What Greece Is Saying Today: 'Oxi'

That's 'no' to the question of whether it'll pay the IMF today
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 30, 2015 6:54 AM CDT
Updated Jun 30, 2015 7:13 AM CDT
What Greece Is Saying Today: 'Oxi'
An elderly woman covers her head from the sun as she passes a banner that reads ''NO'', hung up by supporters of the NO vote in the upcoming referendum in Athens.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

"Oxi" is Greek for "no," and it's a word coming from Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis' mouth today. He confirmed that, no, Greece would not be paying the $1.8 billion it owes to the IMF today. His comment comes amid speculation that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to craft some sort of last-minute deal with creditors before the payment is due and before the European part of Greece's bailout comes to an end, per the AP. The Wall Street Journal reports European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker went to Tsipras last night to discuss an 11th-hour deal that would see a financing plan and budget cuts for Greece—so long as Tsipras essentially told Greeks oxi to oxi: to vote "yes" in Sunday's referendum.

The Journal reports an about-face may have happened overnight, with an official yesterday maintaining Tsipras was still gunning for a "no" in the referendum; another official, however, this morning said "there is some movement." This reportedly follows calls Tsipras had today with Juncker, as well as European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and European Parliament president Martin Schulz. As for those leaning toward voting "oxi" on Sunday, the New York Times has some fascinating backstory on the word, which it reports has "historical symbolism that makes it even more appealing in the present context. As every Greek schoolchild knows, the annual Oxi Day commemorates the answer, in spirit if not verbatim, delivered by Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas to a demand from Mussolini to allow Italian forces to occupy strategic parts of Greece at the beginning of World War II." (More Greece stories.)

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