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:
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