In a land of ancient myths, modern Greeks have created some of their own about their near-bankrupt country’s future as an integral part of a Europe that will never kick them out.
Solemn warnings from abroad that Athens cannot stay in the euro while rejecting the terms of its international bailout are widely disbelieved.
However bad their prospects, many Greeks seem to think that since money to bail them out was found in the past, it will be found again, whatever politicians say.
Nor do they believe that Europe will simply cast them loose, despite growing signs that Greece is heading for the exit from the single currency and towards the economic and social catastrophe that would follow.
“There’s a lot of money in this country, they just need to tax the rich and it would solve so many problems,” said seamstress Argiro Maniati, 55.
Working furiously at her sewing machine surrounded by tall piles of mended clothes her customers can’t afford to collect, Maniati fully embraces the myth that Greece’s membership of the euro can never die.
Like many Greeks who punished mainstream parties in a fruitless May 6 election that has brought Greece to the edge of a political abyss, she thinks politicians have exaggerated the threat of euro expulsion to scare up votes for failed policies.