Because of financial problems, Greece shut down banks. It is obvious that outgoing transactions also blocked. This caused serious problems for all cardholders. Just imagine, you are a tourist in one of the most developed countries of the world, but you have no money, because your country foolishly locked down your bank.
Today the Associated Press published an article titled «Honeymoon is over for Greek couple who went penniless in NYC». It says that, because of financial problems in Greece, the country shut down banks. However, it was difficult to suspect that they blocked credit cards. Perhaps this also applies to all non-cash transactions.
When I read this article was deeply impressed, for a moment imagined myself in their place. They came to the U.S. with the hope to have a good time, to visit tourist attractions and got into unpleasant situation. They had money on the account, but it was blocked because the country got financial issues. It seems to me that it is a very extreme challenge to be far away from home with the lack of money.
When they’ve realized that their credit cards are blocked, they decided to visit fast-food restaurant and spent all they had for a meal. Under the circumstances, it was a very hard decision. But somebody could ask, couldn’t they get money from their families? It is obvious that Greek banks also blocked outgoing transactions, which caused serious problems for all cardholders. Therefore, family members weren’t able to support them financially.
Interesting fact is that Greece is not some third world country, but it is a member of the European Union. But it is obviously, that the methods of their financial policy are very desperate. It’s probably because they used all financial help from Germany and other countries and didn’t put their economy on the right track. In addition, they probably do not care about their citizens and economic consequences of such action. Therefore, we should remember that not all countries that are considered economically developed, really know how to act during the crisis.
Would you like to be like this poor couple? Just imagine, you are a tourist in one of the most developed countries of the world, but you have no money, because your country foolishly locked down your bank. You barely know the language, and you need to do something, you need to look for help. This is a challenge not for everybody, but it teaches us a lesson that you need to be ready for all kind of weird, disagreeable circumstances.
What would you do if your linguistic skills were so limited that it was only enough to visit a souvenir shops and check in and checkout at the hotel? You feel the tension, right? But before the trip, you were convinced that your account balance is fine, but you check it out just to make sure. Your savings were there. This inspired you to great expectations about your future vacation or honeymoon (like in this case).
You were about to have a time of your life, but something was coming… It was like a hurricane that you didn’t expect or tornado that showed up earlier that was forecasted. It suddenly changes everything. In this case, someone the other part of the world has blocked your dream by locking down your bank account.
You have to survive somehow and return home. All of this sound like an example in a book published by some Academy of survival… For these tourists – it was real.
Common affords lead them to a solution. They’ve visited Greek embassy first, but it seems that they didn’t provide them with a help they needed. Therefore, another step they took is to visit the Greek Orthodox churches in Queens, New York where parishioners donate them money.
It remains unclear was it enough to stay in New York for a while or not. Another unknown detail, do they have tickets back home or not? But the most important question is it wise to return to the country with broken economy?