Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced on Monday evening the holding of a referendum and a vote of confidence in the parliament over a new EU aid pact for Greece clinched last week in Brussels.
In an unexpected move, the Greek prime minister made the announcement when addressing the ruling socialist PASOK party's parliamentary group.
"We have confidence in people. We will ask them to say a major yes or no to the new agreement of October 26," said Papandreou without clarifying when the referendum will take place.
Local media reports the referendum could be held in January.
It would be the first referendum to be held in Greece since the restoration of democracy following a seven-year military junta in 1974. The question raised then was whether Greece would be a constitutional monarchy or republic.
In the meantime, Papandreou will seek a fresh vote of confidence on the ratification of the deal on the furher international financing of the debt-laden country and the 50 percent "haircut" of the Greek debt owned by private bondholders in coming days.