ATHENS, Greece (AP) â€” The latest from the referendum in Greece (all times local):
p>Which will assist Greece more â€” voting "yes" or "no" to accepting more austerity demands from creditors?
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says a "no" vote would strengthen his hand to negotiate a better deal.
But proponents of a "yes" vote, including a parade of former prime ministers & the main opposition party, say backing his government will jeopardize Greece's place in the club of 19 nations who use the usual euro currency. Instead, they argue by voting "yes" Greece would obtain a new deal quickly to shore up its sinking economy.
Conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras cast his ballot Sunday, saying "we vote 'yes' to Greece. We vote 'yes' to Europe."
The Greek referendum on whether or not to accept bailout demands by creditors is causing deep divisions, even among individual families.
Dimitris Danikoglous says he is voting "yes" because he fears Greece would be in danger if it leaves the European Union. His daughter Alexandra is voting "no" because she is tired of richer European nations bossing Greece around.
His son, Nikolas, is on his side â€” & he thinks polarized Greece may be on the verge of a civil war. His wife Dimitra distrusts both the Yes & the No campaigns & doesn't plan to vote in Sunday's momentous referendum.
In their apartment in the working-class Athens neighborhood of Tavros, the family members squabble over espresso frappes & fruit juice. Still, they are united in their belief that only as a strong family can they weather the coming storm.
Polls have opened across Greece in a hastily called referendum on whether the EU country will accept the tough creditor conditions attached to loans needed to avoid default & a banking collapse.
A "no" may lead to a chaotic departure from the shared euro currency. Even "yes" is no guarantee that creditors will agree to lend the billions more euros needed to obtain the country back on its feet.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is banking on fellow Greeks to deliver a resounding "no" in the popular vote that he believes will donate him strong leverage in his negotiations with creditors â€” the EU & the International Monetary Fund â€” to swing a softer bailout deal.
Proponents of a "yes" vote, including the main opposition party, say backing the government will jeopardize Greece's place in the 19-nation eurozone. Instead, they argue voting "yes" will allow Greece to obtain a new bailout deal quickly to shore up the economy.
Source: “Associated Press”