Day 22 June 27th
The East Mediterranean Security Studies (EMSS) course is officially over but there is still a crisis on the rise. Tourism, including our own, is still affluent and obvious as we were bused around the island of Santorini with several other tourist from various places of the globe. There were many buses in the line traveling up to these little Greek volcanic island villages all in hopes to boost their economies. The narrow walkways were bustling with people who were shopping, sight-seeing, directing tours, doing deliveries, why even a mule was extending local commerce amongst the tight passageways. The prospect of economic suffering does not seem to be possible from this perspective.
There was ten of us at lunch that afternoon. And as we sat and engorged on the amazing Greek food for one of the last times; we watched Greek politicians in Parliament work through one of the toughest debates their country has seen to date. Lunch was over and we broke off into little groups
After a beautiful day of browsing though and finishing up some souvenir shopping in the unique Santorini shops I found myself running low on Euros. I trotted down the hill to where I had seen some visitor services and saw several ATM machines. I got in line and tried my debit card several times not understanding why it was not giving me money. Then I went on to the next ATM that too would have me circle through the whole process and without pay. I thought perhaps my accounting was off and I had mistakenly overspent. Another woman seemed to have the same trouble as me so I went into an exchange store to find a third ATM. Third time is a charm, well at least for me it was. The reality is the ATM machines were being emptied as soon into the weekend as even Saturday afternoon. It was the beginning of a possible bank run in Greece.
Throughout the Greek bailout period there has been a cap on Greek's allowance to withdrawal funds in order to avoid a bank run. However, the ATMs still run out of euros for travellers and locals alike and there is less and less chance of the ATMs being refilled in Greece's current state of affairs.