Greeks on a shoestring

The economic recession, increasing taxes and slashed salaries and pensions have forced citizens to withdraw a significant part of their savings from banks, with European Central Bank data showing a new record drop in the account balance in Greece of almost 7 billion euros within one month: The September balance of 189.4 billion euros contracted to 182.5 billion last month, the worst showing for any European Union country.

Account losses from the start of the year amount to 33.1 billion euros, or 15.3 percent compared to the end of 2010.

At the same time Cyprus posted a marginal loss of 0.8 percent in the year to October and Italy recorded a 1.7 percent decline, while Portugal saw a 3.9 percent rise.