Latest Greek political events: "We Stay in Europe" rally, bank run, your Greek vacation and travel advice (update)

"We Stay in Europe" : A pro European rally was organized last week in Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek Parliament

I have deliberately avoided discussing politics in this blog, even though, as a typical Greek I am fiercely interested in the country's political life. My difference from the typical Greek is that I don't feel compelled to incessantly spew my opinion on others. Well, I'm going to make a small exception today tonight.

Two hours ago (at around 1:00am at night) the current Greek Prime-minister, following a 5-month long nationalist-socialist rhetoric and practice (with constant threats to dissenting TV stations, newspapers, journalists and even cartoonists), announced his government's intention to carry out a referendum on a tentative deal offered to the Greek government by its international creditors (the text of which the average Greek citizen has of course not seen). EU leaders will most likely say that this is a referendum on staying in or out of the Euro. It is doubtful (if not outright impossible) that the government will be able to organize such a referendum in just 8 days and if it does try to pull it through in such short notice I doubt about its validity and legitimacy.

Meanwhile, Greek banks are on life-support from the European Central Bank and people have been constantly withdrawing cash from their bank accounts or transferring their savings abroad. The current government's decision has already sent people rushing to ATMs in the middle of the night, making the bank-run inevitable to hide any longer, as Greek TV stations are now reporting.

As far as you're directly concerned, this decision is essentially setting a bomb under the Greek tourist season which has already been affected by the long-standing, fruitless, negotiating show.
Syntagma Square last Monday
Last week, a pro-European rally titled "We stay in Europe" was organized through social media.  About 10,000 to 20,000 people were present. I have no doubt that -sooner or later- the European side of Greece will prevail.

Some Greeks still have the merchant's mentality alive in them: A hot dog stand before last week's rally at Syntagma Square...

...and a seller of Greek flags and whistles (the rally organizer's suggested "weapon" for waking up the government)
The statue of Eleftherios Venizelos - a true Greek statesman - at the courtyard of the Greek Parliament.

More, continuing updates in my next post.

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1 comment:

  1. Update 2015-06-29: The Greek Government has decided to impose capital controls on Greek banks. A daily limit of 60Euros per person per bank account has been set for cash withdrawals. Several countries have issued travel advice for their citizens.
    See UK, Australia, Germany, Netherlands.


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