Papandreou calls for referendum on EU debt deal

Prime Minister George Papandreou has stated his intention to hold a referendum on last week's agreement in Brussels for Greece's bondholders to accept a 50 percent haircut and the country to receive some 130 billion euros in loans from its eurozone partners.

Speaking to PASOK MPs, Papandreou also said that he would ask for a vote of confidence in Parliament. This is likely to to take place next week. The referendum could happen later this year.

Papandreou said he had faith in Greeks making the right decision. ?Let us allow the people to have the last word, let them decide on the country?s fate,? he said. He said handing the vote over to Greeks was «an act of patriotism."

The premier insisted that calling snap polls - ahead of elections scheduled for 2013 - would be ?simply dodging the issue.?

The vote of confidence - likely to be held next week - would come just over four months after a similar vote that Papandreou sought, and won, to bolster his government ahead of a Parliamentary vote on austerity measures.

The premier's bombshell came a day after an opinion poll, carried out by To Vima, found that 60 percent of Greeks regard last Thursday's EU debt deal as «negative» or «probably negative."