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Two citizens appeal at Greece’s top court against Referendum (reasoning, ballot question)

Two Greeks, a lawyer and an engineer, appealed against the Referendum at the country’s highest court the State Council on Wednesday. The two civilians seek to void as “unconstitutional  and illegal” the Referendum on upcoming Sunday.

Tomorrow, they will submit to the State Council an application through which they will seek an interim order or decision of the Department of Suspension that will “freezes” the referendum.

According to latest information, the plenary of the State Council is to meet at 12:00 noon on Friday to decide on the appeal. The discussion will be open and the StC is expected to rule on the same day.

Reasoning of the appeal

In their application, the two civilians argue that both the act of Cabinet for the referendum proposal and the Presidential Decree on the announcement of the referendum, are contrary to Article 44 of the Constitution and the Law 4023/2011 concerning the rules for holding referendums .

At the same time, they stress that the constitutional requirements may not allow referendum questions that “go back to the management of fiscal policy and address issues arising out of or directly affect (adversely or favorably) the financial situation of the state.”

Moreover, they stress that the documents of the three international organizations (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) of the Euro group of 25/06/2015, have “clear and almost exclusive economic object and direct budgetary item in the functioning of the state and the financial sufficiency to address government spending “and therefore the referendum is illegal, as “it violated the provisions of the Constitution. ”

Additionally, the two civilians indicate in their application to the Supreme Court that the law in the conduct of referendums (law 4023/2011)s being violated as the question asked is not worded clearly and briefly -as required by nomos- but it is complex, described with specific technical and scientific terms that are ‘impossible to be understood by the overwhelming majority of voters. ”

At the same time, they note that it is illegal because of the sustained time of the referendum, which has the effect of making it impossible to inform the electorate. Another legal reason for cancellation of the referendum cited is that it is illegal to conduct the referendum process after the controversial Presidential Decree no published texts of international organizations in the Euro group of 25.6.2015.

Furthermore, they state that the act of Cabinet and the Presidential Decree, is void, as issued “misuse of powers”, as issued to “order completely different from that for which the institution of the constitutional referendum and irrelevant to the concept of predicted national question, as accepted by the science and Consensus’ (more details in Greek here)

Despite the creditor’s pressure to cancel the Referendum but on political and ideological reasons, PM Alexis Tsipras announced earlier today that the Referendum stands and called on Greeks to vote No.

Greece’s creditors took also the help of the Council of Europe to rule per telephone on the Greek Referendum.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland told The Associated Press that international standards recommend that a referendum be held with at least two weeks’ notice to allow sufficient time for discussion, with a clear question put to the people and with international observers monitoring the vote.

The vote “has been called on such a short notice, that this in itself is a major problem,” Jagland said Wednesday by phone from Lisbon, Portugal. “And also the fact that the questions that are put to the people … are not very clear.”

Greece’s referendum on whether to accept creditor demands in return for bailout funds was called at 1 am last Friday.

greece referendum ballot

KTG admits it: the question on the Referendum is very complicated and it is written  in Greek and in English for the titles of creditors’ proposal. The text on the ballot reads:



NO is the first option for the voter, YES the second.

The ballot has been published together with a 26-page long document containing the creditors’ proposal in Greek.

PS I did not bothered to read 26-pages creditors’ proposal. Neither will the granny in the village do. But based on the recent discussion, debate, information flow on creditor’s pressure and games and EU/ECB/IMF proposals, eurogroup in and eurogroup out,I heard by several Greeks that they could vote MAYBE because they would agree with some measures like taxing the rich. However they categorically disagree with further pensions cuts even in form of raised contributions, scrapping the poverty allowance for the low pensioners or VAT hikes of 23% even not some food items.

For the majority of Greeks tired of corruption and clientelism and preferential treatment of certain society groups, Austerity measures were never Black & White. They had 5000 shades of grey, the creditors never tried to understand.

Check also Referendum voters motives in the first public opinion poll here.

PS you wonder who are these two men who appealed to State of Council? I suppose they are “concerned citizens”… Ex PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos had raised the issue of the constitutionality of the Referendum right away.

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  1. Interestingly the proposal on is not the same as the one published by the European Comission on
    Referendum: 23% VAT for hotels
    EC: 13% VAT for hotels
    So I think it is indeed illegal

    • The more I think about it, the less I understand. There was a meeting on Friday. The EC publishes the most recent version on Sunday. On Monday the Greek government publishes a document with less favorable terms to be voted upon. So they want the Greeks to vote OXI, so that they afterwards can agree with the Eurozone on the already public “EC proposal” and declare victory?

