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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Wednesday to push ahead with a controversial bailout referendum despite pressure from European leaders, and urged creditors to accept a fresh reform offer by Athens. European ministers were due later Wednesday to consider a new proposal from Athens but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already insisted there can be no new deal before the referendum. "A 'No' vote does not signify a rupture with Europe, but a return to the Europe of values," Tsipras told the nation, rebutting accusations from EU leaders that the plebiscite was essentially a vote on whether to stay in the union.
The port at Calais in northern France was due to partially re-open from 1800 GMT Wednesday, a union leader said, as ferry workers suspended protests that have blocked access for three consecutive days. Ahead of a meeting with Transport Minister Alain Vidalies on Thursday morning, the workers "will maintain pressure on the ships, but will let boats from the company P&O enter one by one... until the end of the negotiations," said Eric Vercoutre, secretary general of the Maritime Nord union. The protest caused havoc on both sides of the Channel, with British police closing off sections of motorway to park some 3,000 trucks waiting to board ferries to France at Dover.