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Travellers to Greece are being advised to take euros in notes and coins in case an escalating debt crisis prompts the country’s banks to switch off their cash machines.
The country’s tourist board in London said that while it anticipated no immediate problems, visitors should avoid relying solely on credit cards or local ATMs, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Holidaymakers should take “enough money to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays”, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office added.
Travel experts recommended taking around three to five days’ worth of spending money in euros, alongside credit and debit cards.
Economists say that if the country is denied emergency funds to cover its summer debt repayments, Greece could opt to exit the euro.
The Greek National Tourism Organisation said: “We don’t anticipate any problems with the banking system in Greece – it’s very much business as usual.
“We would always advise any holidaymakers to take a mixture of cash, debit and credit cards as they would normally do when they travel to any country.”
Bob Atkinson, of Travelsupermarket.com, pointed to the Cyprus bailout in 2013, when banks limited withdrawals and some shops and restaurants were unable to take card payments.
“If you’re travelling to Greece in the next couple of weeks, keep an eye on the news, check the official travel advice and certainly take a mix of different payment options,” he said.
The Greek economy edged closer to default yesterday when European finance ministers ruled out a “big” bail-out similar to action taken in 2010 and 2012.
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