By RIE TAKUMI,GMA News July 3, 2015 8:11pm
The shutting of banks in Greece due to its debt crisis has affected Filipinos in sending their remittances to their families in the Philippines — an example of how the fallout is affecting ordinary people there, including migrant workers.
“As of the moment, bank closures due to capital control prevent Filipinos from withdrawing more than €60 from ATM’s and transmitting cash,” Consul Shiela Tario of the Philippine Embassy in Athens told GMA News Online by phone on Friday.
“Hopefully, the referendum will normalize the situation and open remittances for our kababayans,” she added.
Because of the relatively peaceful and calm situation in Greece, the Philippine government only advised Filipinos to stay away from protest-heavy areas and to update themselves with news reports.
Philippine Ambassador to Greece Nestor Ochoa also held a contingency meeting with Filipino community leaders on Monday in case the referendum turns sour.
“We’ve also asked our kababayans to stay away from areas of protest and to update themselves. We’re preparing for anything, especially for worst case scenarios,” Tario said.
No anti-migrant movements have been detected in Greece, but a few Filipinos reported having their wages slashed due to the financial crisis.
“They’re not jobless, but there has been a salary decrease. It’s still within the minimum wage. There have been no complaints, but people have expressed concerns on what will happen after the referendum,” Tario said.
According to the embassy, there are 11,500 land-based and 50,000 sea-based Filipinos in Greece.