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
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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid