NEWS

Chief of Greek mayors’ union accuses gov’t of ‘premeditated crime’

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The head of the union representing the country’s mayors, Giorgos Patoulis, on Wednesday called for a referendum planned for Sunday to be canceled and for the SYRIZA-led government to step down, accusing authorities of destroying the country with their policies and maneuvers in negotiations with the country’s creditors.

Patoulis, who is president of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) and mayor of the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi, described the referendum as “the final act of a premeditated crime at the expense of the country,” adding that the plebiscite was “of dubious constitutional validity and threatens our prospects in Europe while dividing the Greek people.”

Patoulis had been among the staunchest opponents to a government order, which was issued in April, ordering all state bodies including local authorities to send their extra cash to the Bank of Greece for the government’s use.