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Waiting and worrying ahead of Greek vote

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 02:13

The head of the European Commission has failed to persuade the Greek Prime Minister to accept a deal with creditors. With just hours to go until Greece exits its current bailout programme David Pollard reports on the impact the crisis is having in Greece.

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Not so many friends in Brussels or Washington, perhaps - but Greece's government does have a loyal following at home. These supporters in Athens increasingly bellicose in their opposition to any deal with international lenders. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK WOMAN, ANGELIKI, SAYING: "For me this is war. And we must resist and fight against this siege that we are under, as a country and as a democracy." In any war, there are civilian casualties. Pensioners struggling to get their pension on Monday - banks closed as capital controls set in. From Wednesday, the finance ministry says 1,000 branches will open for them. Other Greeks are limited to getting money out of cash machines. With a 60-euro a day limit in place, it's a struggle. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PASSER-BY, VANA LAZARAKOU, SAYING: ''There are four people in my family so each of us has to live on 15 euros a day ... They are telling me how I have to live, if I'm going to survive." Greece imported over 60 billion dollars worth of goods last year. A relatively small amount - but crucial oil and gas supplies account for about a third of that. Medicine makes up about one twentieth of Greece's spending. Foreign drugs companies say they'll continue to ship supplies to Greece for the time being. Despite reports that Greek health authorities already owe over one billion dollars. Some form of extra help could be needed to get the country through the worst, says NAB's Nick Parsons. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK, SAYING: ''Even in the worst-case scenario, where it were to formally leave the single-currency zone, we would expect a package of humanitarian aid to be put together very, very soon, to ensure the continuation of supplies ... whose price would no doubt rise in local currency terms, whatever that new local currency would be.'' But if the money for basics is becoming scarce, blame the EU, says Greece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, YANIS VAROUFAKIS, SAYING: "What's important now is to ensure that the will of the Greek people is heard on Sunday. It is a right that the Eurogroup tried to take it away by closing the banks." Sunday's referendum a decision on principle, says the government. A YES/NO vote on a sovereign state's future. For its people, fast becoming an agonising choice over how to put food on tables, right now.

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Waiting and worrying ahead of Greek vote

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 02:13