Should holidaymakers to Greece be worried about traveling to Greece?
The brinksmanship or to many the gamesmanship being shown at talks over Greek Debts and reforms has been dragging on for months with settlement seemingly no nearer. Unless settlement is agreed soon the chances of Greece exiting the Euro (Grexit) seem to be higher than ever. So if this were to happen how would this affect holidaymakers?
The first thing would be the nationalisation of the banks the introduction of a new currency and controls to prevent people taking money out of the country. New currency would not be introduced overnight, it will take an estimated eighteen months for the new drachma to be properly established, and during that time, the Euro would continue to be used as a parallel currency.
So even if holiday makers could still use the Euro, it would be almost certainly impossible to withdraw money from ATM’s, this has happened previously in 2013. Holidaymakers should take enough cash with them to ensure that they have all they need, keep the money in the hotel safe. If currency controls were introduced, this would potentially limit the amount of cash you could take out of the country. You would have to declare how much currency you are bringing into the country so that you can take it out again on departure.
The situation regarding credit cards is unknown, but Visa says that they regularly changes, adds or deletes currencies from its systems. When a country exits a currency, the system for processing payments is still in place while the new currency is added. However, shops, restaurants and hotels might still be reluctant to accept cards even if they still work.
One thing is fairly certain if Grexit did happen holidays to Greece would be cheaper, although not this summer, restaurants and tourist shops are likely to insist on being paid in euros in the short term. Booking are certainly down this year and this are still some good late deals available for peak summer weeks. Do remember, book a package with a tour operator rather than travel independently, they are duty bound legally to make sure you are looked after and that you get home safely and conveniently, if problems do suddenly arise.