Market Overview

A Citizen's View Of Greece From The Ground

A Citizen's View Of Greece From The Ground

To say that Greece is in a bit of a conundrum right now is a massive understatement. After defaulting on an IMF payment and quickly running low on emergency liquidity, the descendants of the fathers of finance are looking at the first major belly-up default in modern history.

Greece is completely broke.

Sitting down with a Greek citizen and government employee, who wished to remain anonymous, it's not easy to pretend that life hasn't gotten slightly harder from the ground. Below is the full interview.

1. Given Greece's lack of liquidity (cash), how hard has the closing of the banks made your daily life?

"Closing the banks made our everyday life difficult mainly not because of lack of cash, but mostly because people are terrified of bankruptcy. During the weekend people were waiting at the queues for hours in order to get cash from the ATM. Apart from the fear, everything else is operations as normal. You can use (at least until now) the credit and debit cards to buy goods."

Related Link: Could Greece Find A Safe Haven In U.S. Markets?

2. What has the government been telling the people, especially (Prime Minister) Alexis Tsipras?

"The government policy is to vote "No" at the referendum the upcoming Sunday. They insist that our debt is not viable the way it is now. Right now the prime minister Mr Tsipras is talking to Greek people saying that after the announcement of the referendum, the EU offered better terms for the debt and that it's our democratic right to get this deal to the people to decide for their future."

3. Has this crisis impacted you as a government employee at all? Are you a government employee?

"I am indeed a government employee. For the time being it doesn't affect me at all. Not more than everybody else who lives and works in Greece. We received our salary on the 26th of June as scheduled and even today the government paid all the pensions (due day was today). The fear is, though, that in the future, they won't be able to pay the salaries and the pensions."

4. What's your official occupation?

"I'm an Air Traffic Controller in Greece. I work at the En-route Unit. Although I'm a government employee, part of my salary comes directly from the European Union and the airlines that pay fees in order to overfly each country."

5. What happens tomorrow if Greece leaves the Euro and furthermore the Eurozone, in your opinion?

"This issue is real complex. The first problem is that we won't be able to import goods. Therefore some essential goods like meat will be missing from the market. Also there will probably be lack of gasoline and the transportation will be difficult. After a while we will have to start producing goods, open again businesses like the sugar factory, flour factory, and go back to producing agricultural goods. There will be austerity and we'll need a lot of time to be back on our feet."

6. Do you trust any of the parties working to resolve this issue?

"I honestly don't believe so. I'm not convinced that the government tried to find a solution for the situation. Neither the European Union nor the IMF really want to help Greece get over this economic crisis."

Posted-In: Eurozone Politics Psychology Travel Top Stories Economics Exclusives Markets Best of Benzinga


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