In a surprise move that’s sure to deflate the nannycrat’s hope of early elections that could force prime minister Alexis Tsipras out of power, Greece’s Tsipras Calls July 5 Referendum on Creditors’ Demands.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a referendum on whether he should accept the latest demands of the country’s creditors, the most dramatic move yet in a debt crisis that started five years ago.

Greek ministers, including the defense chief, joined the fray, urging the country of 11 million people to vote “no.” 

In a nationally televised address after midnight in Athens, Tsipras said the vote will take place on July 5 and excoriated a take it-or-leave it offer as a violation of European Union rules and “common decency.” A Greek official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government has no plans to impose capital controls and banks will stay open on Monday.

“After five months of tough negotiations, our partners unfortunately resorted to a proposal-ultimatum to the Greek people,” Tsipras said. “I call on the Greek people to rule on the blackmailing ultimatum asking us to accept a strict and humiliating austerity without end and without prospect.”

The surprise development throws into turmoil planned talks Saturday among euro-area finance ministers on their latest proposal, which would unlock 15.5 billion euros ($17.3 billion) and extend Greece’s program through November, in return for a commitment to pension cuts and higher taxes that Tsipras opposes.

No Alternative Says Merkel

Amusingly, Merkel Tells Tsipras No Alternative to Creditors’ Offer.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday pleaded with Greek premier Alexis Tsipras to accept an “extraordinarily generous offer” from international creditors, making clear there was no alternative and that she would not intervene directly to broker a compromise.

But Mr Tsipras rejected the creditors’ offer, saying Greece would not be threatened with “blackmail and ultimatums”.

Clear Alternative

Clearly there is an alternative, that being to tell the Troika to go to hell. Tsipras was smart putting this to a vote. July 5 is interesting in that Greece will default before the vote.

What’s the ECB to do now? Shut off the ELA, or keep it going 10 more days?

Instead of discussing “Plan B” on Saturday, the eurozone ministers are faced with “Plan C” .

Meanwhile, the run on the banks continues.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock