"Heartbreaking" Scene Unfolds At Greek Banks As Pensioners Clamor For Cash

Tyler Durden's picture

1,000 Greek bank branches chanced a stampede in order to open their doors to the country's retirees on Wednesday.

The scene was somewhat chaotic as pensioners formed long lines and the country’s elderly attempted to squeeze through the doors in order to access pension payments.

As Bloomberg reports, payouts were rationed and disbursals were limited according to last name. Here’s more

It’s a day of fresh indignities for the people of Greece.

About a third of the nation’s depleted banks cracked open their doors after being closed for three days. But all they did was ration pension payments, hours after the country became the first advanced economy to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund and its bailout program expired.


On the third day of capital controls, a few dozen pensioners lined up by 7 a.m. at a central Athens branch of the National Bank of Greece, an hour before opening time. They were to receive a maximum of 120 euros ($133), compared with the average monthly payment of about 600 euros. Many left with nothing after the manager said only those with last names starting with the letters A through K would get paid.


“Not only will I have to queue for hours at the bank in the hope of getting 120 euros, but I’ll have a two-hour round trip,” said Dimitris Danaos, 77, a retired local government worker who was making the bus journey from his home outside the Greek capital to the suburb of Glyfada. 

AFP has more color:

In chaotic scenes, thousands of angry elderly Greeks on Wednesday besieged the nation’s crisis-hit banks, which have reopened to allow them to withdraw vital cash from their state pensions.


“Let them go to hell!” said one pensioner waiting to get his money, after failed talks between Athens and international creditors sparked a week-long banking shutdown.


The Greek government, which closed the banks and imposed strict capital controls after cash machines ran dry, has temporarily reopened almost 1,000 branches to allow pensioners without cards to withdraw 120 euros ($133) to last the rest of the week.


The move has again sparked lengthy queues at banks across Greece — and outrage from many retirees who are regarded as among the most vulnerable in society, exposed to a vicious and lengthy economic downturn.


Under banking restrictions imposed all week, ordinary Greeks can withdraw up to 60 euros a day for each credit or debit card — but many of the elderly population do not have cards.


Another customer, a retired mariner who asked not to be named, told AFP he had no cash to buy crucial medicine for his sick wife.


“I worked for 50 years on the sea and now I am the beggar for 120 euros,” he said.


“I took out 120 euros — but I have no money for medication for my wife, who had an operation and is ill,” he added.


Here’s a look at the scene at National Bank in Athens courtesy of The Telegraph:

As we outlined in detail earlier this morning, the latest polls show a slim majority of Greeks plan to vote "no" in the upcoming referendum (which, as far as we know, will still go on). Many analysts and commentators say a "oxi" vote would likely lead to a euro exit and with it, far more pain for the country's retirees.

Indeed, as we noted on Tuesday in "For Greeks, The Nightmare Is Just Beginning: Here Come The Depositor Haircuts," Goldman has suggested that only once Syriza's "core constituency of pensioners and public sector employees" sees the cash reserves (to which they have heretofore enjoyed first claim on) run dry, will they "face the direct implications of the liquidity squeeze the political impasse between Greece and its creditors has created. And only then will the alignment of domestic political interests within Greece change to allow a way forward."

And so, as sad as it is, the scene that unfolded today in front of the roughly one-third of Greek bank branches which opened their doors to pensioners, may have been preordained by the powers that be in Burssels because as we said yesterday evening, breaking Syriza's voter base may have been necessary in order for the Troika to finally force Tsipras to relent or else risk being driven from office, after capital controls and depositor haircuts force public sector employees to collectively cry "Uncle", beg Europe to take it back, and present Merkel with Tsipras and Varoufakis' heads on a proverbial (and metaphorical, we hope) silver platter. 

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LawsofPhysics's picture

The future of all pensioners in the western world...

Haus-Targaryen's picture

As long as they keep wanting to remain in the EUR -- literally zero sympathy.  

Handful of Dust's picture

Another reason not to rely on someone else holding your pension monies or any of your money for that matter if at all possible.


"If YOU don't hold it, YOU don't own it."


It's just that simple.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Sadly, this is coming to most Western Nations.  

metastar's picture

This is what happens to those serving a criminal, corrupt, and illigitimate government. Or, "coming soon to a country near you."

froze25's picture

More pain is coming a vote to leave the Euro and a default (fresh start) is their only real option for a better future.

Skateboarder's picture

The average "Westerner" has forgotten the concept of saving for a rainy day. That's usually what happens when credit is a way of life (read death).

