Greece: polls open in knife-edge referendum

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By Sarah Taylor  with Reuters
Greece: polls open in knife-edge referendum

On a quiet Saturday morning in Athens, street cleaners appear to represent the calm between two storms.

A night earlier, the streets of the Greek capital were abuzz with tens of thousands of people, all keen to to voice their opinion on the upcoming referendum.

On Sunday, Greece goes to the polls in a vote which could determine its future in Europe.

In a potentially game-changing referendum, voters will be asked to decide whether or not to accept bailout measures imposed by Greece’s international creditors. It’s a vote some see as a decision on the country’s future in Europe.

The ‘No’ camp

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged the Greek people to vote ‘No’ to the terms.

On Friday night in central Athens’ Syntagma Square, some 50,000 people gathered to back the leader, despite warnings from Brussels that Greece would be “dramatically weakened” by a ‘No’ vote.

The ‘Yes’ camp

It seems Greece is deeply divided over the referendum.

An opposing rally near the ancient Panathenaic Stadium attracted 20,000 supporters, including the mayor of Athens and television celebrities.

Opinion polls suggest the ‘Yes’ camp is marginally in the lead ahead of Sunday’s (July 5) crunch vote.