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Greek Debt Crisis: Government rejects draft proposals, referendum to be held on July 5

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The European Union (EU) on Sunday afternoon released the latest draft proposals offered to Greece but were later rejected by the Greek government, following Greek parliament’s approval of a referendum on them to be held next week.

“In the interest of transparency and for the information of the Greek people, the European Commission is publishing the latest proposals agreed among the three institutions,” EU’s executive body European Commission said in a statement.

The proposals have taken into account the Greek authorities’ proposals of June 8, 14, 22 and 25, as well as talks at political and technical level throughout the week, Xinhua reported citing the statement.

The proposals were provided to the Greek government on Friday, but the government “unilaterally” ended talks, according to the statement.

Late Friday night, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tripras called the proposals “blackmail” and vowed a refusal to the austerity measures. He called for a popular vote on the proposals on July 5.

On Saturday, the Eurogroup financial ministers held an emergency meeting but the Greek Financial Minister Yanis Varoufakis decided to leave midway. The other 18 ministers later accused Athens of breaking off negotiations and giving negative response to the proposals.

It was not the institutions but the Greek government that walked away from talks, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Saturday.

The group also rejected Greece’s request for an extension for July’s referendum, saying “the current financial assistance arrangement with Greece will expire on June 30”.

The Greek parliament approved the referendum in Athens late Saturday night.

The draft proposals outlined measures the creditors have urged Greece to adopt on– among others– fiscal policy, reform on pension, tax and value-added tax.

 

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UN Brings the World Together to Fight Violence Against Women and Girls; 1 in Every 3 Women Currently Face Gender-based Oppression Globally

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations

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Head of U.N. Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks on stage at WE Day U.N. at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, in New York City (VOA)

United Nations, September 21, 2017 : World leaders meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday launched a half-billion-dollar effort to end violence against women and girls, a crime suffered by 1 in 3 in their lifetimes.

The effort will fund anti-violence programs that promote prevention, bolster government policies and provide women and girls with improved access to services”, organizers said.

It will take particular aim at all categories of violence against women- human trafficking, femicide and family violence.

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations.

“Gender-based violence is the most dehumanizing form of gender oppression. It exists in every society, in every country rich and poor, in every religion and in every culture,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of U.N. Women, said as the United Nations held its annual General Assembly.

“If there was anything that was ever universal, it is gender inequality and the violence that it breeds against women,” she said.

In other forms of violence against women and girls, more than 700 million women worldwide were married before they were 18, and at least 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to U.N. figures.

The initiative of 500 million euros (US$595 million) was launched by the U.N. and the European Union, which is its main contributor, organizers said.

“The initiative has great power,” said Ashley Judd, a Hollywood actress and goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) who participated in Wednesday’s announcement.

ALSO READ Violence against Women and Girls Imposes Large-scale Costs on Families, Communities and Economies, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“There are already so many effective, research-based, data-driven programs,” Judd told the Thomson Reuters Foundation ahead of the announcement. “Financing for existing programs is a beautiful thing.

“It also makes an incredibly powerful statement to show that the world is increasingly cohesive around stopping gender-based violence,” she said. (VOA)

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