Turkey offers help for Greece on financial crisis

ANKARA

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has expressed Turkey’s readiness to discuss joint steps to help Greece survive its financial crisis.

“We are ready to do the necessary as best as we can in cooperation in areas including tourism, energy, and trade,” he told Ak Party parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Tuesday.

The Turkish premier added that Turkey will contact the Greek government to hold a high-level cooperation council meeting at the earliest to consider joint steps on the financial crisis after the new Turkish government is formed.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker threatened Greece with expulsion from both the euro and the European Union on Monday. In an emotional speech, Juncker said that a ‘no’ vote in the referendum would mean that Greece did not intend to remain part of the trade bloc.

In response to the EU threat, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Tuesday that his government would sue the European Commission for the imposition of capital controls on banks, and against an eventual expulsion from the euro system.

Before that, late on Monday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Greeks in a televised speech that his government would not survive a ‘yes’ vote in the bailout referendum to be held on Sunday.

“If the (Greek) people vote ‘yes,’ then the referendum outcome will be completely respected but I will not serve it,” Tsipras said. “I’m not an all weather prime minister. I will respect the verdict and prepare the ground as outlined by the constitution and the parliament.”

As of Tuesday morning, Greece had not yet made the €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) payment due to the Internatonal Monetary Fund on this date. This puts Greece into formal default, and makes it ineligible for further aid from the IMF.

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