Greek official: Cabinet backs Euro plan referendum

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s government spokesman says a marathon Cabinet meeting has concluded with ministers expressing unanimous support for Prime Minister George Papandreou’s surprise decision to call for a referendum on a hard-won European plan to rescue the Greek economy.

Ilias Mossialos said early Wednesday that the referendum will be held “as soon as possible” once the basics tenets of the debt agreement have been reached.

Earlier, Papandreou said the referendum would be on the debt deal, Greece’s European course and its participation in the euro currency used by 17 European Union nations.

Papandreou’s referendum announcement was strongly criticized across Europe and caused stock markets around the world to plunge.