Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras attacked Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for calling a referendum on a bailout deal, saying it was effectively setting the country on a collision course with Europe.
“European identity is an accomplishment of Greece, and New Democracy is clearly sided with democracy and Europe,” Samaras, a former Greek prime minister and leader of the New Democracy conservatives, said in a statement.
Earlier Alexis Tsipras said he would convene parliament to ratify his proposal of a referendum on bailout demands of the country’s EU and IMF lenders. Tsipras, elected on an anti-austerity mandate in January, called lenders demands outright “blackmail”.
“Tsipras brought the country to a total deadlock. Between an unacceptable agreement and a euro exit,” Samaras said. The referendum question was effectively a “yes” or “no” to Europe, Samaras said.