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19 Ordinary Greeks Explain Why The Bailout Talks Have Them Despairing

People in the streets of Athens are tired of politicians talking, and tell BuzzFeed News they just want a solution from Sunday's referendum.

Posted on June 30, 2015, at 1:56 p.m. ET

The Greek debt crisis has mainly focused on high-level discussions involving politicians and various international organizations, leaving ordinary Greeks overlooked.

BuzzFeed News went onto the streets of Athens to ask a selection of Greeks to write a message to the rest of Europe explaining how they feel about Sunday's planned referendum. The vote — first announced last weekend — will ask whether to accept further austerity measures and reform of the state in return for the lending required to keep the country solvent. (Some Greeks asked BuzzFeed News to write their message in English on their behalf.)Many said they intended to vote No, although wealthier Greeks appeared to lean more towards a Yes vote and staying in Europe at all costs. Many young people said they were just disillusioned with all politics. Some individuals said the entire capitalist system was beyond salvation, while others just wanted other countries to wipe the debts and give Greece's existing system a fresh start. There was one unifying factor: Almost everyone, regardless of which way they intend to vote, wanted both an end to austerity measures and to remain in the European Union. Only a handful were even willing to consider the possibility that Greece might actually have to leave the euro.
Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

BuzzFeed News went onto the streets of Athens to ask a selection of Greeks to write a message to the rest of Europe explaining how they feel about Sunday's planned referendum. The vote — first announced last weekend — will ask whether to accept further austerity measures and reform of the state in return for the lending required to keep the country solvent. (Some Greeks asked BuzzFeed News to write their message in English on their behalf.)

Many said they intended to vote No, although wealthier Greeks appeared to lean more towards a Yes vote and staying in Europe at all costs. Many young people said they were just disillusioned with all politics. Some individuals said the entire capitalist system was beyond salvation, while others just wanted other countries to wipe the debts and give Greece's existing system a fresh start.

There was one unifying factor: Almost everyone, regardless of which way they intend to vote, wanted both an end to austerity measures and to remain in the European Union. Only a handful were even willing to consider the possibility that Greece might actually have to leave the euro.

This is what ordinary Greeks wanted the world to hear:

1. "They're going to fuck us either way."

Alexandros Katsis

2. "I'm very confused!"

Alexandros Katsis
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3. "I don't know how to vote. I want the old Greece back."

Alexandros Katsis

4. "My mistakes die with me but Greece's financial debt is passed on to my children."

Alexandros Katsis

5. "We don't really know what we're voting on."

Alexandros Katsis

6. "Stay positive. Don't fight."

Alexandros Katsis
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7. "I don't understand why the EU won't give the Greek government a last chance."

Alexandros Katsis

8. "Vote Yes for EE, but No austerity."

Alexandros Katsis

9. "I will vote No because democracy needs responsibility."

Alexandros Katsis

10. "Referendum is not for EE — we want Europe."

Alexandros Katsis
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11. "We stay in Europe."

Alexandros Katsis

12. "I want to see the human face of Europe, not the capitalism."

Alexandros Katsis

13. "I don't agree with the measures but I want to stay in the EU."

Alexandros Katsis

14. "A big Yes to Europe."

Alexandros Katsis
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15. "We have many benefits as a country but very bad politicians."

Alexandros Katsis

16. "The referendum will not happen, it is all propaganda."

Alexandros Katsis

17. "I want to contin[u]e the negotiations with the EU."

Alexandros Katsis

18. "Greeks vote Yes for Europe."

Alexandros Katsis

19. "I am going to vote No: 'It is better to live one hour free than 40 years as a slave.'"

Alexandros Katsis
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