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Shadow over Greek holiday isle

Friday, July 03, 2015 - 01:52

Businesses on the idyllic Greek holiday island of Naxos fear the consequences of the debt crisis. Paul Chapman reports.

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The idyllic Greek island of Naxos is a summer sunshine playground for foreign tourists and mainland Greeks alike. But the country's debt crisis is casting an ever-darkening shadow over the island's businesses. Capital controls have closed banks and limited people to ATM withdrawals of just 60 euros a day. Gift shop owner Nikos Fragiskos says that's already causing big problems. (SOUNDBITE)(English) NIKOS FRAGISKOS, GIFT SHOP OWNER, SAYING: Nobody and pay nobody. We have very big problem to bring stuff from Athens. We want to pay the providers, we have the money, but we can't find a way how to pay them so we can't have the things we want to sell." A fall in tourist numbers is adding to the Island's gloom. The vice-president of the Naxos Hoteliers Association says many Greek tourists are waiting for the outcome of Sunday's referendum on an international bailout. (SOUNDBITE)(English) VAGGELIS KATSARAS, HOTEL MANAGER AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF NAXOS HOTELIERS' ASSOCIATION, SAYING: "Most of the cancellations are from Greek people, they are more on 'what is it going to be?' And some other Greeks that have already booked, they are on standby to wait for Sunday." Some foreign tourists say they're worried by the uncertainty but it's much worse for the Greek people. (SOUNDBITE)(English) IRENE, SWISS TOURIST, SAYING: "I worry for the people here. What will come for the next weeks and months. It's not a good situation at the moment, I think, really not." With Sunday's crunch referendum fast approaching campaigns both for and against the international bailout proposals are in full swing. Naxos, like the rest of the nation, will be waiting anxiously for the result. In Greece small and medium sized firms account for about four fifths of jobs...a quarter of workers are already unemployed.

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Shadow over Greek holiday isle

Friday, July 03, 2015 - 01:52