There is uncertainty on the streets of Athens today, after debt-laden Greece finally activated financial aid from the EU and IMF. The fear for many is that access to the 45 billion euro package will be granted only if tougher austerity measures are imposed.
Despite this, one man in the Greek capital said asking for help seemed like the only way out.
“I want to be positive that, with the participation of all Greeks, things will get better.”
“With the wage reductions, my income is going down,” a woman added. “I am suffocating. My children are helping me make ends meet.”
While not formally on the agenda, Greece was a hot topic at a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington. Rallying behind the bailout, they said they would not allow such debt problems to threaten the European or world economy.
But outside, protesters supported a measure which divided ministers. Among their demands, demonstrators called for banks around the world to be hit with new taxes, to help pay for any future rescues of troubled financial firms.