Greek main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras addressed the nation in a televised speech just a few hours after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave his own, and urged the country to vote “Yes” on Sunday’s referendum.
In the speech, whose main motif was accusing the government of having lied multiple times, Samaras accused Tsipras of lying when he spoke about the IMF preliminary report because the same report explained that the shortcomings of the past 5 months lead to the need for a new bailout package.
“They are being blamed for worsening everything and they are cheering. They are being given a new Memorandum and they are happy. We have already won a debt ‘haircut’ since 2012. Now, with this government, we are threatened with a deposit haircut.”
Samaras posed the referendum question as a choice accepting and rejecting the euro and not the proposed agreement. Similar to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s earlier comments, Samaras said the “No” vote would weaken the country’s negotiating position.
He further accused the government of not being truthful to their verbal commitment to the Greek people that regardless of Sunday’s result, they will strike a deal with creditors in 48 hours.
“They wanted, since the beginning, the country’s exit from the euro with the approval of our people. Now they are saying that banks will open. How? With the ‘No’ vote? With the whole of Europe perceiving it as a no to the euro? They are lying again. Like a few days ago when they lied when they said the banks would not close and eventually they were the ones who closed the banks.”
Despite his stark criticism of Greece’s Prime Minister and SYRIZA, Samaras, like Tsipras had done earlier, called for unity among Greeks during the next few days and the ones following the referendum.
“Our strength is the unity of our people,” he said. “Because we are not just voting ‘Yes’ to the euro. We are voting yes to Greece. To a strong Greece. And a strong Greece is a European Greece. It is a strong Greece”.