Referendum possibly on 4th December


Following his summons to the G20 meeting in Cannes by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Greek prime minister, George Papandreou has said that a referendum could be called for as early as 4th December.

The two Eurozone leaders apparently told Papandreou that there would be no further money forthcoming until the referendum had been concluded. That means withholding the next tranche of €8 billion for the immediate future. If the Greek voters decide to vote against the deal then Greece has been told it will get no more money and may face a ‘disorderly’ default.

Meanwhile the Greek finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos has said that he did not back plans for a referendum. This is despite an apparent unanimous decision by the Greek Cabinet on Tuesday night to go forward with the referendum.

The 27th October bailout deal is being discussed today and tomorrow in the Greek parliament along with a confidence motion. It looks increasingly as if Papandreou might lose the confidence motion, in which case the government will fall. The option for President Karolos Papoulias will then be to seek to form a Unity government or to move directly to an election.

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