It might be hard to believe as the crisis heads towards a climax, but there is another – previously more familiar – face to Greece.
On the island of Mykonos tourists are still enjoying holidays in idyllic surroundings and relatively protected from the restrictions imposed on Greeks.
Capital controls don’t apply for foreign cash cards, although some visitors are taking out plenty of money in advance.
“Actually, we weren’t really afraid, but we did take some measures as a precaution. On the cruise ship, there are ATMs, so we took cash out to be able to pay in shops where credit cards might not be accepted,” said Venezuelan tourist Laura Leon.
But with Greeks limited to withdrawing 60 euros a day from machines, some stores are asking to be paid in cash, so that they in turn can pay suppliers who need banknotes and coins to survive.
“We are asking people to give us more change, so we don’t run out of change for the week, until the banks are opened, but they are all very kind and they are cooperating and until now we didn’t have a problem,” said souvenir shop seller Nadina Takoussis.
Life for tourists seems to be going on as normal, for now. Many say they are fully aware of the plight of their hosts in the tourist industry – and the impact Sunday’s referendum might have on their lives, and those of future visitors.
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