Greece proceeds with vote plan as creditors rebuff overture

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Eurozone finance ministers decided Wednesday to break off talks on more aid for Greece until after it holds a weekend referendum, even as the Greek government pressed ahead with plans to let the people decide whether to accept more austerity measures in exchange for a rescue deal.

Following a late-night teleconference, the chairman of the eurogroup said the 19 ministers had decided to put any further negotiations on hold.

"Given the political situation, the rejection of the previous proposals, the referendum which will take place on Sunday, and the recommendation by the Greek government to vote `No,' we see no grounds for further talks at this point," Dutch Foreign Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

"There will be no talks in the coming days, either at eurogroup level or between the Greek authorities and the institutions on proposals or financial arrangements."

Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who called the popular vote for Sunday, was defiant, saying it would go ahead as planned and again urging citizens to vote "No." In a televised address to the nation, he said a "No" result would not mean that Greece would have to leave the euro, as many European officials have argued.

Rather, Tsipras insisted, it would give the government a stronger negotiating position with creditors.

"There are those who insist on linking the result of the referendum with the country's future in the euro," Tsipras said. "They even say I have a so-called secret plan to take the country out of the EU if the vote is `No.' They are lying with the full knowledge of that fact."

SEE: Protesters take to the streets in Greece to push back against the referendum

