As talks between Greece and its creditors broke down over the past few days, a Greek financial meltdown has become a very scary and very real possibility.

Images from Greece show exactly how real the fears of the collapse were, with long lines at ATMs a recurring theme as people rushed to withdraw their savings. On Monday, Greece ordered banks shut for six business days while regulators imposed a limit of 60 euros ($67) on withdrawals, hoping to stem a run on the banks.

Greeks queue up to withdraw money amid worries the country could be forced to implement capital controls. (Reuters)

Even with the limit, many ATMs ran out of money.

Greece may default on its debts if a deal for more funding in exchange for fiscal reforms is not made. Here’s why that matters. (Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post)

And, despite the bank closures, some pensioners formed lines outside the banks in the hope that they might open.

"I don't have a card, I don't know what's going on. We don't even have enough money to buy bread," Anastasios Gevelidis, 74, told the Associated Press. He had arrived outside a bank in Thessaloniki at 4 a.m.

The chaos wasn't limited to the banks, either: Many retailers had decided to stop accepting credit card transactions by Monday.

There were also some signs of panic-buying at gas stations and supermarkets.

The Greek stock and bond markets also were closed Monday. They are due to be reopened next week.

All of this is happening in front of the world's reporters, many of whom have flown in to cover the crisis. "Savers are being mobbed by journalists from around the world looking for juicy quotes," Business Insider's Mike Bird reported from Athens on Monday.

Greece is due to hold a referendum on Sunday on whether the country should accept the tough austerity terms its creditors want. If the "no" vote wins, Greece may be forced to leave the euro zone, and some experts worry that the country could face a humanitarian crisis.

However, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was elected on an anti-austerity ticket, and his leftist Syriza party is campaigning for a "no" vote. There are signs in Greece that many support him.

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