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        All proposals that came after they’ve kick out Varoufakis are void

        • Well, you and I have different opinions about what are good policies for Greece. But the problem here is that your government is trying to betray you. They have developed into dangerous demagogues.
          The EC claims their proposal would reflect the state of negotiations on 26th, 8pm. You can argue that this is wrong (although nobody of all those involved says so), but I know I downloaded it on 28th, 16.46 and very probably it was uploaded before 7.09am (see
          So if you publish a document on Monday (the referendum domain was only created on the 29th), why would you neither check whether it is equivalent to the last proposal nor comment on the differences? They think you won’t notice and their document increases the chances of a NO vote. See also this:
          Varoufakis writes: “Frankfurt will have to think twice before it issues the threat of bending its own rules to close down Greek banks. […] And if it does not, and wishes to bring the Eurozone down with it, let it do its worst, I say.”
          The point is that it will very probably not bring down the Eurozone (everybody had at least 3 years to prepare for a Grexit), but only bring down the Greek banking system.
          You can vote Yes or No (won’t change the outcome of an agreement in my opinion), but if you don’t want to slowly get cut off the Eurozone and end up with IOUs/Drachma, you have to convince your government not to let it do its worst.
          Besides, the official website for the referendum can hardly be called impartial (which would be usual in the EU) and is a copy of (which is okay, if they asked for permission).

          • Let’s talk about the crooks running Germany, shall we? Why confine ourselves to Greece, when clearly you know fuck all about the country. And why not discuss the appalling mismanagement not only of the Greek negotiations, but actually of everything the eurogroup has done. Everything is informal, they make political decisions about what they will do with taxpayers’ money, they finance private German banks.. maybe the private german banks finance the politicians too. That seems to be the way the Germans work — everything looking formally correct, but the extent of corruption and dirt is actually worse than Greece.

            And the German attitude to democracy would leave Hitler envious. Referendum on something important? I think not, Herr Schaeuble would not like that! We need to mount a public disinformation camapaign for a least a year to make sure the german people do as we tell them! These stupid greeks are going to actually ask people to make a decision without being controlled! dearie me, they have a lot to learn.

            Yes, we know all about fascism. We saw it with Germans at close quarters. There is nothing new to see here.

          • The Eurogroup is informal by design. Of course, like in almost every democracy, private banks and fiancial institutions donate to politicall parties, see – some politicians also have some additional earnings of at least 200,000 € (see While there is a general feeling that Schröder was corrupt (the SPD introduced Riester pensions to help his friend MAschmeyer), many think that CDU/CSU serves our interests (which often are equivalent to the banks’ interests).
            Referendums on the German level are not constitutional, as we think this would open the door for populism. The idea is that too many voters are not intelligent enough and thus it should rather be left to the representatives to decide. If the people were allowed to vote on specific issues, we would not have the Euro for example. Also, parties that aim at the destruction of democracy are forbidden. Just in case: Our constitution gives as the right to resistance should someone try to abolish democracy. We also are not allowed to elect the president as he shall represent all the people. I’m happy the way it is and see no reason to change it – otherwise we would end up in a democracy like the Weimar Republic.
            In the Greek case: By voting Syriza into power Greeks already showed their discontent with austerity. But if Greece gets a non-austerity agreement is not only up to the Greeks, but up to the lenders, as well. If negotiations fail, there is the risk as described above. A referendum cannot change reality, in this case it hardly makes a difference. It is only an emotional vote to express pathos and to make Greeks feel national (and) socialist.
            Germany is defending the interests of the whole Eurozone. If a member disagreed, it could speak up against.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            new Lebensraum for Germany?

          • “And the German attitude to democracy would leave Hitler envious. ”
            Well if Markus knows fuck about greece you know about as much about germany.
            60% of germans are for the referendum. An thats despite legitimate concerns about there not being enough time and the actual question being unclear.

            What Id be interested to know from you Giaourti KTG and others is what do you expect will happen after a no vote?
            Do you think this will give tsipras enough momentum to reach an acceptable deal? Or is this the cnfirmation needed to end the talks, finally show the finger to the creditors and do it your own way?

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            It’s just that EKAM have enough time to arrest Schäuble, Junker, Lagarde, Merkel aso; for humanitarian reasons Merkel may be gets deported to Den Haag for Germany’s biggest known post-war mass-murder in Kundus

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Who do you think you can play your tricks on? Just check the internet for Schulz and Gabriels lies even big German newspapers wrote about, all proposals and different drafts got translated, this weekend there will be demonstrations all over Germany supporting OXI.
            There are enough people coming from Austria and Germany to Greece to vote and have details about the German media campaign.
            Varoufakis got kicked out before 8pm, so it’s void as it’s void anyway just because he got kicked out, the negotiation got aborted this way.
            How are they demagogues if they give the Greek citizens the chance to watch the German parliament debate regarding Greece live on TV with very little pro-Greek speech time as the opposition is small?

    • keeptalkinggreece

      13% in hotels came later I think

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      But where is the “competitiveness”? Wasn’t the tourism-sector made for it with 9% and wasn’t Samaras against a higher VAT because this will destroy the Greek tourism-sector? At least he was against between September and January
      OK, some more terrorist attacks at the south-coast 13% would do it

  2. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Big Conspiracy: The Referendum isn’t backed by the constitution also because the whole Troika-bullshit isn’t and all measured forced by Brussels are void

  3. Anyone know at what time sunday results are to be expected?/When does the voting end and the counting begin?