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by Liu Yongqiu Geoff Cameron USA Jersey , Chen Jiangxuan

ATHENS, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The critical referendum concluded Sunday in Greece with a resounding "No" to creditors' debt deal terms, but the current mood in Athens is still heavy.

Posters and graffiti advocating "No" or "Yes" adorn the streets. Restaurants and cafes, where Greeks often spend their summer afternoons relaxing, lie half empty. There are still long lines in front of ATMs. Athens' public transportation -- free to use until further notice -- is remarkably empty.

"This result of the referendum -- a resounding 'No' -- was expected, " Nikos, a young web developer in the northeastern suburb of Athens Fabian Johnson USA Jersey , said to Xinhua while waiting to withdraw money from an ATM.

He had voted "No" on Sunday alongside 61.3 percent of other Greeks, rejecting the new conditions associated with the EU bailout package.

For Nikos, Brussels represents oppression. "Millions have lost their jobs and thousands have committed suicide," he told Xinhua.

He said a "Grexit," or Greek exit from the eurozone, is his desired outcome. "When a country controls its own economy, it can produce better things Ethan Horvath USA Jersey ," Nikos said.

But even for Nikos, the future is uncertain. "Nobody even thinks about his career. People know that they may be fired any day and their careers are independent of the referendum result," he said.

Indeed, Greeks -- a smiling, optimistic people on the whole -- are looking noticeably stressed. There are a lot less smiles on the streets. Metro carriages and buses -- usually filled with loud conversations and banter -- are almost completely silent. One can sense that something is definitely amiss, and the referendum result has not lifted the overall mood.

The capital control imposed recently by the Greek government, under which only 60 euros can be withdrawn daily from ATMs Eric Lichaj USA Jersey , is not a significant concern for Nikos.

"Sixty euros a day is 1800 euros a month, everybody spends much less than that -- even families," Nikos said.

A short distance away from the ATM from which Nikos was withdrawing money is a modern cafe, from which Jazz music was emanating. It was empty except for two customers sitting at an outdoor table.

Sarantis, the owner of the cafe, also voted "no" in the referendum. Originally from the town of Chania, Crete Edgar Castillo USA Jersey , Sarantis' family migrated to Athens 50 years ago.

"This 'no' is because the Greeks cannot hold up to so much pressure anymore -- the pressure has been pushing down on them for the last five to six years," Sarantis said.

The feeling of injustice is strong with Sarantis: He works up to 18 hours a day, and all his employees have been working there for more than 7 years.

Yet, for Sarantis and his five employees, the future is grim. He has been running the cafe for 9 years, however, Sarantis said the place is "nearing closure" due to the lack of customers and a heavy tax burden.

Sarantis has to pay 2 DeAndre Yedlin USA Jersey ,000 euros a month in electricity bills, and the taxes, including property taxes, eat up about 50 percent of his earnings. Previously, the cafe had another branch that closed two years ago -- the 23 percent value-added tax during the harsh rounds of austerity was the final blow.

"If I close down," Sarantis said, "where do they (the employees) go?"

To Sarantis Dax McCarty USA Jersey , the harsh measures Germany and the EU have proposed to Greece seem to be a repeat of history.

"When the Germans attacked (Crete) in World War II, they (the Greeks) fought. How can they vote 'yes' there where my grandfather was fighting -- without even guns -- to defend us against German paratroopers?" Sarantis said.

A few hundred meters away from Sarantis' cafe is the Aghia Paraskevi metro station, one of the newest in the metro system and perhaps a reminder of better times. Upon traveling down the escalator into the elegantly decorated but empty, marble-coated station with its fancy lighting, one notices that the coin slots on the ticket machines have been taped shut and the ticket offices have closed. Upon the ticket machines are signs that read: "Public transport is free until further notice." The decision to offer free public transportation was made to ease the burden on the public amid the capital control, but invariably raises the question of who will end up paying for the operation of the metro.

A 10-minute train ride away is the higher-income northern suburb of Kifisia. Kifisia boasts a lot of green and elegant 19th-century villas, and 63.92 percent of the population there voted in favor of "yes." Northwards of Kifisia is the even richer David Bingham USA Jersey , more exclusive Ekali area. Here, a staggering 84.62 percent voted "yes."

Christina, a resident of Ekali who voted "yes," felt "great sadness, anger and disappointment at her fellow Greeks" after the voting result came out.

"Although I am an optimist, I am very disappointed about the future," the art dealer told Xinhua. "As long as there is no obedience to the law and corruption remains among politicians and citizens Darlington Nagbe USA Jersey , there is not much I can hope for."

Christina, like many other relatively well-off Greeks, voted "yes" in the hope of staying in the eurozone. Upon a hypothetical "Grexit" associated with the "no" vote, high inflation rates and a newly-created Greek currency which will devalue rapidly could mean that the assets and wealth of the Greeks would be worth less and less.

Regardless of 'yes' or 'no,' Greece still faces crippling social issues, especially among the youth: Youth unemployment rates are still over 60 percent with no sign of decreasing soon. Such issues are present in the minds of Miranda and Evangeline, both students born in 1997.

As they turned 18 years old this year Danny Williams USA Jersey , this referendum signified the first time they have ever voted. For them, the future is hazy. "All we can do right now is to hope for the best," Miranda said.

Both Miranda and Evangeline aspire to pursue higher education in Britai


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