Merkel, Hollande call for EU summit after Greece ‘No’ vote
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have called for a summit of the European Union following the rejection of another tough austerity package in return for fresh bailout loans by the majority of the Greeks.
The Sunday’s calls were made after 61.31 percent of the Greeks opposed an austerity package by the country’s international lenders, according to the final results.
A Greek polling station official opens a ballot box in Athens on July 5, 2015. (AFP)
In reaction to the results, Greek conservative opposition chief Antonis Samaras announced his resignation.
“I understand that our great movement needs a new start. From today I am stepping down from the leadership,” the 64 year-old Samaras said in a televised address.
Following the call for an EU summit made by Merkel and Hollande, EU President Donald Tusk said on Twitter that the summit would be held on Tuesday evening “to discuss situation after referendum in Greece.”
Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras, however, told the nation in a televised address that “Together we have written a bright page in modern European history.”
Tsipras speaks during a televised address to the nation in Athens on July 5, 2015. (AFP)
“This is not a mandate of rupture with Europe, but a mandate that bolsters our negotiating strength to achieve a viable deal,” he added.
38.69 percent voted ‘Yes’ in the referendum to accept fresh bailout loans from the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In a short statement, the European Commission showed respect to the decision made by the Greeks in rejecting the bailout loans.
“The European Commission takes note of and respects the result of the referendum in Greece,” the statement read.