Gr eece in shock as banks shut after referendum call
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.
A line forms at an ATM after Greece closed its banks.