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Greece: with referendum looming 'Yes' vote ahead, opinion poll suggests

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By Sarah Taylor  with Reuters, AP
Greece: with referendum looming 'Yes' vote ahead, opinion poll suggests

Just days before Sunday’s (July 5) referendum in Greece, a new opinion poll suggest the ‘Yes’ camp has pulled 1.4 percent ahead in what has been a close-run race.

A previous poll put the ‘No’ vote in the lead.

In a referendum which could determine the country’s future in Europe, Greeks will be asked to decide whether or not to accept the bailout measures proposed by Greece’s lenders. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged people to vote ‘No’ to the terms.

Some 43.4 percent of the country share his view, the poll suggests. However, 11.8 percent appear undecided.

The poll results came out a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a blunt warning about Greece’s financial future. It said Greece needed an extra 50 billion euros over the next three years to stay afloat. That sum would include 36 billion euros from its European partners. The country also needs significant debt relief, according to the IMF.

Opinions split

In Karitaina, the village depicted on the former 5,000 drachma note, opinions are split.

Ioannis Psilas is firmly in the ‘No’ camp.

“If I could vote 200 times ‘No’ I would. No to the bailouts. As you know, economists the world over say that Greece could never pay what it owes. Never! ‘Yes’ to Europe, however.”

Many view the referendum as a choice between staying in the euro, or returning to the drachma.

Retired journalist Ilias Tsarbopoulos is in favour of voting ‘Yes’.

“For those in the know – and it’s not like you have to know a lot – they are leading us to the drachma,” he said. “It’s the so-called drachma lobby or Europe. I personally – and many others, I imagine – am pro-Europe. Where else would we go? Do we produce anything? Something, which will bring in some money?”

Greece, it seems, is torn between animosity towards its lenders and contempt for politicians unable to reach an agreement despite months of negotiations.