Greece (MNN) — While the people of Greece have rejected the bail-out agreement, what they may not have foreseen is the effect that will have on the economy, short and long term.
Tasos Ioannidis with AMG International is in Greece and tells us that every part of normal life is affected by this vote. “The supply chain is affected in Greece because with the banking system basically shut down, nobody can make any payments to anybody. So, all the private businesses are being affected. All the government operations are being affected.”
How is this affecting their hospital? “At this point, we are going based on whatever has been stockpiled in previous weeks and months. Once that stuff runs out, with the banks closed, it becomes impossible to replace supplies and to move forward.”
The hospital can’t close. “People need to be treated,” says Ioannidis. “They still need health care. People don’t stop getting sick or [needing] medical care because the bank shuts down or the government shuts down. There still needs to be dialysis that needs to happen, cancer treatments that need to happen, operations that need to take place.”
This catastrophe may keep the humanitarian impact to a minimum. “That’s another reason why people think that there may be some sort of agreement quickly, because there will be shortages of basic necessities; then truly Greece will need humanitarian help.”
AMG has done everything they can to prepare for this. Ioannidis says, “From a human standpoint, it is impossible to know what is going to happen and to prepare any more than we have. We have tried to stock up…and to prepare as best we could from a human perspective. But when there is no way to know how long this situation will go on, there is only so much we can do.”
What is the message to the public? “We realize that God is in control. We fully trust that we will continue to accomplish His purposes. We have seen that in the past, and we know that we will see that in the future– even in this situation. We are asking God’s people to pray that supplies that are so greatly needed [will be] supplied, that there will be an agreement quickly so that Greece doesn’t turn to humanitarian.”
Ioannidis says many are asking questions. “Right now, there is this great unknown in front of them. They don’t know what is going to happen. The people who are older have experienced suffering, but the younger people have never had to deal with a situation like this. So, they are very much afraid of what may happen in the future.”
That fear is giving evangelical Christians a platform to share the best message in the world. “They are wondering whether there can be hope,” says Ioannidis. “Where can they find hope? And, of course, our answer is that the only One who can provide the hope and peace that lasts forever is Jesus, and we’ve been sharing the message of the Gospel.”
Ioannidis says the only thing Christians can do is pray. “Little can be done because everything is frozen right now. Until things open up and Greece can get stuff in the country again. The banking system can accept money again. From a material resource standpoint, it’s going to be at least a few more days before that can open up.”
Prayer is the most important thing.