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Local Greek residents support “No” vote in bailout deal

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HARTFORD-- The future of Greece's economy is uncertain after a nationwide vote to bring the country back from the brink of bankruptcy.  At least 61 percent of people heading to the polls voted against the proposal.

People flooded into the city squares of Athens Sunday night to celebrate, as a majority of voters rejected the latest offer of financial help from European powers and the international monetary fund.

The ramifications of Greece's vote will have worldwide effects - including right here in Connecticut.

Back home in Connecticut--- UConn Chemistry Professor Fotis Papadim says the "no" vote gives the country hope.

"I think the sentiment is a unified sentiment," said Papadim.

After years of living on borrowed money and trying to run a country on a shoestring budget. Many believe this vote puts Greece in a better bargaining position to reduce its debt.

"It would be the beginning of something for better for Greece,  for Europe," said Elias Tomazos, director of Storrs based Hellenic Society Paideia, a non-for-profit organization promoting Hellenic culture.

Tomazos happened to be in Athens Sunday while the Greek citizens voted on their country's future.  Tomazos was in Greece leading a group of 21 students involved in a summer study abroad program.

The students have spent the summer touring the county and arrived in Athens Sunday morning.

"As a Greek-American it`s a very interesting experience, great to be here to witness this history in the making," said Phillip Swanson,

A "no" vote allows the country to abandon the Euro and print its own currency again.   It's money urgently needed to re-open banks -- pay pensions -- wages -- and pay back other loans.

Papadim says with unemployment hovering above 25 percent, Greeks have felt a lot of pressure and unrest in their home country.

"This pressure needs a way to release, and what we see today is that release of the pressure," Papadim said.

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged people to vote "no" because he hopes to strike a better deal. He now plans to ask Greece's creditors for more loans, on easier terms.

"That's the hope with everybody, to reach an agreement as soon as possible," Papadim said.

Leaders of various countries in the European Union will meet in the coming days to discuss the impact of Greece's vote.

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