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traveling soon to Greece- Euro challenges?

Hello,
Greece is back in the news again re: their economic debt woes. Is anyone hearing anything about any immediate complications that tourists could face if there is a decision made while we are there? one person I have talked to speculated that Greeks could pull cash out of atm's making it hard to get money from that method. Any insights out there? thanks!

Posted by
1 posts

We just returned from Greece after a Rick Steves tour and an extra week in the islands. We never experienced any problems with getting cash from the ATMs both on the mainland and on the islands. Enjoy your trip of this lovely country and people. Enjoy the greek salads.

Posted by
4538 posts

Well such a thing happened in Cyprus in March 2013 - although Greek banks have been draining cash now for some time.

Posted by
1891 posts

Caroline, when are you traveling to Greece?

Since June 30 is the date the debt payment is due, it will be a key date.

News reports today, as you most likely also saw, are not encouraging. But, if Greece exits the euro zone, it would likely have larger implications for the country than problems with tourists being able get money (euros or other) out of ATMs.

If the negotiations are not resolved before June 30, and if you will (still) be traveling to Greece with a schedule that would have you in the country then, I'd probably wear an extra money belt with E1000 in 20/10s, as well as an equal amount of US dollars. Extreme? Well, there could (operative word....who knows?) be unusual issues with which to deal.

The Greek Tourism office in New York (Google) was especially helpful to us when we had a trip planned to Greece when the massive strikes were repeatedly in the news several years ago (including the truckers strike, which meant petrol, food, supplies, etc. were not moving), as we evaluated go/no-go for our trip a month or two later. That office had some good inside info on strike schedules and the general strike (scheduling) psychology of the Greeks. Greece was calm when we traveled.

One of the benefits of traveling is that one pays more attention to World News, not only when they are planning to visit a country, but years later after they have visited. We, for just a short period of time, get a glimpse that helps us, just a bit, to better understand the issues when we read/watch later.
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Posted by
2 posts

Thanks all for your responses. Yes it is always a unique experience to witness firsthand momentous events around the world. We will be interested to hear from the Greek people we meet how they are feeling about all of this. Thanks for the ideas and resources all! I'm sure it will be a fantastic and memorable journey. We leave later this week!

Posted by
3 posts

We just got back from Greece 2 days ago and had no trouble. Most places accepted credit cards and we had no trouble getting euros at ATM's. There were a few small shops that wanted only cash (euros) and not credit cards, but I suspect that is standard operating procedure for those small shops.

Posted by
853 posts

Most smaller businesses and hotels only accept cash in Greece. This has been going on for years. Larger establishments prefer cash but will accept credit cards. One should research things like this before taking a trip to another country.

Posted by
2525 posts

According to a report by Reuters, there's been a continuing significant run on withdrawing euro from ATMs with an estimated 500m - 600m taken out today. Over 1/3 of the ATMS in the country were empty for about an hour or two and until replenished. Will the European Central Bank continue to send large sums to maintain liquidity? I suppose so, but the situation is unsettled. If traveling to Greece soon, and the Grexit remains a possibility, I'd probably make sure I had fairly large amount of euro before entering the county.

Posted by
5663 posts

http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2015/06/27/greeks-rush-to-atms-to-withdraw-cash-as-pm-announces-referendum/

...At the same time the rumor and fearmongering machinery is spinning at highest speed. Everyone who has a Twitter- or Facebook-account feels obliged to claim from “empty ATMs” to “€400million left Greek ATMs at night” to “imminent capital controls.”

Panic is a bad adviser and there are some reports of queues at petrol stations. I saw some picture on the internet…
At the same time, some friends told me that they went to supermarket to be armed with rice, pasta, floor, cans, condense milk and frozen food items. Many wonder if the banks will open on Monday.
Of course, there are people who continue their lives as normal. You know, the kind of people who have 0 balance at the bank and cannot withdraw anything or buy food supplies…
PS Habemus ATM Run and unfortunately I don’t like neither rice nor pasta not frozen food.

Posted by
2619 posts

Do not add to this thread! on 6/15 Caroline said "leaving later this week" so she is already in Greece dealing with the Euro challenge!