Greeks say "we have a strong voice" despite financial uncertainty

ATHENS -- On Sunday, Greek voters said "no" to foreign creditors who demanded strict belt tightening in return for more loans. It was a win for national pride but, in victory, Greeks now confront banks critically short of money and a government can't pay its debts.

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Roula Antonopoulou, a Greek pensioner, supported the "no" vote in Sunday's referendum.
CBS News

Greece is on the edge of a financial abyss, but last night there were celebrations after Greek voters rejected the demands of international creditors.

One of them was Roula Antonopoulou, a pensioner.

"At last we can stand up and say here we are, we have a strong voice, and you're going to listen to what we have to say too," she said.

In exchange for an extended $8 billion bailout, Greece's foreign creditors wanted the country to live within its means by increasing taxes and cutting pensions and public spending.

By rejecting those terms, some Greeks fear their country faces financial catastrophe.

Dr. Giannaros Theo voted "yes" to the extended bailout.

He runs Hope Hospital in Athens, where they can no longer get credit to buy meat and dairy products for their patients and believes the same could happen with medicine and equipment.

"Everyone is worried about this danger, that we are going to run out of money and then we cannot function, we cannot operate," he said.

Greece has already been bailed out twice in the last five years, with loans of over $250 billion. But its economy is in dire straits -- unemployment's at over 25 percent.

The "no" vote's a victory for Greece's radical left wing prime minister Alexis Tsipras. He says it'll strengthen his hand in negotiations -- and accuses foreign creditors of blackmailing Greece.

But Greece's creditors -- chiefly Germany and France -- could decide they've had enough, allow Greece to default on its loans and forcing it out of the single European currency.

That would serve as a cautionary lesson to other struggling European countries -- but it would leave Greece bankrupt.