Greek bailout referendum: World leaders react to No vote

World leaders, especially in Europe, are reacting to Greek voters who rejected a bailout plan in Sunday's referendum, and one politician says a new aid package is "difficult to imagine."

EU summit called for Tuesday to discuss next steps after country rejects latest bailout package

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      Greek voters have rejected a bailout package with more austerity measures in a national referendum on Sunday. This comes after the country defaulted on its loan from the International Monetary Fund, making it ineligible to receive further funding until it repays its debt.

      Greece was slated to make a 1.55 billion euro payment on owed funds last Tuesday.

      European Council President Donald Tusk said he's called a eurozone summit Tuesday to discuss Greece after German and French leaders called for the meeting following the No vote.

      Greek voters turned down the latest European bailout offer, leaving the debt-ridden country in uncharted territory. (Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press)

      Here are a collection of responses from European leaders following the results of the Greek referendum:

      • German Vice Chancellor and Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel: The Greek government is leading its people "on to a path of bitter austerity and hopelessness." He added the Greek prime minister had "torn down the last bridges, across which Europe and Greece could move toward a compromise ... 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."
      • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: "Decisions now have to be taken in Greece and the ball is in Athens' court."
      • Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz: She suspects that if official results confirm a No victory, "the path of Greece can be only one: leaving the eurozone."
      • Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt: "This likely No complicates matters," but insisted the door remained open to resume talks with the Greek government within hours.
      • European Parliament President Martin Schulz: A summit of eurozone leaders planned for Tuesday should discuss a "humanitarian aid program for Greece" with "meaningful and constructive proposals" in the coming hours to get the talks with the other 18 eurozone nations going again. "If not, we are entering a very difficult and even dramatic time."
      • Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem: The outcome of Sunday's referendum is "very regrettable for the future of Greece ... For the recovery of the Greek economy, difficult measures and reforms are inevitable. We will now wait for the initiatives of the Greek authorities."
      • Argentine President Cristina Fernandez: "The Greek people have said No… to the impossible and
        humiliating conditions that would be imposed for the restructuring of their debt. We Argentines know
        what this is about. We hope that Europe and its leaders understand the message … that you can't force anyone to sign their own death warrant."

      Euro takes a hit

      European Central Bank policy setters are likely to maintain emergency funding for Greek banks at its current restricted level, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

      Such a move would give Greek banks little time before they use up all of the roughly 89 billion euros of funding available and ensure that they remain closed for at least the coming days. But it would avoid the drastic option of withdrawing existing support, a measure that would trigger their immediate collapse.

      The euro has fallen sharply on currency exchanges following the Greek referendum results, with investors also reacting to the country's financial crisis. 

      With files from Reuters


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