
Merkel’s office said Sunday that she will fly to Paris in the evening for a “joint assessment of the situation after the Greek referendum and to continue the close German-French cooperation on this issue.”
Soon after polls closed, Hollande made a similar announcement, saying he would have a working dinner with Merkel on Monday evening to “evaluate the consequences” of the vote.
Earlier in the day, the French economy minister said the German and French leaders had no disagreements when it came to dealing with the situation in Greece.
The governing left-wing Syriza party’s European member of parliament says that “Greek people are proving they want to remain in Europe” as equal members “and not as a debt colony.”
Dimitris Papadimoulis said that the country should wait for the official and final results of Sunday’s referendum, and called on his fellow countrymen to remain calm. Three opinion polls conducted during the voting indicate a tight race with a likely win by the “no” vote.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called Sunday’s referendum last weekend, urging voters to reject creditor reform proposals. Opposition parties and many European officials have warned that a “no” vote, however, could endanger Greece’s position in Europe’s joint currency, the euro.
“A new effort is beginning,” he said, adding that Tsipras would move fast to conclude a deal with Greece’s creditors.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says that whatever the result in Greece, its future will be a difficult one.
Rajoy says the eurozone has rules and regulations “to ensure its own survival.”
He says that “Europe has always shown its solidarity with Greece, but the euro cannot be an ‘a la carte’ club in which you can pick and choose.”
Rajoy also said Sunday that “Greece needs to grow, create jobs, and to do so it must have policies that work to that effect. Demagogy always ends up crashing into reality.”
Even if Greek voters strongly favor “yes” or “no” in the bailout referendum, neither result leads to a clear answer for what Greece should do about its overstretched finances.
A “yes” result would likely produce a national unity government with a new election to follow — but that would take time, and without financial assistance, the chances of a full, chaotic default would increase.
Since Greece is no longer in a bailout program, it has to negotiate a new one with creditors that involves even more money for its debt-ridden government and the banks and new economic austerity measures. That means banking restrictions on money withdrawals and transfers may remain in place even longer than anticipated.
Despite the Greek government’s assertion that a “no” vote will not lead to a “Grexit” — a Greek exit from using the common euro currency — most experts agree it would open up more uncertain financial outcomes.
A number of European politicians, including Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the top eurozone official, have said a “no” vote would jeopardize Greece’s place in the 19-nation eurozone.
With four hours of voting to go, Greeks are turning out in solid numbers to vote on their financial future.
Private Mega TV channel says turnout has been markedly high, now standing at 35 percent, and lines have been seen at polling stations in Athens. Turnout must be above 40 percent for the referendum to be valid.
High turnouts are normal in Greece because voting is mandatory — although that law has not been enforced in recent years.
In the country’s first referendum since 1974, Greece’s 9.8 million voters are choosing Sunday whether to accept demands by international creditors for more austerity measures in return for bailout loans.
Germany’s foreign minister says a ‘no’ vote in Greece’s austerity referendum won’t make a future compromises with the country’s creditors easier — “on the contrary.”
Still, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Greeks have a right to vote on the future of their country and Greece will remain a member of the 28-nation European Union even if the referendum rejects the austerity demands being made of Greece by international creditors.
Steinmeier told Berlin’s Tagesspiegel am Sonntag newspaper that the debt situation in Greece, the unsolved problem of how to handle tens of thousands of migrants flooding in across the Mediterranean and Britain’s demands for EU reforms are straining the EU’s foundations.
He warned Sunday that a “Grexit” — Greece dropping out of the common euro currency used by 19 nations– would harm Europe’s credibility in the world.
Opinion polls this week have shown a generation divide in the Greek referendum — with the “no” vote against more austerity measures far more popular among younger Greek voters than older ones.
Retired school teacher Themis Hatziyannaki, 84, voted ‘yes’ Sunday at an Athens high school, saying she wants to continue enjoying the privileges of her Greek and European citizenship.
But she also says she understands that many young people want to vote “no” to express their anger at Greece’s creditors. Unemployment in Greece for young people under 25 stands at a whopping 51.9 percent.
Hatziyannaki says “I understand them, because when I was young I was a rebel.” But she said young people also have to consider what’s best for Greece’s future and look at what older generations have endured.
Greece’s finance minister says the referendum gives Greeks the opportunity to decide on the austerity “ultimatum” they were handed by other countries in the 19-nation eurozone.
Yanis Varoufakis says the eurozone’s “massive failures” led to demands for more austerity measures that Greeks themselves needed to express their views on. He said the vote on Sunday “gives hope to Europe that a common currency and democracy can coexist.”
Varoufakis spoke as he voted along with his 90-year-old father Giorgos in the southern Athens suburb of Faliro.
This is the first Greek referendum since 1974, when Greeks voted to abolish the monarchy.
(This corrects the spelling of Varoufakis’ first name to Yanis).
Greece’s prime minister says the country’s austerity referendum is sending the message that Greeks are embracing a united Europe but want to live “with dignity.”
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said after casting a ‘no’ ballot Sunday that the vote demonstrates the Greek people’s right to choose their own future. He said although many Greeks may pick a different choice than the government, “no one can ignore the will of the people to take their lives in their hands.”
Tsipras said the referendum “defeats fear and ultimatums.”
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