From which sea of fairness do the Greeks expect good tides? You can't drown yourself in credit and expect liberty at the same time...

TahoeBilly2012's picture

What's on the Eurogroups catering menu today...I hope its fish!

THX 1178's picture

clamoring lead to rioting and rioting leads to defensive-false-flags on the part of the government and thet leads to war.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

The problem with Greece is not socialism. Socialism can work very well, if you follow the Scandanavian model and it's managed professionally by smart well meaning politicians. Greece simply needs to hurry up and accept a deal from the EU so that they can get the funds to rebuild their economy and set up a system that works for the people.

N2OJoe's picture

Comin soon to pension/IRA/401K near you...

Seriously, what kind of idiot still has funds in a bank with all the drama that's been going on over there for fucking YEARS?

Those sheep actually look angry and surprised about their shearing. WTF?

SafelyGraze's picture

pensions are for the young

that is, the promise of a pension is what allows an employer to pay a young person less money than their work is worth

without that pay differential, the employer would have little chance at generating profits and forwarding them to shareholders


Stuck on Zero's picture

This will never ever happen in the U.S.  In ten years a pensioner will cash his pension check and go buy a cup of coffee at McDonalds for the entir amount.

Save_America1st's picture

Just wait until the days come when the Free Shit Army starts getting all their "free" benies cut down, like their EBT funz.  No mo' "free" lobster tail, cash, and Mt. Dew, bitchez...


The shit will hit the fan so bad it will give the gov-scum all the impetus they need (and want) to roll out the military and/or UN forces for a full martial law lockdown. 

And those who prepared ahead of time by stashing cash, food, water, phyzz, guns, ammo, other essential supplies, etc. will be demonized by this treasonous government.  They will be blamed for all the problems of the other 95% who didn't do a fucking thing to prepare for the inevitable collapse that we've been warning about for years now.

TeamDepends's picture

And, most frightening of all, the military/UN equipment is ALREADY IN PLACE thanks to Jade Helm (yes it has begun).

smithcreek's picture

The guy in the picture needs a caption that says "I didn't work from the time I was 27 until I retired at age 45 to get fucked over like this!  That was 30 hours a week for 18 years of my life and I was promised I would never have to work again!"

EscapingProgress's picture

I see a group of leeches who have no more blood to suck. My heart is not breaking over this. You cannot steal from the young and the productive forever.

Enjoy your final days in the gutters of Athens you old, pathetic fucks. You were warned.

Nussi34's picture

The Greeks are starting to learn to live according to their means! :-)

This is an educational excercise!!!

Paveway IV's picture

Americans are about to backstop MBIA for all of PR's debt, i.e., you're about to take it in the ass just like the Germans and Greeks. And EXACTLY like the Germans and Greeks, Americans will do absolutely NOTHING but bitch about the deadbeat Puerto Ricans, and the PRs will bitch about austerity imposed by the U.S. - it will all turn into Kabuki theater for months on end, maybe even a PR referendum. In the end, both will take it in the ass JUST LIKE the German people and the Greeks. 

Nobody deserves to bitch about anything until the first banker goes into the wood-chipper. Until then, STFU, grab your ankles and blame other little people. THAT is the plan. That has ALWAYS been the plan.

LoadedBakedPotato's picture

Can you change the oil in a wood chipper while its still running?

I wouldn't want to stop it for even a minute. Thats one machine we want to keep fed.

ebear's picture

"You cannot steal from the young and the productive forever."

WTF? The first 18 years were free. When you gonna pay that back?

EscapingProgress's picture

Children have no obligations to their parents. You volunteer your personal finances for the 18 year "free ride" (it wasn't really free considering I've had jobs since I was 14) when you choose not to have an abortion performed.

Agstacker's picture

Did you choose to be born?

_SILENCER's picture

You're right.

The EBT system taking a dump is going to freak out the Grape Soda crowd in Spades.

Moe Howard's picture

+1 for use of "Spades". See Charles Bronson "The Stone Killer" 1972.

sandiegoman's picture

This used to be such a great site. Now it is full of people with half baked BS about how the world is going down into some post apocalyptic maelstrom. Most of the great commentators are gone and this is now dominated by "gonna get my ammo and phyzz and blast anyone near me" BS.  Go live in your cave. Have fun.... Yeah go ahead and junk this. I'm out of here and won't be around to see it. You people have been waiting for the end for over 7 years now... There are plenty of doom and gloom sites on the web and ZH has become just another one.  Hey, here is an idea. If you don't like something do something to change it. Or would you rather sit here and complain that everything is crap and you can't do anything about it. I think we know the answer to that..."

