It was hailed as the deal that saved Greece and the Euro from ruin. But following Thursday’s 109 billion euro EU bailout there is a warning that Greeks may have a lot more hardship to come.
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters the second deal had safeguarded the country’s banking system but the deal did not mean the country can relax.
“It’s a big relief for the Greek economy, and this money will gradually pass on to the real economy,” he said. “But this relief should in no way mean that we should relax our efforts.”
For many of Greece’s small business owners, the bailout may have come too late. Even those that do not expect to go out of business say they do not think the economy will turn around anytime soon.
Coffee shop owner Manolis Volyraki said:“Since the crisis began, our profits are down 70 percent. It’s got consistently worse over the last three years.”
Snack stall owner Eleftherios Koromplis is even more worried: “We hare having a very difficult time. I have lost 80 percent of my profits and I still have to pay 1500 euros a month for rent.”
Many Greeks welcomed the new deal though. Some accepted the latest bailout may not mean an end to austerity measures.
An 81-year-old pensioner Nikos Yanakopoulos said: “The government is doing what needs to be done but the Greek people are not. A lot of people do not accept the reality of the situation. The weight will now fall on ordinary Greeks.”