“Following the Greek parliament’s decision to hold a referendum, all the people take responsibility for the future of the country,” the prime minister told BNS in a comment.
“I believe that the majority of the Greek people want to stay in the EU and in the eurozone, that they want the country’s situation to be under control, that they want financial support to be continued, and that they want the EU to remain united, which is what is needed very much today,” he said.
According to Butkevičius, much depends now on the formulation of the referendum question and on the Greeks, who have to show their firm commitment to carrying out the necessary reforms to receive the financial support their country needs.
“Greece has to understand that commitments to the community have to be met reciprocally. I don’t want to be a pessimist and speak about what the country may face if financial support to banks is discontinued, if the country goes bankrupt without access to long-term borrowing in international markets. The government must not only share responsibility for the situation, but it must also think about how to help its country,” he said.
The EU is ready to use all available means to help Greece to carry out reforms, with a focus on the absorption of EU structural funding, but the Greek government must want to do so, the prime minister said.
According to media reports, the Greek parliament early on Sunday gave the green light to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ proposed bailout referendum on Jul. 5. In a speech prior to the vote, Tsipras said that he was confident that the Greek people would say “an emphatic no to the ultimatum” by the creditors, but “a big yes to European solidarity”.