Greece’s government shut the country’s banks and restricted ATM withdrawals until July 6, to stop Greeks bleeding the banks dry — but now it looks like they’re emptying petrol stations and supermarkets of their goods too.
The president of gas station owners in Chania, Vangelis Kotsos, revealed to the Greek press that around half of its petrol stations are now dry and “a lot have been coming in carrying cans so they have extra reserves.“
He added, in interview with state-run TV channel, ERT 1 that: “panic is mounting, for example I opened at 7.30 a.m. BST (2 a.m. ET) and by 10 a.m. BST (5 a.m. ET) I had sold the amount (of gas) that I would normally sell by tomorrow afternoon. But I foresee that soon things will normalised, more reserves will be brought in.”
Meanwhile, Channel 4 news is reporting that many petrol stations are restricting customers to only €20 (£14.10, $US22.20) worth of fuel, per visit:
Some people on Twitter are reporting that only diesel fuel is available at some stations while some places are shut completely:
Elsewhere, the Guardian reported that there is “mayhem” in some of the supermarkets, including one in the country’s “upmarket district above Syntagma Square.” The newspaper said that “p
anicked buyers were snapping up everything in sight, not least staple foods such as sugar and flour.“
It is perhaps unsurprising considering the emptying of supermarkets over the last few days.
Greeks are clearly worried that food prices are likely to be hiked imminently. Greece’s Syriza government is battling against a proposed value-added tax on food service to 23%. Food VAT is currently at 13%.
Not only will this massively increase the cost of food, the head of the association of restaurant chains SEPOA, Thanassis Papanikolaou, warned last week in the Greek press that the VAT hike would cost thousands of jobs and businesses.
“We have the experience from 2011 when the increase from 13 to 23% in food service brought the shutdown of 4,500 enterprises and the loss of 40,000 jobs,” he said to Greek news outlet Ekathimerini.