It's hard to imagine amid all the dire warnings but a feel-good story has come out of Greece.
Two days ago Australian website news.com.au ran pictures of an elderly Greek man slumped on the pavement outside a bank in Thessaloniki with what looked to a bank account book discarded beside him. He was openly weeping and security guards had to help him to his feet.
He became the face of Greece's economic tragedy for Australian audiences but the story pulled the heart strings of one reader in particular. James Koufos, a finance CEO based in Sydney, recognised him as Giorgos Chatzifotiadis, an old friend of the family, and decided he had to do something.
He put a call out on social media for help in tracking him down.
"I urge all my Facebook friends to please help us track this man even the journalists who wrote this or anyone out there who may have media ties please urgent! This man is a old school friend of my late father! Gap finance and I will pay this man's pension for 12 months plus!!! As long as it takes !! 170 euros a week? We will give him 250 euros! I will never allow to see a fellow Greek proud hardworking man starve!!"
Mr Koufos eventually tracked down Mr Chatzifotiadis and told the Daily Mail Australia that he was flying out to Greece to help him, promising to use his inheritance to pay Mr Chatzifotiadis' pension.
"Seeing those photos, it really hit me... I got very emotional. It's an amazing and rare chance to really help someone... we have been told exactly where he lives in the village. My mum (who still lives in Greece) got really emotional when she saw the story, so did I... it motivated me to do something."
Mr Koufos said he had received "about four or five thousand euros" from other people who had seen his post and wanted to help.
Europe hardens its stance against Greece
Mr Koufos's act of mercy comes as the European Central Bank tightened liquidity conditions for the Greek banking system following the landslide victory for the Leftist government in Sunday's referendum.
The central bank continued its freeze on the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) it provides the banking system at €89bn. But in a highly contentious move, opted to tighten the collateral rules it imposes on lenders to access the lifeline, intensifying the squeeze on the cash-starved banks, which are set to remain closed for another two days.
The ECB said the move was based on the deteriorating quality of the bank collateral, most of which is made up of Greek government bonds.
"The Governing Council decided today to adjust the haircuts on collateral accepted by the Bank of Greece for ELA," it said.
The drastic action came as Germany issued a humiliating ultimatum to Greece, warning that the country would be cast adrift and left to go bankrupt unless it agreed to much deeper concessions than anything offered so far.
Sigmar Gabriel, the German vice-chancellor, said the landslide rejection of EU austerity demands in the Greek referendum changed nothing, demanding that the Left-wing Syriza government must accept further belt-tightening without any prospect of debt relief if it wishes to remain in the eurozone.
"The final bankruptcy now appears imminent," he said. The Greek leaders have been told that they have a deadline of Tuesday afternoon to come up with far-reaching proposals.
The draconian terms followed Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras' move to rally five political parties behind a national unity declaration.
It called for "substantive talks" on debt relief, an investment blitz to fight mass unemployment and an immediate shot of liquidity for the country's banking system.
The show of unity marked the start of what increasingly looks like a national emergency government, though it may have come too late to prevent an implosion of the banking system and a rapid slide towards "Grexit" over coming days.
- With Daily Telegraph