ANGER BURNS AS MONEY RUNS OUT

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHARLES MI­RANDA

GREECE is on a “war foot­ing”, says Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ya­nis Varo­ufakis warn­ing the coun­try’s cash flow could dry up be­fore the end of the week­end.

The near- bank­rupt na­tion’s banks have re­port­edly only 500 mil­lion euros left in cash re­serves and many busi­nesses said they could not ac­cess enough money to send to sup­pli­ers to con­tinue to im­port goods to main­tain busi­ness.

Many ATMs are now out of cash and not be­ing re­stocked with banks not ex­pected to re- open un­til next Tues­day but al­ready some are warn­ing they still may not have enough cash to re­open with, and cer­tainly not to han­dle an ex­pected stam­pede of savers try­ing to get sav­ings out. Fuel is be­ing ra­tioned and some sta­tions are re­fus­ing to ac­cept debit and credit cards. The na­tion’s econ­omy is vir­tu­ally paral­ysed and many fear a ref­er­en­dum this week­end re­gard­less of the re­sult will not change that.

The Greek Cen­tral Bank was ex­pected to re­lease emer­gency funds but it was un­clear whether that would be enough.

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and Mr Varo­ufakis con­tin­ued to cam­paign through lo­cal TV net­works for Greek peo­ple to vote “no” to EU cred­i­tors’ de­mands for re­form.

The Aus­tralian dual na­tional fi­nance min­is­ter said he would re­sign if the coun­try voted to ac­cept the Eu­ro­zone debt re­struc­tur­ing plans and re­it­er­ated the na­tion was on a war foot­ing in terms of its fi­nances, again point­ing blame to­ward the EU.

There are daily mass ral­lies across Athens as frus­trated cit­i­zens vent their fury and or sup­port for the left wing govern­ment.

Tsipras main­tains that a “no” vote strength­ened Greece’s bar­gain­ing in ne­go­ti­a­tions and did not mean it would have to quit the euro or Europe but MPs from across Europe yes­ter­day thought dif­fer­ently.

French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande said a “no” could send the eu­ro­zone “into the un­known”.

The head of the Eurogroup of fi­nance min­is­ters, Jeroen Di­js­sel­bloem, also said: “In case of a ‘ no’, Greece’s situ- ation will be­come ex­cep­tion­ally dif­fi­cult.”

Var­i­ous polls on the likely ref­er­en­dum re­sult are split.

As if mat­ters could get worse, the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, who gave the 1.6 bil­lion euro loan that Greece de­faulted on Monday, said the na­tion would need 50 bil­lion euros over the next three years to sta­bilise its fi­nances.

In a new report, the IMF ac­knowl­edged a huge de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the coun­try’s prospects as it slashed its 2015 na­tional growth fore­cast from 2.5 per cent to zero.

MASS RAL­LIES: A pro­tester burns an EU flag out­side the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion of­fices in Athens.

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