Protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens in February

Sir, Memory. No memory of life before the financial crisis; politics has dominated it ever since. But now I can hardly remember life before Friday night. Fear. I am terrified of tomorrow, all I now see is black. Uncertainty, leading us through our days, every remainder of hope for a brighter future being destroyed by the minute. I look at my three-year-old niece, I envy her ignorance, I envy her age. I am 21 years old and the past few days I feel tired by life. A referendum that supposedly gives me the right to define my future, seems to have taken it away.

There are hundreds of people queueing at the ATMs and petrol stations, there is silence in the streets, people’s faces are frozen. This is the reality since Friday night. There are, and have been for a long time, people literally starving. However, it seems that instead of their situation improving, the rest of us will have no different a fate.

Families and friends divide in Yes and No camps. We are called to exercise our democratic right by voting on a referendum while having no tangible explanation of what will follow each decision. I see everyone I know ready to take this huge responsibility without even being prepared to do so. I notice us, arguing endlessly, everyone supporting their stance fervently, ego dominating minds and words, while having no clue as to what is really at stake.

We all want the crisis to end, we all crave growth and happiness. I do not remember my parents being free of stress and anxiety in the past years. I do not remember not noticing shops closing every month, or the rapid increase of beggars in the streets. People that, before the financial crisis, never had to beg for anything. However, the past five days have been worse than all that has been so far. They say that all we hear is propaganda; but we have lost our trust in all sides, now everything seems to be lies.

It feels like an end. The end of our lives as we knew them. Yes, the lives that, before Friday, we already thought could be better; now we realise they were better then. The only thing we truly wish for is that the worst is not yet to come.

Iliana Magra

Thessaloniki, Greece

Letters in response to this letter:

Syriza had a great opportunity — and they completely blew it / From Markos Komondouros

A referendum is not a choice between outcomes / From Rod Price

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