EU Lawmaker Schulz Defends Greek Referendum, Spiegel Reports

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou aims to force opposition parties’ hands by calling a referendum on the latest European Union bailout effort, Martin Schulz, floor leader of the Socialists in the European Parliament, said in an interview with Der Spiegel.

Papandreou is trying to break the “blockade policy by the Conservative opposition” he has contended with for months, Schulz is cited as saying by the German magazine.

“He wants to force the opposition to back the rescue plan and obtain a mandate from the Greek people,” Spiegel quoted Schulz as saying. “That is something I can understand,” he told the magazine.

He called speculation about a possible Greek default “negligent” and said Germany’s government should increase pressure on Greece’s opposition lawmakers instead of “philosophizing over state insolvencies,” Spiegel said.

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