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Athens: HSBC Tested Cash Machines For Drachma

 After Bloomberg currency Exchange Drachma-Test last week, HSBC bank made another test on Monday. The test was performed at the banks ATM machines in Athens. The bank confirmed the news… and I wonder how many Greeks would rush to banks and withdraw leftovers from their savings in bank deposits.

HSBC has tested its cash machines in Greece to check whether they could cope with the reintroduction of the drachma if the country drops out of the euro. The bank checked whether its ATMs are able to handle banknotes of a different size and texture.

It is the clearest sign yet that the international financial sector believes Greece is on the brink of quitting the single currency and returning to its former currency.

An HSBC spokesman said: ‘Like all banks, we have been working with regulators to undertake preparatory work at multiple levels in the event of a sovereign default, an exit from the euro, or any other eventuality.’

Greece faces an election on June 17 that is widely regarded as a vote on whether to stick with the euro.

Banking sources noted that it was the fear that Royal Bank of Scotland customers would not be able to withdraw their money from ATMs that marked the high point of the financial crisis in Britain in 2008 when the Government intervened to prop up RBS and the rest of the banking sector.

The cash machine tests at branches in Athens are understood to have been extensive to ensure that the machines are able to handle banknotes of a different size and texture.  (More in This Is Money)

 In a further indication that the situation in Athens is reaching dramatic levels, the European Commission has made it easier for Britain to underwrite business risk taken by firms that export to Greece. (More in This Is Money)

No wonder, that no Greek dares to spend some of our dearly beloved euro except for essential supermarket purchases. I drove twice through Athens today and even if the shops were open the streets were so empty as if it was Sunday..,


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  1. This terrorism is so sickening! I see the whole banking system scaring us though the news in order for us to vote pro-austerity parties who will ensure our slavery!

    Fuck them! THEY have a problem when we give them our back, the more we fall for these terrorist media attacks, the more fucked up this country will be.

    • This is just the beginning of a “United Controlled Europe” that has been in the works since Helmut Kohl’s plan in the 90’s. It is terrorism at its worst. I live in Greece, My wife is Greek and I see how much she has lost in the two years that this “mess’ has been going on. I say Fuck the EU and lets live our lives as we were doing before joining this “exclusive club” as the only ones that have made a penny (euro)out of it has been the big businesses and the political leeches that have sucked the soul from this beautiful country. It was a false inflated economy and now has burst. I have no intention of leaving my “home of choice” but the people that vote should show these assholes that its better to die free than live like a slave !

  2. This is a quote from an IMF sponsored study on sovereign default:

    Overall, emerging-market governments need to be aware of the potentially adverse effects for their domestic economies of negative country-risk perceptions by international investors and rating agencies. Government actions affecting sovereign risk (for example, threats to default on sovereign debt or delayed debt renegotiations) may have unintended consequences for the country’s corporations. Put differently, emerging-market governments interested in fostering the development and growth prospects of domestic private firms should avoid policies or rhetoric that negatively influences the country’s sovereign spreads and rating.

    And if we don’t produce the policies and rethoric we are warned against, we will be accused of doing it anyway, the the rethoric will be provided for us…

    this is where you will find the full study, if you fancy a headache:

  3. My comments to Greeks as an American who has enjoyed the country of Greece for many, many years would be this:

    Did EU force Greece to join? So, are you obligated to stay in now? Bailout if you dare, print your own money like before and test new waters. But, please remember that there will always be sharks in the water waiting for you whether US, EU, and possibly many more scarier options like China and Russia…..

    Choose carefully on 17 Jun….

  4. I always thought Greek Drachmas were beautiful with the beautiful Ancient Greek Faces and the Greek letters on it. We were never really rich with the drachma, but we were never on the verge of destruction either. IMO at least.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      Did you hear the news? They won’t call it New Dra-chma but New Dra-cula

    • Well, actually, we now know (and, sure, we should have investigated harder in 2000) that Greece was already close to a serious bond crisis (investors rapidly losing confidence) when Athens managed to jump on the Eurozone bandwaggon in the last minute. Even when having their own currency, the governments had managed to overspend and pile on new debt every single year. An especially bad idea, since a currency that is constantly devaluing isn’t a good deal for the investors who will go for more stable assetts instead. So, Greece had almost reached the end of the line when the Euro boosted the credit rating a bit, for the very last time. If Pasok and ND had used that last straw for modernizing the country, you folks wouldn’t be in such a mess now. But the politicians went merrily on with their bad habits as if they weren’t already dangerously close to the abyss, like lemmings. It would be hilariously funny, if only the people weren’t suffering now under the consequences of that madness.

  5. Btw, I just wanted to express my respect that at least one Greek enterprise acts responsible and prepares for (increasingly likely) eventualities when I noticed that HSBC actually is a CHINESE bank…