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Worried Greeks withdraw savings

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 02:01

May 16 - Greeks say they are concerned about the country's potential return to the drachma and a new wave of economic problems as the country faces new elections in June. Ciara Sutton reports.

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"Elections in a minefield" - the headline in one Greek newspaper - says it all. The country has just set a June 17 date for new elections. In the meantime Greeks are worried about exiting the euro. Some are withdrawing their money from local banks and the President has warned of possible panic. Reports sugest savers withdrew 700 million euros from the central bank on Monday with similar amounts taken out of other banks on Tuesday. Kleoniki Terzou is a Greek economist. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) KLEONIKI TERZOU, ECONOMIST, SAYING: "Everybody is very worried, don't you see what's going on with bank liquidity? I hear that people are taking their money out of banks, they are worried that we might go back to the drachma, they are putting their money into safety deposit boxes, it's crazy, it's as if there is a war coming." The country abandoned a nine-day hunt for a government on Wednesday following inconclusive elections. Many in Athens weren't surprised. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) NIKI, PENSIONER,SAYING: "I expected it. It was natural that this would happen, because the parties believe in completely different things. It is not possible that they can find common ground, it was certain that this would happen." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) IRAKLIS TSIKINIS, PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEE, 39, SAYING: "I am going to vote differently this time, because I believe that people voted in protest. I personally did vote in protest. Some parties said one thing before the election, but did things differently afterwards. I think the most important thing is that Greeks do want to stay in the euro zone." The last election left parliament split over a 130 billion euro bailout package. Now time is running out - Greece only has enough money for the next few weeks. And it won't get the next loan instalment until a new pro-bailout government is in place. That is now looking less likely - polls predict anti-bailout leftists will win the next election and possibly end up leaving the euro zone. Ciara Sutton, Reuters

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Worried Greeks withdraw savings

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 02:01