TIMELINE: Greeks vote on future in crucial referendum

Greeks head to polls to vote "NAI" (Yes) or "OXI" (No) on bailout plan, which could decide the country's future in the eurozone

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

04:00 - Polls open at 7:00 am local time (4:00 GMT).

Five months of fruitless talks to solve Greece's debt crisis have led the people of Greece to the polls. While millions of people rush to vote on Sunday’s referendum, the euro-currency area braces itself for its biggest challenge yet as its position in global financial markets is jeopardised. 

Close to 10 million eligible citizens will line up to vote at 4,800 polling stations staged across the country. 

In order for the referendum - also known as the ‘Greferendum’ on social media - to be valid, a 40 percent turnout is required for the results of the plebiscite to be valid.

The vote has divided Greeks up and down the country. While those in the "Yes" camp support sealing a deal with eurogroup lenders, thus securing Greece's future in the eurozone albeit under tough austerity measures, supporters of the "No" camp are rallying to pressure the country's creditors to release bailout funds and end crippling economic curbs which have left around a quarter of people out of employment.

04:50 - Ex-Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis arrives at polling without making any statements.

05:19 - President of Movement of Socialist Democrats and former socialist PASOK, ex-Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou votes in Nea Erithraia area. "Tommorow we have to concentrate on the big problem which is the big changes that our country needs," he said.

"For the big changes, it is of strategic importance to stay in the hard-centre of the eurozone in order to conduct those big changes in the most effective way. The negotiation is not a dice in the hands of a government in a difficult position. It is the every day, continuous, consistent and systematic negotiation for Greece's voice to be heard - the Greek voice to be heard."

06:09 - New Democracy political party president and former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras votes for "Yes" for bailout deal with lenders. “We vote 'yes' for Greece we vote 'yes' for Europe,” he said.

06:41 - Mayor of Athens, Girogos Kaminis, votes. “Today we vote, tomorrow we will start working all together,” he stated.

07:00 - President Prokopis Pavlopoulos votes, saying “we walk all together ... today it is the day of the citizens.”

07:32 - Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras casts his vote after leadinh the "OXI" (No) campaign.

“Today is a day of celebration because democracy is a celebration,” Tsipras said while casting his vote. “Today democracy wins over fear ... I am sure by tomorrow we will have opened a road for all the European Union countries.”

“I am very optimistic,” he added.

08:08 - President of centre-left POTAMI Stavros Theodorakis voted in the region of Xaidari. “In a few hours we must face together the great problem of the country,” he said.

08:13 - Fofi Genimata, the president of the socialist PASOK party, casts her vote. "We are sending as strong YES to Europe," she said.

09:12 - Ex-Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance Evangellos Venizelos votes. “Tomorrow is a positive, optimistic, European day for Greece. A Greece that can make steps for the remedy of injustices, securely without playing historical games against itself,” he said.

09:13 - Finance Minister Yiannis Varoufakis casts his vote.

“The major failure of Europe led to ultimatums that the Greek public could not answer. Today, after five years of failures, [the Greek public] have the right to decide,” said Varoufakis. “This is a sacred moment, a moment that gives hope to Europe that a common currency and democracy can co-exist.”

11:48 - Varoufakis reaffirms to German newspaper Bild commitment to quit if 'Yes' vote wins referendum.

12:05 - According to the BBC, former UK Chancellor Alistair Darling suggested creditors write-off Greece's debt. "By extension, it'll be yet another break on what is a very slow recovery in the global economy. Now in my experience, if you want to sort something, you've got to sort it properly. It's been five years now since the eurozone tried to sort out the Greek problem. It's manifestly failed to do so," he said. 

"To my mind, unless they take the decision they've got to take to write off substantial amounts of Greek debt, and then to put in place a programme that has got to be delivered in turn by the Greek government, this is going to continue."

12:08 -  President of the junior coalition partner Independent Greeks party [ANEL] Panos Kammenos is awaiting the National Radio and Television Council's intervention after Greek journalist Mr. Oikonomou made statements against Mr. Kammenos on the local Skai Television channel.

“Unfortunately Skai Television Channel is violating the electoral law broadcasting political content shows, propagating 'Yes' directly or indirectly, in an attempt to affect public opinion right in the middle of the referendum,” Kammenos tweeted.

According to Mr. Kammenos’ tweets, Mr. Oikonomou implied that Kammenos will go away with the very passport he used to vote for, after he had suggested Mr. Kammenos' children should not to become like their father.”

12:55 - French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron tells reporters, "Whatever the vote, we must starting tomorrow respond with political discussions to create a framework. It's not about taking refuge behind the ECB and others that have already done more than enough."

13:13 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wishes Greece well in their referendum. "The Greek issue is, first and foremost, Greece's business and we hope that this country will find ways to rescue itself from this chronic crisis. We wish them well," he said.

15:15 - Participation of the referendum reaches 65 percent as the proceedings of the referendum moves towards its completion in a quiet atmosphere, with last-minute voters rushing to vote.

16:00 - Poll close at 19:00 local time (16:00 GMT).

TRTWorld and agencies