BILD polls readers in own ‘Greece referendum’

Tabloid Bild continued its campaign against bailouts for Greece on Friday by calling its own "referendum", asking readers to fill out a poll on whether Germany should keep stumping up. German politicians were divided on how the Greek vote would affect Europe.

BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'
Image: BILD/screenshot

“Should we support Greece with further taxpayers' billions?” was the loaded question the paper pointed at readers.

And the rest of the article left no doubt as to how Germans were expected to respond.

“Europe has been paying for bankrupt Greece for five years!

“Athens has received around €325 billion. Germany's part in that: around €88 billion!”

At time of writing, 89 percent of online readers had voted “No” on the Bild website.

Bild's stance on the Greece crisis is tougher than the most unhappy of German politicians.

“We can only help Greece with more money if there is a conclusive plan to restore financial credibility with reforms,” Horst Seehofer, head of the arch-conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition allies, told the Passauer Neue Presse on Friday.

“In Greece, the wealthiest class have moved their wealth out of the country for years without hindrance,” Carsten Lindemann, a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) MP and head of the party's business federation, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Lindemann said that there should be new rules to prevent so-called “capital flight” from countries like Greece – and that bankruptcy proceedings should be created to allow a country's budget to be repaired or countries to leave the single currency.

Syriza to be forced out?

Meanwhile, European Parliament President Martin Schulz told Handelsblatt that if Greeks vote “Yes” in their own referendum, he expects the radical left Syriza government led by Alexis Tsipras to resign.

“New elections would be forced if the Greek people vote for the [economic] reform programme and to stay in the eurozone and then Tsipras necessarily quits,” he told Handelsblatt.

Schulz was already foreseeing a “technical government“ to bridge the gap between Syriza giving up and new elections.

“That way we could keep negotiating,” Schulz said.

Polls in Greece showed that the referendum there will be a tight race, with 47.1 percent planning to vote yes to the question of whether to accept a deal offered by the country's creditors last weekend and 43.2 percent heading for no.

A last-minute legal challenge against the referendum was expected to fail.

But it's not known exactly what the result of the referendum will mean, as several leaders from among the creditor organizations – the EU, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB) – have said that last weekend's offer is no longer valid after Greece missed an IMF loan repayment on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: Schäuble: Greece will stay in Euro regardless

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