This week, Greece was in talks with the Eurozone finance people to try to renegotiate their debts. Greece is supposed to make a payment on the 30th, but won't be able to pay. The Eurozone told Greece to implement austerity measures, basically to increase taxes and cut pensions, and that if Greece did, they'd probably be able to renegotiate terms, and get some more cash. G told EZ that they can't implement the austerity measures, and then yesterday essentially told EZ to stuff it by saying that they'd put the austerity demands to a referendum vote...on July 5th...5 days after their payment was due. G's Parliament approved the referendum vote, and EZ flipped. Talks with EZ are over, and the European Central Bank is about to make a decision today on whether or not to extend emergency cash assistance to G. If they don't, Greece is in large trouble. Potential fallout includes bank runs, a huge decrease in standard of living, a whole bunch of angry locals, and Grexit (Greece actually leaving the EuroZone and having to use its own currency).
We don't know yet how we will be affected. We're in a suburb away from the city center, and likely won't see a lot of demonstrations, if those happen. We're more likely to deal with minor inconveniences, like transportation disruptions, which feels icky to whine about considering that the Greek people are staring down the barrel of economic disaster. On the other hand, they've been at that point about a million times before today.
UPDATE: In the twenty minutes it took me to post this, the European Central Bank just announced that it will maintain Greece's funding limit, but it won't give it any extra cash. So now we wait and see what happens to Greek banks.
Okay, okay. Here are your pictures. We rode the metro into the main city yesterday and saw things from a distance.
|Phil's awake! This is a pretty good representation of Greece: |
lots of really old stuff stuffed into areas surrounded by new city growth.
|Here's another one. Old thing on the left. Old thing in the middle. |
Huge, giant, new city on the right.