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Greece proceeds with vote plan as creditors rebuff overture
Pro-Euro demonstrators shout slogans as they hold Greek and European Union flags in front of the Greek Parliament during a rally at Syntagma square in Athens, Thursday, July 9, 2015. Hopes that Greece can get a rescue deal that will prevent a catastrophic exit from the euro rose on Thursday, after key creditors said they were open to discussing how to ease the country's debt load, a long-time sticking point in their talks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Supporters of the No vote dance at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A supporter of the No vote waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
People gather in front of the White Tower, a city's landmark, in Thessaloniki on July 5, 2015, after early results showed those who rejected further austerity measures in a crucial bailout referendum were poised to win. Over 61 percent of Greek voters on July 5 rejected fresh austerity demands by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a historic referendum, official results from 50 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO /Sakis MitrolidisAFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
People celebrate in Athens on July 5, 2015 after the first exit-polls of the Greek referendum. Over 60 percent of Greeks rejected further austerity dictated by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a referendum, results from 20 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of the No vote react after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Supporters of the No vote react after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A supporter of the No vote waves a Greek flag after the referendum's exit polls at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as officials counted the results of a referendum Sunday on whether to accept creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans, with three opinion polls showing a tight race with a narrow victory likely for the "no" side. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras casts his vote at a polling station in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks began voting early Sunday in a closely-watched, closely-contested referendum, which the government pits as a choice over whether to defy the country's creditors and push for better repayment terms or essentially accept their terms, but which the opposition and many of the creditors paint as a choice between staying in the euro or leaving it. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A supporter of the No vote waves a Greek flag after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Supporters of the No vote react after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Protesters chant slogans in front of the Greek parliament in central Athens, on June 29, 2015. Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessalonique to say 'No' to the latest offer of a bailout deal, accusing Greece's international creditors of blackmail. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Carrying banners calling for a 'NO' vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, on June 29, 2015. Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessalonique to say 'No' to the latest offer of a bailout deal Monday, accusing Greece's international creditors of blackmail. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
An anti-EU protester burns an EU flag in front of the European Comission offices in Athens on July 2, 2015, during a demonstration supporting the no vote for the upcoming referendum. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / Louisa Gouliamaki (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot police march alongside anti-EU protesters in front of the European commision offices in Athens on July 2, 2015, during a demonstration supporting the no vote for the upcoming referendum. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / Louisa Gouliamaki (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
People sing the greek national anthem under a giant greek flag, during a pro-European demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 22, 2015. Greece's international lenders raised hopes for a vital bailout agreement this week to save Athens from default and a possible euro exit, despite warning no deal was likely at an emergency summit. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester bears on her wrist the ''NO'' slogan in reference to the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, during a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 22: A man waves a EU flag as pro-Euro protesters take part in a rally in front of the Parliament on June 22. 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends of people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the European Union. The Eurozone's 19 national leaders held an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the crisis and welcomed new proposals from the Greek government after talks today to haul Athens back from the brink of bankruptcy. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters participate a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters demonstrate during a pro-European demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 22, 2015. Greece's international lenders raised hopes for a vital bailout agreement this week to save Athens from default and a possible euro exit, despite warning no deal was likely at an emergency summit on Monday. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters demonstrate during a pro-European demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 22, 2015. Greece's international lenders raised hopes for a vital bailout agreement this week to save Athens from default and a possible euro exit, despite warning no deal was likely at an emergency summit on Monday. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Leftist youth hold a placard reading 'No more recession, out of the eurozone' during a demonstration in Athens calling for Greece's exit from the eurozone on June 28, 2015. Greece weighed drastic banking restrictions to stave off a financial collapse as anxious Greeks emptied cash machines amid fears that banks will be closed this week. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Foreign anti-EU activists protest in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, during a demonstration calling for 'NO' at referendum and for Greece's exit from the eurozone on June 28, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stunned Europe late Friday with a surprise call for a July 5 referendum on the latest cash-for-reforms package and advised voters against backing a deal that he said spelled further 'humiliation'..AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 22: Pro-Euro protesters take part in a rally in front of the Parliament on June 22. 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends of people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the European Union. The Eurozone's 19 national leaders held an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the crisis and welcomed new proposals from the Greek government after talks today to haul Athens back from the brink of bankruptcy. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters walk over stickers reading 'Better drachma than submission' during a demonstration calling for an exit from the eurozone and a 'No' vote in the upcoming referendum in Athens on June 28, 2015. Greece weighed drastic banking restrictions to stave off a financial collapse as anxious Greeks emptied cash machines amid fears that banks will be closed this week. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 18: Pro-European Union protesters take part in a rally in front of the parliament on June 18, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the EU. About three-quarters of Greeks support keeping the EU's common currency, according to recent polls. Greece and creditors failed to reach an agreement Thursday in troubled bailout talks, with a June 30 deadline looming. .(Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters participate in a demonstration calling for a 'No' vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATM's. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman is seen through a banner during a demonstration to protest against EU austerity policies and in support of the Greek government in Thessaloniki on 17 June, 2015. All eyes are on a meeting of the 19 eurozone countries to take place on June 18 in Luxembourg, but several officials including Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said they were not expecting a breakthrough there either. AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A man holds a placard with a Greek flag during a demonstartion to protest against EU austerity policies and in order to support the Greek government in Thessaloniki on 17 June, 2015. All eyes are on a meeting of the 19 eurozone countries to take place on June 18 in Luxembourg, but several officials including Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said they were not expecting a breakthrough there either. AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Communist-affiliated protesters throw leaflets from atop the occupied Finance Ministry in central Athens during their rally against EU-IMF loan deal on June 11, 2015. The Greek government said it would 'intensify' efforts to resolve differences with its EU-IMF creditors to reach a deal that would give the country desperately needed bailout funds. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of left wing parties shout slogans behind a burning European Union flag during an anti-EU protest in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the Bank of Greece has recommended that banks remain closed and restrictions be imposed on transactions, after the European Central Bank didn't increase the amount of emergency liquidity the lenders can access from the central bank. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
A protestor holds a banner reading in Greek "Stop to new and old bailouts" during an anti bailout protest in Syntagma square in central Athens, Thursday, June 25, 2015. EU leaders met for an EU summit to discuss, among other issues, migration and the Greek bailout. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Pensioners chant slogans during an anti-austerity protest in Athens, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Greece's government defended Tuesday the billions worth of "harsh" new budget savings it has offered in talks with creditors, as some of the governing party's own lawmakers spoke out against them. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A Greek pensioner from the island of Crete stands in front of a police vehicle during an anti-austerity protest organized by pensioners' unions in Athens, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Greece's government defended Tuesday the billions worth of "harsh" new budget savings it has offered in talks with creditors, as some of the governing party's own lawmakers spoke out against them. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Silhouettes of supporters of a NO vote in the upcoming referendum, are thrown on a "NO" banner during a rally at Syntagma square in Athens Monday, June 29, 2015. Anxious Greek pensioners swarmed closed bank branches and long lines snaked at ATMs as Greeks endured the first day of serious controls on their daily economic lives ahead of a July 5 referendum that could determine whether the country has to ditch the euro currency and return to the drachma. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A supporter of a NO vote in the upcoming referendum, waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament during a rally at Syntagma square in Athens Monday, June 29, 2015. Anxious Greek pensioners swarmed closed bank branches and long lines snaked at ATMs as Greeks endured the first day of serious controls on their daily economic lives ahead of a July 5 referendum that could determine whether the country has to ditch the euro currency and return to the drachma. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Supporters of the NO vote in the upcoming referendum, gather during a rally at Syntagma square in Athens on Monday, June 29, 2015. Anxious Greek pensioners swarmed closed bank branches and long lines snaked outside ATMs as Greeks endured the first day of serious controls on their daily economic lives ahead of a July 5 referendum that could determine whether the country has to ditch the euro currency and return to the drachma. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Tom McGrath, a vendor who sells miniatures, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who has lived in Greece for the last 20 years, sits next to a satirical sign written by him, in the Plaka tourist district of Athens, Friday, June 26, 2015. With Greece facing a potential debt default June 30, European leaders have demanded finance ministers from eurozone countries reach an agreement on Saturday that will allow creditors to unblock the remaining 7.2 billion euros in Greece's international bailout program. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
A pensioner holds a flag bearing the picture of Argentinean revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara during an an anti-austerity protest in Athens, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Greece's government defended Tuesday the billions worth of "harsh" new budget savings it has offered in talks with creditors, as some of the governing party's own lawmakers spoke out against them. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
A man holds a placard reading 'FMI+Troika=Criminals' as he protests in front of the European Commission headquarters in Barcelona during a demonstration in support of Greece, on June 29, 2015. Greece blindsided creditors on June 27, 2015 by calling a referendum for July 5 on the latest bailout proposal being offered to Greece, a move interpreted by its creditors as Athens' desire to break off negotiations. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester holds a Greek flag the ''NO'' slogan in reference to the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, during a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 22: Riot police stand with shields as pro-Euro protesters take part in a rally in front of the Parliament on June 22. 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends of people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the European Union. The Eurozone's 19 national leaders held an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the crisis and welcomed new proposals from the Greek government after talks today to haul Athens back from the brink of bankruptcy. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
A protester burns a five-euro banknote during a demonstration calling for an exit from the eurozone and a 'No' in the upcoming referendum in Athens on June 28, 2015. Greece weighed drastic banking restrictions to stave off a financial collapse as anxious Greeks emptied cash machines amid fears that banks will be closed this week. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters take part in a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
A supporter of the No vote shouts slogans after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Supporters of the No vote react after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Children wave Greek flags as supporters of the No vote react after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as its interior ministry predicted Sunday that more than 60 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum had rejected creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Supporters of the No vote react after the referendum's exit polls at Klafthmonos square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greece faced an uncharted future as officials counted the results of a referendum Sunday on whether to accept creditors' demands for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans, with three opinion polls showing a tight race with a narrow victory likely for the "no" side. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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The hastily called referendum is based on creditor reform proposals made last week as part of a negotiation with the Greek government. But they were later updated and are now no longer on the table as the European part of Greece's bailout program expired at midnight Tuesday.

