Drone soars over thousands of ‘NO’ protesters as referendum looms in Greece
Ruptly’s drone captured thousands of people flooding Syntagma Square in Athens, Friday, in support of a ‘no’ vote in the upcoming bailout referendum. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to address the crowd after a music concert from performers sympathetic to the cause.
Greece’s prime minister is urging citizens to vote “no” in Sunday’s austerity referendum and shun those who threaten the country with economic ultimatums.
Alexis Tsipras told throngs of demonstrators at the main “no” rally in Athens’ central Syntagma Square Friday that the referendum is not a choice about whether or not to stay in Europe, but a decision about living “in Europe with dignity.”
He said Greeks wants Europe to return to its core values which it has sidelined for the sake of “dead-end” austerity programs.
Tsipras said Greece won’t abandon Europe “in the hands of those who want to drag her away from her democratic traditions.”
He said Greeks “have justice on our side and we will win,” urging voters to ignore scaremongers and to remain united no matter the outcome.
Just a 1.2 kilometre (0.75 miles) walk away from Syntagma Square at the Panathenaic Stadium, thousands of people rallied under the slogan ‘Yes to the euro – we live in Europe’ are holding a demonstration to encourage people to vote ‘yes’. The proximity of the rival rallies has sparked fears of clashes between the two groups.
The rally comes as the Greek people are set to hold a referendum on July 5 to decide whether to accept the austerity measures requested by the so-called “troika” (IMF, ECB, EC). The Greek government closed the country’s banks on Monday, as well as imposing limits on cash withdrawals until July 6. A ‘No’ vote by the Greek people would reject new austerity measures that are demanded by Greece’s creditors, while a ‘Yes’ would accept the institutions’ conditions for a new Greek bailout package.