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Monday 5 December 2016

'No' vote the only way things can change, say young Greeks

Greece

A demonstrator waves a Yes flag as a supporter of the No vote reacts in the port city of Thessaloniki (AP)
A demonstrator waves a Yes flag as a supporter of the No vote reacts in the port city of Thessaloniki (AP)

GREECE'S young people took to the streets of Athens yesterday with a stark message for Europe - they will not bow to demands.

As one, they chanted slogans with one clear message that said a resounding No to austerity.

University students and young unemployed people marched through the streets as they made their way to parliament.

Many were part of the Syriza Youth supporting a No stance in Sunday's referendum.

However, the group of several hundred were joined and cheered on by many passers- by with no links to the party.

"We want the people to know that a No vote is the only way things will change," said Pavlos Marinos (24), an unemployed teacher.

"We need to take a stand. We will not leave the euro. This vote will only make our government stronger in negotiating.

"We can't live on €400 a week, and that is only if you can get a job," said economics student Dunitra Ntauti (22).

"We will negotiate with Europe, but we will strengthen our power with a No vote.

"I want to stay in the euro, but I want to be able to live in Greece on a proper wage. This is the only way we can do that."

shortage

The march passed multiple queues at ATMs as locals waited to withdraw their daily limit of €60.

At many, the most that people could take out was €50 because of a shortage of €20 notes.

Some reports suggested banks could begin running out of cash by today.

A growing number of people said they feared their leaders may cause the country to leave the Eurozone.

Timos Melissaris, a Greek fund manager, said many believe a return to the drachma is a real possibility.

"If we go back to the drachma they think private debt will be eliminated. This will not happen," he said.

"It will still exist, only it will be in drachma and will in a sense become bigger and even more so because the public won't have income."

Vasa (25), who would not give her surname, said uncertainty over Greece's future could lead to cutbacks for her work. But she understands the concerns of those calling for a No vote.

"People study for many years but they cannot get jobs," she said.

"If we vote Yes, the troika will make things worse here. But a No vote, I don't know. Either way things will be difficult."

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