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Greek Vote Gamble Stunned Euro Partners, Merkel Allies Say

Greece’s decision to call a referendum on its five-day-old bailout blindsided its European partners and placed another hurdle in the way of efforts to staunch the debt crisis.

The announcement came “out of the blue, it’s surprising, very risky,” Norbert Barthle, the ranking member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party on parliament’s budget committee, said in a telephone interview. “There’s an enormous amount at stake. Do we know how the Greek people will treat their government in this referendum? No. We have a new unknown.”