The Weight of Capital Controls Is Fierce and Quick in Athens

And a plea for help from Europe

Fear and Frustration: Life Under Capital Controls

Hacking through hunks of lamb and stringing up thick pork sausages, the butchers at Athens's Central Market were some of the first to feel the force of capital controls. With fewer euros in their pockets, shoppers cut back on meat. Stallholders said their sales were half of normal levels. And they foresaw worse times ahead if Greece exits the euro.

Because most of their produce comes from France, the cost of buying euro-priced beef in drachma would be crippling.

"Please Europe people," one butcher says. "Help Greece. Help the Greek people."

Down the road, a pharmacist says there's been a rush of people stocking up on medication, worried it will run out. Another says the usual state funding, used to purchase prescription drugs, could be cut in half next week - if it comes at all.

And 20 minutes from the city center, in a residential suburb, a shopper holds up four bags straining under their own weight. He's been hoarding kilos of rice and pasta. "Just in case," he says.

What Are Capital Controls?

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