ABOVE: World markets tumbled this morning as Greece closed its banks in a last ditch effort to avoid a financial meltdown
In baseball parlance, going one for five is not necessarily a good day. In Greece these days, one for five — when it comes to bank machines — is a very good day.
Especially on the eve of an extended bank holiday and currency controls.
On Sunday, when I finally found a machine that was still spitting euros, I knew that I had knocked in some insurance runs. We’d probably have enough cash to get us to Friday and our flight back from Athens to Toronto.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
The day before, I pulled some euros out of an ATM in the village of Apeiranthos on the island of Naxos. It’s the village my grandparents left more than 100 years ago for a “better life” in Montreal.
The few hundred people who live there year round now have access to free WiFi. And a stocked bank machine.
On this island, you wouldn’t know Greece is in the midst of its deepest crisis in a couple of generations.
Ferries pull into the port several times a day, dropping locals and fresh batches of tourists eager to enjoy some of Europe’s finest beaches.
The only hint of concern came Sunday night, as word spread that the banks — but not cash machines — would be shut for six days. There were line-ups at the machines that still had money, but not the long lines that formed in Athens.
And definitely, no panic.
The only overt sign of politics was a sign on the waterfront urging Greeks to vote “no” next Sunday.
On Monday morning, we learned that the 60 euro ATM withdrawal limit would not apply to people whose cards were issued by foreign banks.
This afternoon, by the harbour, the only sign of difficulty was people having to fight the sun so they could read the ATM screens.