Gr eece in shock as banks shut af­ter ref­er­en­dum call

Metro USA (Boston) - - NEWS -

Stunned Greeks faced shut­tered banks, long su­per­mar­ket lines and over­whelm­ing un­cer­tainty on Mon­day as a break­down in talks with in­ter­na­tional lenders plunged their coun­try deep into cri­sis.

With Greece’s bailout ex­pir­ing on June 30 and an In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund pay­ment fall­ing due at the same time, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras pleaded in vain by phone with Euro­pean of­fi­cials to ex­tend the pro­gram un­til a ref­er­en­dum on July 5 on its fu­ture terms.

The fran­tic ef­forts to se­cure Greece’s place within the eu­ro­zone fol­lowed a dra­matic week­end. Tsipras’ de­ci­sion, early on Satur­day, to put the aid pack­age to a pop­u­lar vote took the lenders by sur­prise and sent Greeks rush­ing to cash ma­chines.

It also pushed Greece to­ward de­fault­ing on 1.6 bil­lion eu­ros ($1.77 bil­lion) due to the IMF on Tues­day, which would take it closer to an exit from the eu­ro­zone. A Greek of­fi­cial con­firmed to Reuters that the pay­ment would not be made.

/ GETTY IM­AGES

A line forms at an ATM af­ter Greece closed its banks.

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