Greece cash warning alarmist, says trade

Greece cash warning alarmist, says trade

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Warnings to holidaymakers to take cash to Greece this summer in case the country descends into financial meltdown have been dismissed as alarmist.

Talks in Europe on Greece’s bailout entered a critical phase this week as the country edged closer to default on its debt, prompting warnings about banks closing cash machines.

However, Abta and operators played down the concerns, pointing out advice on taking a mix of payment options has not changed for three years and was the same for other destinations.

Noel Josephides, Sunvil managing director and Abta chairman, said: “We advise all tourists visiting any destination to take a mix of credit card, cash and whatever. The Greek National Tourism Organisation and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) also advises people to take a mix, but the FCO advice appears [on its website] only in relation to Greece.

“Look at what happened in Cyprus [in 2012]. No one had a problem obtaining cash. No country that relies on tourism is going to make it impossible to withdraw cash.

“At Sunvil, we have not had any cancellations. There is no justification for cancellations.”

An Abta spokeswoman said the official FCO advice to Greece had been in place since December 2012.

Photis Lambrianides, commercial director of Olympic Holidays, said: “The press is making a mountain out of a molehill. EU negotiators want the Greek government to take its debt obligations seriously, but no one wants the country to exit the euro, and travellers should have no fears.”

Gary Anslow, sales director at Cosmos Holidays commented: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice for passengers travelling to Greece has remained unchanged since December 2012.

“In line with this and with Abta we are continuing to advise all customers to take a range of payment methods when travelling abroad.”


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