Saturday 10 December 2016

Greece crisis: Shop shelves empty as panic buy supplies

Thomas Molloy and Caroline Crawford

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

Protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens last night, carrying banners calling for a No vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country’s creditors
Protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens last night, carrying banners calling for a No vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country’s creditors
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Pensioners waiting outside a closed National Bank branch and hoping to get their pensions argue with a bank employee in Iraklio on the island of Crete
An elderly woman is overcome with emotion outside a Eurobank in Athens yesterday
Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration outside the Greek Parliament in Athens yesterday
A man holds a banner supporting Greece during a protest in front of the European Union office in Barcelona, Spain. The banner reads "Greece yes, Troika no"

Greeks have begun emptying supermarket shelves and petrol stations after the government's decision to close banks ahead of a bailout referendum next Sunday.

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Panic set in across the country as people queued at ATMs to withdraw a €60 daily limit and stockpiled goods amid rumours pharmaceuticals could run out.

Shares across Europe tumbled yesterday but there was no rout on the financial markets, as had been feared.

'I won't turn my back on Greece'

While borrowing costs rose for countries like Spain and Portugal, they fell for Ireland, in one of the clearest signs yet that investors no longer link our fate to other heavily indebted countries. Greece is now widely expected to default on an IMF payment due to be paid today.

Dubliner Ken Hickey, who is due to open a bar in the city of Thessaloniki next week, said "panic" has set in for many people and suppliers are demanding cash on delivery, which is "impossible" as funds can't be accessed.

John Bruton: Panic and uncertainty in Greece shows its struggling leaders have lost all credibility

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has rejected a plea from Greece for help in securing a one-month extension of existing EU bailout funding ahead of its referendum on the next financial package.

The appeal by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras comes ahead of a default as bailout funding runs out.

Mr Kenny told Mr Tsipras to return to bailout talks and offered support towards finding a "mutually beneficial agreement, acceptable to all concerned".

After the referendum, Mr Tsipras says bailout talks can then restart next Monday to reach an agreement "in line with the decision of the Greek people".

Irish Independent

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