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01 November 2011
Even as PM George Papandreou loses support in his own party and faces the collapse of his government...he is calling for a January national referendum...that has sent shock waves throughout the world's markets...driving down the euro.
Papandreou claims he needs wider political backing for the E130bn/$181 billion bailout.
"We trust citizens, we believe in their judgment, we believe in their decision," Prime Minister George Papandreou told his party members.
Recent polls there show 59% of the population against another bailout with its new austerity measures.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for emergency meeting with him in Cannes.
European politicians are said to be in total shock...by the Greek PM's surprise announcement.
A Greek businessman said: "I think this referendum will not happen. I'm hoping and praying for a government that will join other political forces."
“If it continues with Papandreou and the referendum, we will end up with a default and the default will push us into the drachma,” said former Greek Finance Minister Stefanos Manos.
Nobel economist Christopher Pissarides said, "If there is a 'no' vote, Greece would immediately declare bankruptcy. I do not see how Greece could remain in the euro."
ALSO: The reasoning behind Papandreou's sudden shocking decision. He reportedly felt isolated. An unnamed aide says: "This is his final stand. He feels systematically undermined from within so he decided to expose it all to a public discussion. He has decided to take on all sorts of special interests and has declared all-out war."