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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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Google Will Start Giving EU Smartphone Users a Choice of Browsers and Search Apps on Android

Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google said Thursday it will start giving European Union smartphone users a choice of browsers and search apps on its Android operating system, in changes designed to comply with an EU antitrust ruling.

Following an Android update, users will be shown two new screens giving them the new options, Google product management director Paul Gennai said in a blog post.

The EU’s executive Commission slapped the Silicon Valley giant with a record 4.34 billion euro (then $5 billion) antitrust fine in July after finding that it abused the dominance of Android by forcing handset and tablet makers to install Google apps, reducing consumer choice.

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Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Pixabay

The commission had ordered Google to come up with a remedy or face further fines. The company, which is appealing the ruling, said the changes are being rolled out over the next few weeks to both new and existing Android phones in Europe.

ALSO READ: Measles Spread in Google’s Headquarters, Employees Discussing Ways To Protect Themselves

Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Apps will be included based on their popularity and shown in random order. Users who choose a search app will also be asked if they want to change the default search engine in the phone’s Chrome browser.

Android is the most widely used mobile operating system, beating even Apple’s iOS. (VOA)