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

Good point sdman...everything is getting better and the skittle-shitting purple ponies will make everything alright.

And how dare people express their concerns and opinion.

Sorry to disturb your vacation planning Mr. Big Exec-Man.

Put down your Starbucks, remove your Abercrombie & Fitch sweater and wake the fuck up.

James_Cole's picture

Good point sdman...everything is getting better and the skittle-shitting purple ponies will make everything alright.

Most 'things' (life expectancy, quality of life etc. globally) are getting much better. The real headwinds in the foreseeable future are voldemort on this website.

These financial fiascos i.e. rich fucking the poor - affecting greece etc. - are not exactly a new phenomenon & fundamentally small fries. If that all goes to pot - for the best.

WOAR's picture

You don't seem to understand.

If banks go under, the people bail them out.

If banks want new regulation, the politicians throw the weight on the people.

If shit goes down the tubes, banks, bankers, politicians, and rich people are NOT going to be on the receiving end. YOU ARE.

But I know how you feel. I'm partial to skittle shitting ponies myself.

James_Cole's picture

If banks go under, the people bail them out.

No, money is printed to bail the banks out.

If shit goes down the tubes, banks, bankers, politicians, and rich people are NOT going to be on the receiving end. YOU ARE.

If you were to compare the average Americans existence now to the average American in the 1910s, there is no metric where 1910s joe blow comes out on top. When charles dickens visited the country in the 1840s he found it to be such a shithole that he lost faith in humanity. Dickens!

Find one metric where quality of life pre-1914 comes out better. Yet, there have been countless bank bailouts since then.

OzFan's picture

What BS.

What fcking universe you living on.

The rich globalists is THE MAIN MEAL....they fck us every which way.....what about a 60 yr old dude who worked all his life to end up begging for money - a scene to be played out universally - is small fries? The dude is fcked and just went extremely poor quality.



James_Cole's picture

what about a 60 yr old dude who worked all his life to end up begging for money - a scene to be played out universally - is small fries?

You reference this as if it's something new.

Poverty rates:


OzFan's picture

Oh yeh, lets just go all the way back to Roman times to compare. ...fck me. Theres an epic storm coming and you're more conerned with historical arguments.

Let us know how your history preaching works out for you when SHTF and ppl are trying to rape ur wife and steal your food.


James_Cole's picture

1960s ~ Roman times.

But you are right, why bother looking at history? That shit is useless.

Zoomorph's picture

Ironic. Instead of complaining about low quality comments on ZH, why not try to do your part to make it a better place?

Shaznardickleze the Doon's picture

LOL omg. Are you wishing it was 1995 again? So are we dude bro.

UNcle Sam and Sandiegoman wants you to BTFD... lulz

nuubee's picture


the good commenters are sick of Greece threads.

UselessEater's picture

maybe but quite a few interesting commenters seem to have vanished from every thread in recent times ....maybe some got bored and have lives to live but I do miss them...I seem to get fewer links, etc from ZH that are great for learning and informing oneself.

IRC162's picture

sdman, please go take a nice swim in the Pacific, then go wash off the radionuclides in your California King shower.  Whats that? Water no worky?  Ho Le Fuk, Sum Ting Wong? 

Oooohhhhh, thats what those assholes on ZH are talking about....

Bay of Pigs's picture

Funny you criticize people for being prepared when looking at pictures of Greek people begging for a little money just to buy food.

joe90's picture

Yep turned our TV on the other day and I can't remember the show, something like NCIS, it was packed with memes and one of them was crazy preppers in the woods

EscapingProgress's picture

"The shit will hit the fan so bad it will give the gov-scum all the impetus they need (and want) to roll out the military and/or UN forces for a full martial law lockdown."

This won't happen. Nation-wide martial law is unfeesable and the UN will soon be defunct. The Fed Gov goon squads will simply withdraw to a smaller area which they can control. They will outright abondon much of what is now known as the USA along with many of their overseas mil bases. The American Empire will be reduced in size, so that it is more managable. Like every other empire before it.

No preppers will be persecuted or demonized. You might get attacked for your things by gov't pensioners, but you won't be blamed for anything. I've noticed that preppers have this wierd savior complex. It's like they all want to be a Jesus (Geezus, not Hayzoos).

gimme soma dat's picture

I've thought about this, given the water issues in California.  It kinda seems like they might just walk away and leave them on their own.  Which I'm perfectly fine with. 

IRC162's picture

Don't worry about CA, they still have the celebrities to use as political leaders, a nearly untapped, unlimited resource