Leftist Spanish parties back 'no' vote in Greek referendum

3rd July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Representatives of six Spanish leftist parties and platforms on Friday backed a weekend referendum in Greece on its bailout terms and a "No" vote.

"We think that the Greek people will be courageous, that it will be on the 'No' side", said Rommy Arce, a Madrid city councillor who belongs to a leftist "Ahora Madrid" citizens platform that took power last month.

Voting "No" to the latest bailout terms offered Greece by its creditors -- the IMF and the European Union -- "is a rejection of all the governments that apply these policies on the rest of Europe," she added.

"Ahora Madrid" is made up partly of Spain's "Indignado" protest movement against economic inequality which occupied public squares.

It was backed during local elections in May by Spain's new anti-austerity party Podemos, a close ally of Greece's ruling syriza party.

"The fundamental dilemma is between democracy and austericide," said Jaime Pastor, a member of Podemos.

"Our future will depend on what will happen in Greece," he added.

Podemos has not called openly for Greeks to vote "No" but one of its representatives will be in Athens on Sunday and the party has defended the right of Greeks to decide their own future.

The Greek referendum is being closely watched in Spain where anger over austerity has fueled the rise of Podemos.

The party came in third place during local and regional elections in May, behind the ruling conservative Popular Party and the Socialists.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday said that a "yes" vote in next Sunday's referendum would be good for Greece as it would allow its creditors to negotiate with a new government in Athens.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said a 'No' result in Sunday's referendum would strengthen his hand and force international creditors withholding bailout funds to drop "humiliating" austerity terms.

But European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned that Greece's negotiating position with creditors would be "dramatically weakened" in the event of a 'No'.

Even if the 'Yes' vote wins, there would still be "difficult" negotiations ahead, he added.

© 2015 AFP

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