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Threat of Greek Default Sends Markets into Tailspin


Stock markets worldwide took a major hit Monday after Greece moved one step closer to financial chaos, raising concern it could default on its international debt.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced over the weekend that banks will be closed for six business days, beginning Monday.

Cash withdrawals will also be restricted, with citizens limited to withdrawing just $66 a day.

The moves follow a breakdown in last-ditch talks between Greece and its lenders last week, when the Greek prime minister called for a surprise referendum on the country's bailout.

Tsipras wants the Greek people to vote on whether to accept bailout plans offered to the country or reject them. The proposal elicited mixed reactions.

"I have no idea what we are voting for, yes or no, we don't know what to say," Athens resident Triandalfila Bourbourda said. "I think we shouldn't have gone so far to get into this mess."

George Georgis, another resident of the capital, thinks Greeks will "fight back."

"Now it's our time to say no because they [the creditors] want the whole [of] our land," Georgis said. "They want our freedom; they want our rights; they want our properties; they want our homeland. I think the Greek people will fight back."

There's concern that Greece may default on its debt and try to solve its financial crisis by abandoning the euro.

International leaders are now desperately looking for a solution that will allow it to keep the euro in place as its currency.

Meanwhile, Greece won't be getting any help from the European Central Bank, which decided Sunday not to increase the amount of emergency credit for Greek banks.

Without that line of credit, the country's four major banks could soon run out of cash.

Some analysts predict that the Greek government and its creditors will need to negotiate an entirely new bailout to keep from defaulting on its debt.

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