Chronicle of an Evening on Syntagma

P1020625

On Sunday, Greek voters rejected the bailout conditions drafted by the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, submitted to the Greek government on the 25th of June. Here follows a brief photographic account of developments on Sunday evening in central Athens, prior to and in the wake of news of the referendum result.

5.30 pm : An hour and a half before polling stations close and the first exit polls are released, broadcasters are taking positions in Syntagma Square. 

P1020575 European anti-austerity activists, largely from L’Altra Europa, mill around…

P1020576

…recording their impressions of the vote for supporters at home.

P1020579There are few signs of either the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ camps on the square, bar a stand hosted by E.P.A.M, a small anti-austerity party campaigning for ‘OXI.’    

P1020577

  Signs of the eight-day campaign are however conspicuous throughout Athens…

P1020588

…and overwhelmingly so in favour of OXI.  

P1020580

P1020634

P1020589

Amidst a tight police presence in the vicinity of Parliament, in anticipation of perhaps Greece’s most important vote in decades, the Evzones’ ‘little changes’ proceed as usual.

P1020591

7 pm :  Polling stations have closed, and honking cars emblazoned with OXI signs circle Syntagma, providing a first clue as to the result. 

P1020603

The screens of a neighbouring restaurant, filled with cautiously pleased politicians and activists from across Europe, transmit the reactions of stone-faced private broadcasters to the first exit poll. 

P1020612

OXI supporters stream into Syntagma to celebrate.

P1020613

P1020622P1020618

P1020631

Night falls…

P1020636

…and I miss Yanis Varoufakis’ entry into the Ministry of Economy and Finance by a whisker. I would like to think that this is his motorcycle helmet beside the metal detector…

P1020638

…and his motorcycle parked inside.

P1020640

9 pm  : Crowds continue to swell in Syntagma. 

P1020643

P1020680

P1020657

P1020667

Syriza supporters begin to come out in force. 

P1020681And German ‘Blockupy’ activists join the fray.

P1020670

Celebrations spill onto streets ringing the square.

P1020684

P1020694

P1020698

P1020704

P1020712

The morning after, the media are again camped outside the Ministry of Economy and Finance, breaking news of Varoufakis’ resignation.

P1020733

Syntagma has largely emptied overnight, though is still populated by broadcasters and politicians continuing to digest the referendum’s outcome. 

P1020738

The newspapers have drawn their own set of conclusions regarding the result.  

P1020741

And all is quiet at Syriza’s headquarters. 

P1020752

Queues at banks, however, continue to stretch, and Greek voters’ many lingering questions and fears remain unanswered and unassuaged.  

P1020742

If a deal of some form were brokered with Greece’s creditors, would it one day offer a modicum of respite, let alone relief, for those their policies have already wrought most destruction upon? 

P1020740

A glimmer of light for this country to eventually recover, clear up the mess of the last half-decade and beyond, and be capable of shielding its society once more?

P1020755

An opportunity to someday circumvent barbed limitations imposed from elsewhere?

P1020721

The next turn may tell us a little more… 

P1020726

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s