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Tsipras: The Referendum Is Not About Whether Greece Stays or Leaves the Euro

July 1, 2015 (EIRNS)—After a day of unbelievable psywar and threats, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made another public television address to the nation urging a "No" vote in the Sunday, July 5th referendum. He denounced the British Empire-run campaign of lies and blackmail.

Regarding the government’s decision to close the banks, he blamed "extreme circles" who "blackmail ordinary citizens" by refusing to extend liquidity to the Greek banks, reported Athens-Macedonia News Agency.

"I have full knowledge of your difficulties, and I pledge personally to do everything I can to make them temporary.... The sirens of disaster are blackmailing you and asking you to say ‘Yes’ to everything," he said. "I never expected a democratic Europe not to give space and time [to hold the referendum]. It is a disgrace that we have these scenes of shame, because they closed the banks precisely because we wanted to give the people the vote."

He called for Greeks to vote "No," as representing the people’s clear choice of how they want to live on the day after, and for return to values in Europe, as well as strong pressure for a sustainable and fairer agreement. He said the referendum on July 5 does not constitute a coup, but that it’s the "appointed governments" who led to such an event.

"I call on you to say no to memorandum formulas that are destroying Europe," he said, adding that a "no" vote was an obligation to history. He also promised that wages, pensions, and the savings of those that had elected not to transfer their money abroad will not be lost.

Meanwhile, Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told Russia 24 TV network that Greece has a backup plan if the EU cuts off funding. "The situation is very difficult but we shouldn’t allow [creditors] the opportunity to exploit us," Lafazanis said. "The lack of funding from the European Union is not the end of the world. There are other sources of funding."

Lafazanis said that Greece is not collapsing because banks have been closed.

"Yes, banks are closed, but you can see that in Athens and other cities life goes on as usual," he said. "Yes, we shut down banks, but not on a whim. In the last few years, Europe has been using the wrong policy toward Greece. Now they don’t want to continue the Emergency Liquidity Assistance. We were forced to defend our people, people who have savings in the banks, so that our country can progress in the future." He continued that "the blackmailing techniques the European institutions are using have a specific purpose. They want our government to take measures that will bring us to our knees.... The banks may be closed, but we don’t have fuel or food shortages."

Lafazanis said it was too early to reveal the details of Athens’ Plan B, because the government is still holding out the option of coming to an agreement with its European "partners"