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Greece: the referendum on European agreement

The referendum on the bailout of Greece could take place as early as December, said  the Greek Minister of Interior Haris Kastanidis on Wednesday.

“It is possible to be able to hold the referendum at the earliest in December”, said Mr. Kastanidis on public television.

On Monday, the Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou proposed to hold a referendum on the European aid plan to Greece adopted at the last EU extraordinary summit in Brussels. Under the agreement, private investors agree to delete half of Greece’s debt in exchange for an extensive program of austerity. The latter is the subject of violent protests from the Greek population.

The announcement of the referendum has caused embarrassment Greek, European officials and global stock markets plunged. Last week French President Nicolas Sarkozy has insisted that the plan adopted  in Brussels was “the only way to solve the problem of Greek debt.”

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