Amid a financial crisis that could force Greece out of the Eurozone, ditch the euro and bring back its old currency, the drachma, banks across the country will remain closed for about six days.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calmed his citizens, asking them to cooperate with “patience and composure.”
Tsipras addressed also quoted former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt saying "In these critical hours, we must remember that the only thing to fear is fear itself."
However, the situation is getting worse by the passing hour for Greeks as they are queuing up outside ATMs in hopes of yanking their savings out of banks ASAP.
(Translation: People queuing up to get their pension. The machines still closed.)
ATM withdrawals have been limited to €60 a day in a bid to stem the flow of money from banks. However, there are some complaints coming in:
I may be *allowed* to withdraw cash on my foreign card in #Greece but haven't been able to bc ATMs are empty. Same outcome: I have no cash.— Matina Stevis (@MatinaStevis) June 29, 2015
"I can't believe it," Evgenia Gekou, a 50-year-old Athens resident, told Reuters. "I keep thinking we will wake up tomorrow and everything will be OK. I'm trying hard not to worry."
There was a queue even at the ATM inside the Athens parliament:
Pensioners are helplessly waiting outside closed banks:
“I had no cash, and I obviously need some. My pension has just been paid, and I’m here with my neighbor to take some of it out. Not all of it – just some. That’s all. I’m not scared, not in the least. We’ve seen worse, here. We will come through this,” Anna, a 63-year-old pensioner, told the Guardian.
However, an alternative plan for pensioners’ allowances is expected:
Gas stations in Crete, Greece’s largest island, were also forced to close after running out of petrol.
“Vangelis Kotsos, president of gas station owners in Chania, said around 50% of gas stations had now run dry and described scenes of chaos as nervous Greek motorists (and presumably visiting tourists) flocked to gas stations to fill up,” the Guardian reported.
“I've got five Euros in my pocket, I thought I would try my luck here for some money. The queues in my neighborhood were too long yesterday," plumber Yannis Kalaizakis, 58, told Reuters. "I don't know what else to say. It's a mess."
Reports of chaos outside supermarkets are also emerging as buyers are worried the stores will run out of food:
After ATMs + gas stations come supermarkets. In one Athens store, worker refilling shelves said shoppers snapped up spaghetti, other staples— NikiKitsantonis (@NikiKitsantonis) June 29, 2015
Despite the crisis, the Greek government is discouraging its tourists, especially the British, from leaving the country:
Greek govt clearly v worried abt Brits cancelling their holidays. Their London press office just issued this: pic.twitter.com/euvW22o2Ai— Ed Conway (@EdConwaySky) June 29, 2015