PAROIKIA, Greece — Like the throbbing of the cicadas in the cypress trees, an electric pulse of anxiety is scoring this otherwise unremarkable summer on the tourist island haven of Paros. Greek visitors sip their frothy iced coffees; foreign tourists play racquetball at the water’s edge; and the small merchants whose exertions fuel Greece’s middling economy serve ouzo on the rocks with their customary theatrics. Summer here is sacrosanct, a time when Greeks exercise their inalienable right to lazy lunches of tomato salad and deep-fried smelt. For a month or two, most people decamp to an island or their ancestral village, escaping the enervating responsibilities of everyday life — a ritual enjoyed by everyone from janitors and factory workers to ship owners and government ministers. The nation simply shuts down in July and August. This year, however, the sense of an impending economic disaster has injected a sour note: You can hear it in the once-crowded cafes, in the warnings about strikes that might disrupt travel, and in the foreboding with which restaurant owners bid farewell to longtime summer patrons by saying, “If we’re here next here!” rather than the traditional kali antamosi, “until we meet again.”
more from Thanassis Cambanis at The Boston Globe here.