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VICE News

Yes or No? Greece Again on the Brink: Greek Debt Crisis (Dispatch 1)

VICE News took to the streets of Athens ahead of the upcoming referendum in an effort to understand what this critical moment for Greece might mean for its position within Europe and the world, and most of all, for the Greek people.

by VICE News
Jul 4 2015, 5:35pm

For the past five years, Greece has been struggling with a financial crisis that has led the country to the brink of an exit from the euro and an economic collapse.

A huge bailout program of 240 billion euros ($266bn), borrowed from European countries and the International Monetary Fund, has let Greece survive for now, yet cuts and austerity measures have ensued.

Since last January, the new Syriza government has pledged to renegotiate the terms of the bailout program with its international creditors, promising an end to austerity. On June 26, after five months of negotiations, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum, calling the country to vote on whether or not to accept the new bailout proposal by its lenders.

Given the expiry date of the funding program just a few days later — and a lack of cash in the country — Greek banks were temporarily shut, a capital control was imposed, and people started queuing at ATMs to withdraw cash with a limit of 60 euros per day.

For many, the choice between "Yes" or "No" in Sunday's vote has been interpreted as "Yes to Europe" or "No to austerity."

VICE News took to the streets of Athens in an effort to understand what this critical moment for the country might mean for its position within Europe and the world, and most of all, for the Greek people.

Watch "Death Boats to Greece: Europe or Die"

Read "Greece Offers Last Ditch Bailout Plan Before Clock Runs Out at Midnight"