"I really desperately want to stay in the euro," he said, explaining that the referendum regards how to stay in the eurozone, not whether to stay. Greece's talks with creditors have ground to a halt awaiting the referendum results. European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker "fully supports [Greece's] determination to be part of Europe and to remain part of the euro area", his spokesman said. "We will simply await the outcome of the referendum on Sunday. Now is the moment for the Greek people to shape their future," the spokesman, Margaritis Shine, added.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, however, warned that a "no" vote would not bolster Greece's negotiating position and would also place Athens and Europe in a "very difficult" position. On the contrary, those who vote "yes" would help improve chances of talks resuming, he said. The referendum, he stressed, will reveal whether Greeks are ready to accept austerity measures. After Moody's, Standard & Poor's also warned Greece that a "Grexit" would have "severe consequences" for the country's economy and banks, while the impact would be "more contained" for the rest of the eurozone, possibly without immediate repercussions on the other member states' ratings.
Nikos Pappas, the right-hand man of Greek premier Alexis Tsipras, stated that Greek banks will reopen once an agreement is reached, while Greek President Pokopis Paulopoulos cancelled his planned visit to Berlin next Tuesday. The Greek crisis remains a central issue in Italian politics. Italy's Economy Minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, said he is "optimistic about Europe's future, beyond the immediate concerns that current events may raise". Italian President Sergio Mattarella said he hopes Greece "will quickly reach a balanced agreement to restart a process of stability and growth within the European Union, in which Greece belongs". Doubts over the results of Greece's referendum continue to ripple across financial markets. Thursday's session saw European markets beginning the day cautiously and dropping mid-morning. (AGI)