Greek honeymooners Valasia Limnioti and Konstantinos Patronis had been planning their trip to the U.S. for many years. However, their dream to visit the Big Apple quickly turned into a nightmare after capital controls were imposed on Greek banks and their credit and debit cards no longer provided them with enough money.
“We were hungry and I cried for two days. I felt homeless in New York,” Limnioti stated during an interview to NBC News.
After their wedding in Greece, the couple travelled to the U.S. for a long trip from Los Angeles to the Caribbean and eventually New York City. Thankfully, they had booked their flights and accommodation before leaving Greece, but they had been told that upon their arrival in the U.S. they should have a debit or credit card and make purchases using only those. Therefore, they were low on cash.
When their New York City hotel asked them to pay a surcharge, their cards bounced and they had to pay cash. In a matter of two days, they were left penniless without the ability to withdraw any money from their accounts.
When they became desperate, they contacted the local Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, which arranged for them to receive 350 dollars from Demetrios and St. Irene Chrysovalantou Greek Orthodox churches. Furthermore, a Greek journalist living in New York also provided an undisclosed amount to the couple.
Limnioti and her husband insisted they would pay the money back once they had access to their accounts but they were told it was a gift.
“Us Greeks are a proud people and I want the world to know that we are not in this situation because we are lazy or did something wrong,” she added.