Greece’s referendum on the terms for an international bailout came under fresh scrutiny on Wednesday, after Europe’s rights watchdog said it didn’t meet European standards and journalists spotted a mistake in the translation of one of the documents at the center of the vote. “The referendum has been called on such a short notice that this in itself is a major problem,” Thorbjorn Jagland, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, said in an interview with the Associated Press. The comments were confirmed by Mr. Jagland’s spokesman, Daniel Höltgen. The warning doesn’t have any legal consequences and doesn’t provide a basis for a legal challenge in the Council’s court, the European Court of Human Rights. But it raises further doubts over the vote, which was already been questioned by European politicians and Greek opposition leaders.
Greeks have been asked by their government to vote “no” on Sunday on a set of complex documents setting out budget cuts and policy overhauls—including tax increases and pension reductions—that had been demanded by their country’s creditors in return for an extension of its bailout.
But journalists noticed a potentially critical error in the translation into Greek of one of the documents that Greeks are being asked to vote on.
The Greek version of the “Preliminary Debt Sustainability for Greece,” which lays out creditors’ expectations for the development of Greece’s debt load between now and 2030, is missing a “no” in a sentence describing whether the country’s debt is sustainable.