7 thoughts on “Solidarity with Greece, 29 June, London

  1. EUROCRATS ratcheted up the pressure on Greece yesterday with anonymous leaks accompanied by a subtle threat by the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut off a key source of cash in what could be a bid to start a run on Greek banks.

    At issue in the latest attack on Greece is an ECB scheme that lends the country’s banks emergency cash called the ELA. It provides funds to banks so that they can pay depositors who want their money back.

    Anonymous officials told journalists yesterday morning that the ECB might cut Greece off, prompting many ordinary Greeks to flock to cash machines.

    Then the ECB stated that it would stick by its decision on Friday not to change the amount of money available but it may reconsider — up or down.

    The shadowy sources also hinted to reporters that the Greek Syriza government may introduce capital controls to prevent the wholesale collapse of the finance sector — something which Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said was “a contradiction in terms” given the multicountry nature of the euro.

    Sunday’s scheming followed a meeting the previous day at which eurozone finance ministers refused the Greek people a say on new terms for bailout money — needed to pay back borrowing racked up by previous governments and now largely owed to other European countries.

    Greece’s creditors wanted yet more austerity measures on top of those that have wrecked its economy and impoverished its people. The Syriza government instead proposed tax increases but that solution was rejected by the lenders.

    The government then suggested holding a referendum in a week — approved by Greek MPs on Friday — on which path to take.

    But the Communist Party of Greece said a referendum would be like choosing between two monsters from Greek mythology, and the eurozone lenders have rejected the idea of letting the Greek people choose a way forward. Financial experts warned that Greek banks may not have enough cash to open today, and the government may be forced to declare a bank holiday — perhaps for the whole week before the referendum.



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