Worried about Grexit?

In spring 2015 the talk of Greece suddenly having to exit the Euro currency is increasing and the foreign press is of course painting dark scenarios for tourists who may be in the country during such an event.

A sudden exit from the Euro currency will certainly bring a lot of upheavals but these will be mainly for people who live and work in Greece.
Apart from the buzz that an exit would generate I think that the only thing that could truly affect tourists is that banks are very likely to be closed for a few days (most probably followed by capital controls). That will also mean that ATMSs will not work so cash withdrawals won’t be an option. In theory credit cards payments should still work but glitches could occur. Changing a currency is a huge operation!

So my advice is that if you come to Crete (and Greece in general) during these times of uncertainty make sure that you have some cash reserves with you. If you are concerned about carrying too much cash you can make sure that some of your expenses are paid in advance (your accommodation for example). And remember that Crete is still remarkably free of criminality so carrying more cash than you’d usually do should not pose any problems.

And another thing to keep in perspective: there have been talks about a Greek exit from the Euro for years now and it’s still not happened.

7 Responses to Worried about Grexit?

  1. PeterS says:

    Well, I think a Greek default (it has not to be a Grexit) will have many more consequences I am afraid. Already now the regional airports in Greece have great problems and Chania Airport is said to be one step before closing (http://www.chaniapost.eu/2015/05/14/chania-airport-one-step-before-closing/). A Greek default the next month (and actually nobody knows how the huge debt repayments to the IMF in June could be made) will of course affect tourists and tourism this summer in a dramatic way.

    • Jean says:

      I am sorry PeterS but if you believe an article such as this (actually your source is just a translation) you don’t understand the ways the Greek press works. Such articles are often published by lobbyists (in this case I think they were unionists from Athens) to achieve certain goals and often have little to do with reality.

  2. PeterS says:

    Easy for you to say, but how on earth shall we who are outside Greece get correct information then? I have emailed the Greek Tourism Office in my country several times, but they do not answer. After all holidays are costing us a lot of money.

    • Jean says:

      PeterS, this is the 7th comment you have made about how bad things COULD be in Greece in the near future. The first comment goes back to 2012. In the meantime the situation still has not changed for tourists here in Greece. In fact last year had more visitors than ever. They all found working ATMs, were not left stranded by strikes or economic collapses, their cameras were not stolen.
      But if you are so worried about how bad things COULD be, maybe it’s just better, for your peace of mind, to choose a holiday destination where you will feel safer.

  3. Paul says:

    Hi Jean. We were planning to retire to Crete at the end of this month (after many years of visiting the island for extended periods from our base in the Middle East, which we must leave in a couple of weeds). Obviously, the escalation of the crisis has caused us enormous worry. Our main concerns are whether there will be stable foods available in the villages and fuel on the island (to facilitate the transport of food to markets). It was reported internationally on Monday that half the petrol stations in Crete were empty – but there was never another mention of whether they got resupplied (and re-emptied?) or not.
    There have been stories of flour, sugar, lentils etc, selling out on the mainland and in the Cyclades, I can’t find information about Crete.
    We now have to decide whether to ship our stuff to the UK and stay there for a while until things become clearer or if it is sensible to move to Crete straight away.
    I realise that things are changing rapidly but we would be very grateful if you could give us your take on the situation as journalists tend to sensationalise.
    Regards
    Paul

    • Jean says:

      There was a bit of panic buying at petrol stations and many ran out before they got re-supplied (in the afternoon or the next day). Same for ATMs although now ATMS withdrawals are limited to 60 Euro per day per card if it is a Greek card. But that limit also means that they won’t run out of cash (if you have a foreign card and can make large withdrawals) I was shopping yesterday and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
      The foreign press is, as usual, doing a great job at painting a picture of chaos. Right now it is also assisted by the local press who want to promote insecurity and though it encourage a Yes vote.
      I would say that most tourists notice absolutely nothing.

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