Tens of thousands gather in Athens to rally in favor of voting 'yes' in an upcoming referendum on austerity demands. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Tens of thousands of Greeks worried about the prospect of crashing out of Europe's currency union rallied in Athens on Tuesday, behind a 'Yes' vote in a referendum on whether to accept more tough terms demanded by creditors in exchange for keeping the country liquid. Illustrating the depth of division in Greek society ahead of Sunday's plebiscite, turnout was comparable to the 'No' camp's own rally a day earlier in support of left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, when tens of thousands swarmed to the main Syntagma square in front of parliament. Holding pro "yes" vote placards and European Union flags, demonstrators chanted slogans in favor of the country's stay in the Eurozone. "They have mislead the Greek people and now they are trying to play the future of Greece in cards. We do not want to have our future played in cards," Thanassis Angelopoulos, a 52-year old mechanical engineer told Reuters Television. "I am in Europe, I want to stay in Europe and I think the only future for my country, for me, for my family, for my children, my grandchildren is to co-operate with the other Europeans and go ahead. There is no other way," Dimitris Papanikolau, a Geology professor said. Greece asked its European partners for a short-term bailout extension on Tuesday to avert a midnight default with the International Monetary Fund as frantic efforts gathered pace to salvage a deal that could keep Athens in the euro. It remains unclear where any new deal would leave Sunday's referendum, which is based on a creditor proposal made at the weekend. Tsipras rejected the terms as more of the same wrong medicine for an economy that has shrunk 25 percent since 2009, leaving one in four Greek workers jobless. European leaders are telling Greeks that rejection of austerity would drive Greece out of the 19-nation euro zone. A 'Yes' vote may unseat Tsipras but open the door to fresh negotiations on a new aid program. There have been no opinion polls to suggest which way the vote may go. A majority of Greeks say they favor staying within the euro zone, a result Tsipras says is still possible with a 'No' vote.