Greece is running out of paper because companies can’t pay foreign suppliers and the shipments are getting trapped in customs, according to Reuters.
The paper shortage is affecting daily newspapers, which have had to trim back on the number of printed pages.
The chief executive of Empros, the best-selling newspaper on the island of Lesvos, told Reuters: “Our supplier can’t provide us with [paper], as it is stuck in customs. He can’t pay the foreign suppliers, as bank transfers are blocked and there’s very little cash to continue operations.”
Empros could be forced to stops sales if Greek banks don’t reopen soon, after being closed since last Monday, Reuters said.
Greece’s best-selling newspaper, Athens-based Ta Nea, has also had trouble getting their paper supply out of customs and wrote an editorial on July 1, explaining that the newspaper was a slimmer 32 pages because their paper stock was running out.
Greeks are facing a cash crunch as capital controls, which include bank closures and ATM withdrawal limits of €60 (£43.24,$US66.62) per day, have been in place since June 29, after Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum to vote on bailout terms offered by Greece’s European creditors. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected the deal, though the country seems in no better position. Banks will stay closed through Monday and limits to the amount of cash people can take out are also in place until then.
These measures have been painful for business owners, shuttering companies that rely on online banking transfers to outside the country to operate.
Meanwhile, some local shopowners think it’s a safer bet to hold onto merchandise rather than sell it for euros.
The New York Times spoke to a Greek jeweller who turned down a customer who wanted to buy roughly €1 million (£717,000, $US1.1 million) worth of jewels because he thought it was better to keep the goods rather than put the money into a shaky banking system.
Greeks have responded to reports that the country only has a few days of cash left by flooding cash machines and panic-buying items, including kitchen appliances , in case some of their deposits are lost in the event that Greek banks collapse.
But hope could be on the horizon. Greece submitted its latest bailout proposal Thursday night and European leaders are expected to discuss the details — and potentially seal a deal — on Saturday.