Due to a nationwide banking shutdown, thousands of elderly Greek pensioners line up at the nation’s banks, trying to draw their pensions. Pensioners can only withdraw a maximum of 120 euros from 1000 banks that the governement has allowed to open. Retirees, whom many perceive as the most vulnerable in Greek society, cannot afford medicines and daily necessities. Pensioner:
I took the money out. I know that this is not enough, but that’s what I could take and so I took it…I lived during the Occupation, I experienced hardship and I think we will overcome this moment.
Goldman faces possible legal action from Greece over complex financial deals in 2001 that many blame for its subsequent debt crisis. Goldman swapped debt issued by Greece in dollars and yen for euros which were priced at a historical exchange rate that made the debt look smaller than it actually was. The swaps reportedly made about 2 per cent of Greece’s debt disappear from its national accounts. Goldman is said to have made as much as $500m from these transaction referred to as “swaps”, but denies these claims. Former swaps designer at Goldman Jabbour, has told the Greek government in a formal letter:
Right historical wrongs as part of [its] plan to reduce Greece’s debt.
Based on publicly available information, he believes the size of the profit Goldman made on the transactions was unreasonable. Scrutiny and analysis of the documents and email exchanges could give Greece grounds to seek compensation and assess if the deals were executed for the sole purpose of concealing the country’s debts.
Parliament overwhelmingly approves new reforms centered around creditor-demanded debt. These reforms to the judiciary and banking systems were the last ones Greece was obligated to solve before being able to begin talks with creditors on a third bailout agreement. Without the new bailout money worth around $93 billion Greece could wind up financially ruined. Prime Minister Tsipras:
We have chosen a compromise that forces us to implement a program in which we do not believe, and we will implement it because the alternatives are tough. We are summoned today to legislate under a state of emergency.