The head of a top European intergovernmental institution told The Associated Press that holding such a referendum would fall short of international standards.

The Council of Europe, an independent body that monitors elections and human rights, has no enforcement capacity. But the declaration by its chief, Thorbjorn Jagland, was a major blow.

International standards call for at least two weeks' notice to allow for discussion, crafting a clear question to be put to voters and for international observers to be invited to monitor the vote.

This vote, Jagland said, "has been called on such a short notice that this in itself is a major problem." He said the question put to the people was "not very clear" and said the Council of Europe, which monitors votes, had not been invited to do so.

In a letter to creditors sent late Tuesday, Tsiparis said his government was prepared to accept their earlier proposals, subject to certain amendments.

Some European countries - including Germany, the largest single contributor to Greece's bailout - said the proposal wasn't good enough and that a deal remained impossible in any case before the referendum.

"We will wait for the referendum," Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German Parliament. "There can be no negotiations on a new aid program before the referendum."

But French President Francois Hollande urged an accord before then.

Hollande said it was the responsibility of other countries that use the shared currency to keep Greece in the eurozone.

"We have to be clear. An accord is for right now, it will not be put off," he said. "If it doesn't happen, we would have to wait for a referendum, but there is always a risk" of turbulence and a "leap into the void."

Hollande, a Socialist who has been one of the few remaining EU allies of Greece's leftist government, criticized "intransigent comments" and "vetoes or roughness," in an apparent reference to Germany's tough stance.

"It is our duty to keep Greece in the eurozone," he said. "That depends on Greece ... but it also depends on us."

Greek Unemployment Rate Over Time | FindTheData

Hopes that Tsipras was softening his position - after refusing for five months to accept the proposed spending cuts - boosted markets Wednesday.

