Greece: Tsipras casts his vote in high-stakes referendum

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cast his vote in an unprecedented referendum whether to accept to the bailout terms imposed by Greece's creditors in Athens, Sunday. Polls indicate a very close contest. Almost 9.9 million are eligible to vote in the plebiscite, with polls open for twelve hours from 0700-1900. The first results are expected to be called around 21.00 local time (18.00 GMT), with counting ongoing through the night. 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. Banks have €1 billion ($1.1bn) left before liquidity runs out, enough for each Greek resident to withdraw €90 ($100), the head of Greek Banks Union told reporters. Emergency funds are therefore required from the ECB on Monday, irrespective of the result of the plebiscite. Shortages in basic provisions have been reported nationally, although Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has assured the Greek people that the government has stockpiled reserves.. The estimated cost of the referendum, capital controls and bank closures on the Greek economy is €1.2 billion ($1.3bn), a number that will have to be added to Greek debt in some form.

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