Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed Greece today and vowed to move forward with the Sunday referendum despite the expiration of the country’s existing bailout. He urged Greeks to reject Europe’s new proposal just 24 hours after Germany and other EU creditors declined his changes and compromises to the initial bailout offer.
Long lines at Greek ATMs and banks have become the norm since Greece imposed capital controls as the country’s emergency finance deal with Europe expired on Tuesday. Pensioners are now able to take out 120 euro from banks, which is double what they were able to take out in the last couple of days. However, there are signs of banknote shortages, with bankers saying 20 and 50-euro notes were running low.
Demonstrators continue to demonstrate in the streets of Athens for both the “yes” and “no” vote on Sunday’s referendum. On Monday, a pro-‘no’ rally in central Athens drew an estimated 10,000 people. Yesterday, a pro-Europe rally supporting the ‘yes’ vote attracted more than twice that number despite inclement weather, as more Greeks are beginning to feel the pressure of bank closures and restrictions on pension claims and withdrawals.
Though reports circulated that Tsipras was considering canceling the referendum to jumpstart talks on a compromise, a deal is unlikely before the referendum’s results are in. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem has additionally ruled out the possibility of more talks with Greece before the referendum. Daily demonstrations supporting both sides will likely continue as the referendum nears.
Photos Submitted by Kostas Kourtidis and Ifigenia Konstantilieri