ATHENS, Greece (AP) — It began with a Greek outburst of national defiance against years of budget cuts and quickly turned into a financial nightmare for the country’s people.
Greece has endured financial and political chaos since its referendum on July 5 on a bailout proposal by the country’s rescue creditors.
The vote was called by the government in late June, after months of fruitless negotiations with creditors on the terms for more loans from its bailout program. European creditors like Germany were furious at the decision to call a vote, saying it effectively ended negotiations.
They let Greece’s existing bailout expire, forcing the country to take the drastic action of shutting its banks for three weeks and putting limits on money withdrawals and transfers.
The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras eventually got a tentative agreement for a new loan program that would keep the country from getting kicked out of the euro — but only on condition of even tougher budget reforms. The drama surrounding the talks touched off a debate about the fundamental flaws of Europe’s monetary union.
The photographs here chronicle Greece’s odyssey since late June — from Tsipras’ call for the referendum to the agreement he struck with creditors after a nail-biting, marathon summit in Brussels.
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