Greece is in a financial limbo now that its bailout program has expired, cutting it off from vital financing and pushing it one step closer to leaving the euro. It also has become the first developed country to fail to repay a debt to the International Monetary Fund on time. The last country to miss an IMF payment was Zimbabwe in 2001.

As long as it is in arrears on the IMF payment, Greece cannot get any more money from the organization.

The country has put limits on cash withdrawals to keep banks from collapsing after Greeks rushed to pull money out of ATMs following the referendum call at the start of the weekend.

In Athens, crowds of anxious elderly Greeks thronged banks beginning before dawn Wednesday, struggling to withdraw their maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week after the government reopened some banks to help pensioners who don't have bank cards. Greeks are now limited to daily ATM withdrawals of 60 euros ($67) and cannot send money abroad without special permission.

PHOTOS: Greeks line up at ATMs across the country

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Greece proceeds with vote plan as creditors rebuff overture
Pensioners try to get a number to enter inside a bank in Athens, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. About 1,000 bank branches around the country were ordered by the government to reopen Wednesday to help desperate pensioners without ATM cards cash up to 120 euros ($134) from their retirement checks. Eurozone finance ministers were set to weigh Greece's latest proposal for aid Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Greeks queue in front of the National Bank to use ATM to withdraw cash on June 28, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Greece is anxiously awaiting a decision by the European Central Bank on whether to increase the emergency liquidity assistance banks can draw on from the country's central bank. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
People queue at the ATM machines of the Piraeus bank in central Athens, after the opening of the transactions on June 29, 2015. Greece ordered its banks to shut for one week and imposed capital controls today, sending markets tumbling after its citizens emptied ATMs on the eve of a potentially disastrous default. In a ray of hope, creditors left the door open to Greece for a last-ditch debt deal, in order to try and avert a dangerous default that could spark a Greek eurozone exit and raise serious questions about the future of the European Union. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Customers queue to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATM) outside a main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers queue to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATM) outside a main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pensioners sit and wait on the steps outside a closed main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in the hope that it might open in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer places her daily cash machine withdrawal limit of 60 euros into her purse after using an automated teller machines (ATM) outside a closed Eurobank Ergasias SA bank branch in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pensioners wait at the entrance doors outside a closed main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in the hope that it might open in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Elderly people, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash machine withdrawals. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Elderly people, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Elderly people, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in Athens, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
An elderly woman, who usually get her pensions at the end of the month, waits outside a closed bank in Athens, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
An elderly woman looks through the closed shutters of a bank as others, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in Athens, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Elderly people, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in Athens, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Elderly people, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in Athens, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A woman exits a supermarket with a cart full of items in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man exits a supermarket with a cart full of items in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers shop for food products at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer inspects chilled food products in a shopping aisle at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee restocks shelves with bottles of sunflower oil at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customer carry groceries in shopping bags as they exit after shopping at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer selects food products from a shelf at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee walks across an empty forecourt of a gas station which has run out of unleaded petrol and has only diesel for sale in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Passengers exit a public tram in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A pedestrian stops to inspect the front pages of daily newspapers sitting on board beside a magazine vendor in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Front pages showing stories about the Greek debt crisis and photographs of Alexis Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, hang from a magazine kiosk in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Greek pensioners wait to collect their pension payments from a National Bank of Greece SA bank branch before opening in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Greek pensioners wait to collect their pension payments from a National Bank of Greece SA bank branch before opening in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 27: Greeks queue in front of the National Bank to use ATM to withdraw cash as Parliament holds an emergency session for the government's proposed referendum June 27, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Greece's fraught bailout talks with its creditors took a dramatic turn early Saturday, with the radical left government announcing a referendum in just over a week on the latest proposed deal . (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
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With many elderly Greeks unable to access any money without bank cards, the government said about 1,000 bank branches would open for three days starting Wednesday to give them access to some cash.

But a seeming last-minute decision to serve customers on an alphabetical basis led to chaotic scenes of confusion and anger, with many pensioners waiting hours to eventually be told they would have to return Thursday or Friday.

Others were told their pensions had not yet been deposited and they would therefore have to return later in the week.

"It's very bad," said retired pharmacy worker Popi Stavrakaki, 68. "I'm afraid it will be worse soon. I have no idea why this is happening."

Meanwhile, many ATMs had run out of 20 euro notes, meaning the maximum they would dispense per day was one 50 euro note per bank card, effectively cutting the amount of cash Greeks have access to.

Capital controls will remain in place until at least next Tuesday.

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