Originally posted at RT.com:
More than €800 million was withdrawn on Wednesday from Greek banks as fear mounts over a possible default, according to Greek media. This is in addition to about €30 billion pulled out between October and April.
Deposit withdrawals from Greek banks continued for a third consecutive day and exceeded €820 million on Wednesday, according to Greek website Capital.gr reported.
The panic accelerated ahead of a crunch Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday where Greek and EU officials will discuss how to break the deadlock between Athens and its international creditors. On Wednesday the central bank of Greece warned Athens is likely to leave the eurozone and possibly the EU without a deal with creditors.
“Greece has enjoyed an unprecedented amount of European solidarity in the last five years,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday during a speech to the German Parliament. She also added that the country must make efforts of its own in exchange for aid.
Greece and its lenders need to reach an agreement over an economic reforms plan to unlock a €7.2 billion bailout installment, desperately needed by Greece. The country delayed a €300 million payment to the IMF earlier this month, promising to bundle its four June payments totaling €1.6 billion together and pay them at the end of the month.
Greece must provide a convincing reform program to the Troika of creditors – the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – that are pressing for more financial responsibility from the country. Greece, however, insists that new austerity cuts are non-negotiable.
The country’s public debt currently stands at €316 billion. Unemployment rose from 12 percent to 27 percent in three years and GDP has fallen by 26 percent since 2008 as a result of austerity measures. The number of people living below the poverty line is increasing every day.
Greece’s stock market has fallen almost 2 percent in early trading on Thursday, hitting a new three-year low. The Athens market has shed 18 percent of its value since last Thursday.