For residents of New York's "Little Athens," Greece's debt crisis hits close to home.
Signs written in Greek and blue and white flags pepper Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, but beneath the loyalty and pride on the streets of the Queens neighborhood, there's an uneasiness about Greece's future. If public sentiment here is any indication, Greeks are torn on what their country should do next.
"People can't go on like this anymore," said Maria Kyprianides, a 29-year-old Greek resident who has family in Greece. "It's like having a knife to your throat."
Ahead of a public referendum Sunday on the country's bailout, which could lead to Greece's exit from the euro zone, the Dow Jones industrial average closed Monday at its lowest point since February. In Greece, banks have been closed and citizens are only allowed to take out 60 euros per day, according to several residents and various news outlets. Strict controls have been put in place to monitor the flow of capital in and out of the country.
"I have money in Greek banks, but I don't feel like I need to take it out. It's a temporary problem, we are going to fix it," said Cleanthis Meimaroglou, a 69-year-old electrical engineer in Astoria who is from Greece.