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Banks opened for Pensioners: Queues, fainting, outrage, chaos

In some bank branch, the first pensioner arrived already short after midnight. The second, half an hour later. The third around 2 in the morning. By 5 am the queues outside the banks in the big cities were already very long. Some pensioners had brought plastic stools and chairs, a pillow, a bottle of water. Despite the enforced bank holiday, 1,000 branches across the country were opened on Wednesday in order to facilitate pensioners without debit card to withdraw their pensions.

Video: everybody is there: pensioners, reporters and policemen to keep the order

When banks opened at 8 o clock the people started to push each other to grab the opportunity and get into the bank.

Συντάξεις - Κλειστές τράπεζες: Ανοικτά έως τις 19.00 πολλά υποκαταστήματα

In vain. In the middle of the night, the Finance Ministry had decided to pay the pensions to those pensioners without debit card “alphabetically”: A-I on Wednesday, K-N on Thursday and the rest on Friday.

This decision triggered chaos and disappointment as the majority of pensioners were not aware of that. Some verbally attacked bank employees for this chaotic situation.

greece pensioners banks

By 10 o’ clock, at least two (Pireus & Eurobank) of the four systemic Greek banks had decided to ignore the Finance Ministry decision and prioritize.

Σαντορίνη: Οι ουρές των συνταξιούχων που έγιναν θέμα στο πρακτορείο Reuters - Οι φωτογραφίες τουριστών που βρίσκονται στο νησί!

Santorini: Giving priority numbers to pensioners

There are isolated reports of pensioners who scuffled with each other.

Κρήτη: Συνταξιούχοι σπρώχνουν με πλαστικά καρεκλάκια για μια καλύτερη θέση - Από την τράπεζα στο νοσοκομείο ένας 78χρονος (Φωτό)!

Irakleio, Crete: from the bank to the hospital: a 78-year-old man fainted while standing queue. He was taken to nearby hospital with the ambulance.

ΦΩΤΟ από cretapost.gr

Reports about pensioners who have fainting while waiting come also from Ioannina, Thessaloniki.

No pensioner will be able to withdraw the whole pension amount to cover needs. The bonus for awaiting queues is just €120 for this week. Nobody knows how the Finance Ministry will rule for next week.

Video: queues in Patras

On the other hand, pensioners with debit card can line up outside tha ATMs and withdraw €60 per day. Yesterday, there were reports that in some ATMs there were shortage of 20-euro bank notes and the people left with just 50 euro.

Video: in some bank branches, employees distribute bottles of water to pensioners

Confusion: some pensioners who had lined up to withdraw €120 from the cash register, they found out that they had to go to ATM and get only €60 because they had a debit card.

The Pension Fund for the Self-employed (OAEE) was not able to deposit the whole amount of the monthly pensions but only half of it. The pensions were deposit after 11 o’ clock today, while pensioners had lined up already form the early morning hours.

General Secretary for Pensions Giorgos Romanias said on Tuesday: “It doesn’t matter, they can only withdraw maximum €120 this week from the bank,” he said assuring that the rest amount will reach the bank “in the next days.”

I suppose he forgot that people can withdraw €60 per day, which is total €300-360 from Wednesday to Sunday or Monday. Bank holiday is expected to last until July 6th, one day after the Referendum. Many doubt that this will happen. Capital controls are expected to last longer.

As the queues grow hour by hour, some bank branches are reportedly to remain open until 7 o’ clock in the afternoon. “If necessary more branches will open,” Louka Katseli, Chairwoman of the Greek Banks Association said around 10 a.m.

When pensioners are asked by media reporters “Who is to blame for the situation”, the majority of them answered in one voice: “All” and “Everyone”.

PS I suppose with such uncertainty and short of liquidity no one dares to pay utilities or other obligations nowadays…

 

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7 comments

  1. Unfortunately, the experience of other countries shows that once introduced, capital controls stay for a long time (a couple of years for Cyprus, longer for Iceland).

  2. last count, after 3 days, 45k + individuals crowdfunding 772,000 euros to the Greek people… Those in favor outside of Greece will hopefully spread the link and donate, show a measure of international solidarity from the pocket. A lofty goal considering the time constraint but it could be a leeway into something bigger down the road.

    KTG -we appreciate your contribution, keep up the good work.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      sorry I don’t agree with this action as it is still 100% unclear who and how will get the money. Once it is clear and ‘guaranteed’, please, come back with the link.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Please send the link to Turkish embassies, Turkey said it would like to help if asked

  3. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Now the banks “offer” old people who never wanted cards cards

    • keeptalkinggreece

      and I think some banks were not issuing debit/credit cards to over 75+ or 80+

  4. Would not now be the time to discuss and decide what kind of country Greece wants to be in the future?!