Greek premier urges citizens to say 'no' to ultimatums

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Greek premier urges citizens to say 'no' to ultimatums -->

ATHENS, July 3. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged Greeks on Friday to say "no" to international creditors’ ultimatums at a nationwide referendum scheduled for Sunday.

"Sunday does not decide our exit from the euro zone but will decide whether we want to follow the policy that leads to the slow death of our economy and pension cuts," Tsipras said in a televised address to the nation.

"I’m urging you to say ‘no’ to ultimatums and ‘no’ to a split in society and the campaign for fear-mongering. Let’s do this for the sake of democracy and our dignity," the Greek premier said.

Greeks have to decide at the July 5 referendum whether the Greek government should accept or reject a draft agreement on a new austerity package for debt-laden Greece worked out by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Since 2010, when Greece’s sovereign debt crisis broke out, Athens has received 240 billion euros in bailout loans from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Despite a partial debt write-off in 2012, Greece’s sovereign debt currently exceeds 315 billion euros or 175% of its GDP. This figure is almost three times the debt-to-GDP ratio set for the eurozone countries, which should not exceed 60% of GDO according to the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.

Greece’s international creditors say the Hellenic Republic can receive further financial aid, if the government undertakes to implement further austerity measures in the country.