Greek lawmakers vote in favour of holding a referedum on July 5, where Greek voters will decide on whether to accept bailout terms. Yiming Woo reports.
Greek lawmakers give the green light for a referendum on the terms of a bailout deal that's expiring soon. Without the funds, Athens is due to default on about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in repayments to the International Monetary Fund. It will push Greece closer to being forced out of the euro. The government easily passed the 151-vote threshold to authorise the referendum. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK ENERGY MINISTER, PANAGIOTIS LAFAZANIS, SAYING: "Next Sunday the Greek people will vote. We hope that they will voice a loud, strong and populous 'no' to the institutions' proposal. Next Monday, a road may open for the country, with difficulties for sure, but with a positive and hopeful outlook." But opposition lawmakers were critical of the move. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) NEW DEMOCRACY LAWMAKER, ADONIS GEORGIADIS, SAYING: "I think this was a reckless move by the government, and I believe the Greek people will respond by voting to stay in the EU." The offer from creditors requires Greece to cut pensions and raise taxes, which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has argued against. The bailout deal expires on June 30th. European partners have refused an extension until after the July 5th referendum. Worried people are pulling their money out of banks, fearing the country is set to crash out of the euro. Although time is running out, the Greek Finance Minister says a deal is still possible. He warns the credibility of the euro zone could be damaged by its rejection of Greece's plea for more time.