Thousands of pro-European Greeks rallied in Athens on Monday (22 June) for the second time in a week. The demonstration came a day after a first rally by anti-austerity protesters in support of Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprass tough stance towards creditors that has pushed Greece to the brink of bankruptcy.
Mondays demonstration failed to match the tens of thousands who have turned out in years past, but it did underscore the growing fear among some Greeks over the fallout from negotiations between Athens and its creditors.
Greece should remain in the eurozone. We have a problem with the economy, yes it is a problem, but the solution is not to return to drachma, this would be a disaster for our country, said John Pontikis, a travel agent.
I feel European, I am European, and I believe we should stay in Europe, said Kiki Mathaki, a teacher.
We want to stay in the European Union despite our problems and in the hope that we wont suffer more. We also hope that we will get a good deal so that in the next 5 or 10 years – and this is mainly for the youth – we have growth, said Stelios Savopoulos, also a teacher.
The rally comes as Greece presented new proposals to eurozone leaders who have demanded that Athens further reform its pensions and also hike its VAT.
Greece must make a €1.6bn (£1.14bn, $1.8bn) repayment to the IMF by 30 June or be declared in default.