News / Europe

Greeks Face Decisive Vote as Anti-German Sentiment Soars

Greeks Face Decisive Vote as Anti-German Sentiment Soarsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 24, 2012 1:24 AM
Greek voters return to the polls in a few weeks to cast their ballots in a repeat election that could decide their future in the eurozone. With a Greek exit from the euro being openly discussed in European capitals, there are fears of bank runs. As Henry Ridgwell reports from Athens, there are few signs that Greek voters will deliver a different result the second time around.

Greeks Face Decisive Vote as Anti-German Sentiment Soars

Henry Ridgwell
Greek voters return to the polls in a few weeks to cast their ballots in a repeat election that could decide their future in the eurozone.  With a Greek exit from the euro being openly discussed in European capitals, there are fears of bank runs. There are few signs that Greek voters will deliver a different result the second time around.

Athens’ oldest university has become a canvas for citizens venting their anger.

Anger at the government... anger at capitalism...calls for banks to be burned.

There is much anger too at Germany. Athens resident Anastasis Koutsoukos interrupted VOA’s filming to make his point.

“[German Chancellor Angela] Merkel has the ideology of ‘pan-Germanism’. All is Germany. That is the problem,” he said.

It is a common sentiment. On June 17, Greeks return to the polls.

The EU warns that Greece’s future in the euro is at stake.
Voters who spoke to VOA appeared strongly divided.

“They try to push the Greeks to accept something that is unbearable. The [austerity] memorandum is unbearable, simply.  It will make the Greek economy a desert,” said Athens resident Theo Phanis.

“Voting for a party won’t make things better. Only the people themselves can make things better. Am I optimistic? No,” said student Katy Volonaki.

On April 4 Dimitris Christoulas, a 77-year-old pharmacist, shot himself. In his pocket was a note saying that he couldn’t bring himself to go searching through the garbage to feed himself.

Greek supporters, and campaigners from across the world, have turned the spot where he died in front of parliament into a shrine against austerity.

Still, polls show an overwhelming majority of Greeks want to stay in the euro.
Konstantis Michalos, president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce, says there will be no easy Greek exit from the single currency.

“Greece may be in the spotlight at the moment but it’s not just Greece. We’ve got Italy, we’ve got Portugal, and we have Spain, and potentially France. So Germany has to look seriously towards this situation because, in a few months’ time, we will have an addition to this long list of problematic economies from northern European states.”

Fears of a run on Greek banks have so far not materialized.

But the uncertainty over Greece’s future in the eurozone is causing instability across the world economy... and prolonging the agony of the Greek people.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid