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Rival rallies ahead of Greek vote
03 Jul 2015 23:11
Rival rallies ahead of Greece's referendum are taking place in central Athens.
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged thousands of supporters gathered in Athens to vote No in the weekend referendum to "live with dignity in Europe".
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He was addressing at least 25,000 people gathered in the capital's Syntagma Square in front of parliament.
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Mr Tsipras rejected EU leaders' warnings that a No result in Sunday's referendum on whether to accept the bailout could see Greece forced to leave the eurozone.
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"On Sunday, we are not simply deciding to remain in Europe - we are deciding to live with dignity in Europe," he said.
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"I call on you to say No to ultimatums and to turn the back on those who would terrorise you," he said.
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"No one can ignore this passion and optimism."
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Thousands of Yes demonstrators gathered nearby yelled out pro-European slogans, and warned that the referendum could see Greece crash out of the euro.
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They rallied in front of the old Olympic Stadium to Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the anthem of the European Union. There appeared to be fewer people than in the No rally.
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"I prefer to vote 'Yes', have a few more years austerity and give my child a better future," said jobless economist Marina Peppa.
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"It's not going to be easy, but if No prevails we'll have Armageddon, total poverty."
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Ipsos poll puts Greek 'Yes' camp narrowly ahead
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Greeks in favour of accepting Sunday's referendum were marginally ahead on 44% of the vote in an Ipsos poll published today, compared to 43% against.
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Some 12% of respondents were undecided, under scoring significant potential for volatility, Ipsos said in a statement published on its website, describing the referendum as "too close to call".
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The poll was the fifth released today, and the fourth giving a narrow lead to the 'Yes' camp in a plebiscite that may decide the country's future in the euro zone.
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Say no to blackmail and ultimatums - Alexis Tsipras
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Mr Tsipras earlier said an IMF analysis showing Greece's debt is unsustainable justifies his government's decision to reject an aid package from creditors that offered no debt relief.
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In a televised address to the nation on the final day of campaigning ahead of Sunday's referendum, Mr Tsipras renewed his appeal to Greeks to vote against the bailout package and say "no" to blackmail and ultimatums.
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"Yesterday an event of major political importance happened," Mr Tsipras said.
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"The IMF published a report on Greece's economy, which is a great vindication for the Greek government as it confirms the obvious - that Greek debt is not sustainable."
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