I suppose some of you have been following the news regarding Greece quite closely over the last few days. If not, here is a very brief summary…
Well, first of all, you might have heard that we’ve had the crisis in Greece since 2009. This has affected lots of things – from salaries to VAT to unemployment rates to number of protests… you name it. Hard austerity measures were imposed, and in January 2015 the people voted for a new government, that promised to be different and to lead the country out of the dead-end.
On Saturday, 27 June, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that there will be a referendum on 5th July, and people can vote for “Yes” or “No”.
What is the actual question that people are asked to answer? You can read more about it here, and if you understand it 100% please let me know, you will probably be the first person outside those who wrote it who can make total sense of it.
This announcement was followed by a statement that there will be a limit to money withdrawals from banks, of 60 euro max per day per card. Ouch. On top of that, some foreign companies don’t accept Greek credit cards anymore. Double ouch – at least for those who travel or somehow need to make transactions with foreign companies. And Greeks can’t send money abroad anymore – this includes those whose children study abroad. Triple ouch.
This is now being followed by massive queues at ATMs (predictably), along with massive queues at gas stations and massive queues at supermarkets – as well as big gatherings in Syntagma square and elsewhere in the country, where supporters of “Yes” or “No” show their intentions.
Times like that, it somehow makes a little more sense to leave everything and start travelling… Perhaps in my new mobile home. This is Dave’s bike case 🙂