Visitors to Greece advised to take cash as banks shut

Visitors to Greece advised to take cash as banks shut

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Travellers to Greece are being urged to take extra cash with them as the country’s government confirmed that banks would be shut all week.

Only 40% of ATMs were reported to have money in them and withdrawals are being limited to €60 a day over the period, although the restriction will not apply to holders of foreign bank cards.

The Greek government banking decree came last night in the wake of the European Central Bank ruling out extending emergency funding as the country’s financial crisis deteriorated.

Greece risks default on its loans and moving closer to a possible exit from the 19-member Eurozone after talks over bailout terms ended without agreement.

A €1.6 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund F is due to be made tomorrow – the same day that its current bailout expires.

Greek consumers were queuing to withdraw money from cash machines over the weekend, leaving a number of ATMs dry.

However, the decree said that the cashpoints would “operate normally again by Monday noon at the latest”.

Abta said today: “At this time, there are no limits on cash withdrawals for tourists using cards at ATMs. However, there are mixed reports on availability of cash from ATMs.

“We advise holidaymakers and travellers heading out to Greece this summer to take enough Euros in cash to cover all of their needs.

“Please note, other payment methods such as credit and debit cards are accepted as normal in shops and restaurants.”

The association added: “We do not anticipate that there will be any need for tour operators to rebook their customers to a different destination.

“At present we have no indication that holidaymakers will be disrupted however, as with all destination matters, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with our members on any developments.

“This is an unusual situation but the industry is experienced in handling unusual situations.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an updated travel advisory: “Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice.

“Make sure you have enough euros in cash to cover emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays.”


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