Greeks brim with pride as country totters on the edge

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BY DEEPA BABINGTON AND KAROLINA TAGARIS

For over a fortnight, Europe’s single warning to Greece has been that the chaos and misery of national bankruptcy await it unless its new left-wing government changes its anti-austerity tune.

The message of impending doom appears to have gone largely unnoticed on the streets of Athens, where a mood of hope and optimism bordering on euphoria reigns as Greeks see themselves finally shaking off foreign shackles to shape their own destiny.

“Bankrupt but free” proclaimed a banner at a pro-government demonstration on Wednesday that drew thousands. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was isolated at Thursday’s crunch euro zone meeting in Brussels, but Greek TV channel Mega’s main news broadcast on Thursday gushed over him “stealing the show”.

“For the first time in years I feel proud to be Greek,” said Lena Dousiou, a 32-year-old who worked in a printing shop before being laid off two years ago. “We went to the Europeans with our head held high and told them ‘Enough is enough!'”

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