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Varoufakis: Contingency plans a 'malicious rumour'

Finance minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis. Credit: PA

Greek Finance Minister has responded to a report in the Financial Times that Greece was making contingency plans for the possible bail-in of deposits saying it was a "malicious rumour".

Yanis Varoufakis made the comment on his Twitter account. The report in the FT said the contingency plans could include a 30 percent bail-in on deposits above 8,000 euros.

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Preparations for return of the drachma 'already underway'

Secret preparations for the return of the Greek drachma are already well underway, one of the country's leading financial experts has claimed.

Harry Theoharis once ran the tax collection system in Greece Credit: ITV News

Harry Theoharis, an opposition MP who once ran the tax collection system in Greece, told ITV News he understood Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was laying the foundations to be able to leave the euro if the 'no' vote wins in Sunday's referendum.

"There is a question over whether this is a Plan A or a Plan B," he said - thought admitted he could not be certain about which way leaders would try to take the debt-ridden country.

The drachma was the currency used in Greece before it joined the euro zone - and may make a return if Athens cannot agree on a way to start repaying its debts to Europe.

Thousands of 'yes' supporters hold rival rally in Athens

Thousands of pro-European Greeks rallied in central Athens tonight calling for a 'yes' vote in Sunday's referendum.

Waving signs and banners reading: "Yes to Greece, yes to the euro", the supporters say agreeing to difficult financial measures might be the only way to save their country from its own debt.

Thousands of 'yes' supporters gathered in Athens Credit: AP

One demonstrator, Danae Frangouli, said it was as much about appearances as about the money.

Abroad, people view this as a vote to stay in or out of Europe and I want to answer this in a positive way.

If there is even the slightest possibility that it will be viewed abroad as such, I want to give a positive answer.

– Danae Frangouli, 'yes' supporter
They say they want to show support for Greece's place in Europe Credit: AP

Earlier this evening, Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke at a rival 'no' rally, calling on voters to reject the offer as he accused European leaders of 'terrorising' Greek citizens.

Tsipras urges voters to reject bailout offer in referendum

A 'no' vote in Sunday's referendum will give Greeks a chance to "live in dignity in Europe", Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said.

Running out onto a stage to cheers from tens of thousands of protesters, he urged them to reject a bailout offer in the weekend's vote.

The huge rally gathered outside Greece's Parliament building in central Athens in protest at the austerity measures included in the deal.

Tsipras told the crowd that "whatever happens on Monday, this is a celebration of democracy", and urged them to say a "proud 'no' to ultimatums and to those who terrorise you."

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Europe leaders 'playing petty politics' with Greece

Europe's leaders are playing "petty politics" with Greece, the country's finance minister told ITV News, accusing them of wanting to "humiliate" the government.

Yanis Varoufakis said he rejects the idea that a 'no' vote in Sunday's referendum will mean leaving the euro, saying their membership was not at stake.

It comes as major rallies are being held in Athens tonight, with polls suggesting support for both the 'yes' and 'no' camps are almost equal.

ITV News Europe editor James Mates reports:

Thousands gather in Athens for 'no' vote rally

Thousands of people have gathered in central Athens this evening for a rally calling for a 'no' vote in Sunday's referendum.

The rally is calling for a 'no' vote on Sunday Credit: Reuters

It comes as opinion polls put the 'yes' vote - those who support proposed austerity measures required as part of the latest EU bailout offer for Greece - marginally ahead, at 44.1 per cent to 43.7 per cent 'no'.

The GPO poll by Mega TV found 5.9 per cent of people were still undecided.

Thousands gathered in front of the Greek Parliament for the rally Credit: Reuters

Dozens of protesters clashed with police at the start of the rally, with officers throwing stun grenades and bringing out riot gear in a bid to contain the trouble.

Many of those involved in the scuffle wore black and sported helmets, but witnesses said the situation calmed relatively quickly.

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