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Author Topic: Taking Currency for holiday  (Read 9960 times)

Offline John R

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Taking Currency for holiday
« on: April 28, 2015, 11:12:54 AM »
i have read today in the Telegraph financial pages that the Greek tourist board is advising all travellers to take with them adequate cash for at least five days in case ATM's are out of action if the financial crisis worsens. If there is a major crisis, ATM's may be the first to close down. I don't feel anyone should be reluctant to travel to Plakias - they need our support but just make sure one doesn't run out of cash.

I always take adequate cash anyway and I think that if there is a major crash in Greek finances while we are there then that cash will be very acceptable indeed wherever it is spent. I usually pay in advance via currency transfer for car hire but wonder about reverting to the norm of handing cash over to rep when collecting car. Unfortunately this would mean being met by the Autoway rep at airport rather than our current mutually convenient arrangement of finding the car ourselves in their car park. I could drive to their office in Rethymnon some time during holiday to pay them I suppose. They trust me and I once did just that. My fear would be a financial bank crash immediately after transferring funds with them not being accessible to the car hire firm.

Difficult times for the Greeks - lets do what we can for our Plakias friends.

John R

Offline Mike G

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2015, 01:16:00 PM »
A salutary warning John. For the first years of my Greek holidays (80s and early 90s) the worry was tensions with Turkey. Nowadays, as you say, it is worry that the financial situation will worsen or that Greece will leave the €, which many think is inevitable with Greek debt being so high.

Personally I never rely on the Plakias ATMs as there have been many posts over the years re. their unreliability.

I wonder if new drachmae have been printed in secret to be used if the worst happens.

Mike
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 01:29:17 PM by Mike G »

Offline Χαΐνης

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 09:30:32 AM »
Difficult times for the Greeks - lets do what we can for our Plakias friends.

If you really want to do what you can for our Plakias friends, then I suggest you avoid circulating such articles. Not only are these claims groundless, but they also do not reflect reality.

Offline John R

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2015, 10:45:16 AM »
Only repeating what the Greek tourist board advises. If one is not prepared to heed simple official advice then I suggest a holiday in Eastern Ukraine or similar might be interesting. I have absolutely zero worries about visiting Greece in the current climate but a few simple harmless cost free officially advised precautions may be worthwhile publicising so that fellow travellers may have a worry free holiday as always in Plakias.

John R
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 10:52:11 AM by John R »

Offline Χαΐνης

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2015, 06:03:49 PM »
Hi John R,
I wonder if this advice is official. To be honest, I do believe that the "advice" is not harmless. It can cause panic and fear and I don't think it's really needed.

Offline Stuart & Hilary

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2015, 08:05:50 PM »
"Only repeating what the Greek tourist board advises"

Thanks John  for the good advice. There is certainly plenty of information out there for people to read & judge. No way should we be looking to censor information. We were in Crete on Black Wednesday (1992) & extra cash would have been very helpful. Anyway we are off to Corfu this week and will be carrying more cash than usual.
Stuart.

Offline Χαΐνης

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2015, 09:09:18 PM »
Please, don't get me wrong. I didn't say that anyone should censor anything. But my advice to you is to be a bit more sceptical with what you read on the Internet.
Have fun in Corfu. I don't know about extra cash but you will definitely need some extra sunscreen. It's getting really hot here.

Offline Stuart & Hilary

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2015, 09:39:42 PM »
"But my advice to you is to be a bit more sceptical with what you read on the Internet."

I am sorry but I am not sure why you think I need to be more sceptical, or how you have come to that conclusion. There is a lot of information on the internet & in the national press, not to mention the regular updates on the world service. The advice from John seems pretty sensible especially as Greece is moving into unchartered waters. Hopefully the situation will become cleared as the summer moves on.
S.

Offline Χαΐνης

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2015, 09:31:11 AM »
You could also take a bulletproof jacket in case of a terrorist attack. That would be a sensible advice as well. Especially if you consider what has been happening in Europe during the last months.

No need to panic. Greece may be a poor country now but won't let you run out of cash. Enjoy your holidays!

Offline John R

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2015, 11:05:06 AM »
Hi John R,
I wonder if this advice is official. To be honest, I do believe that the "advice" is not harmless. It can cause panic and fear and I don't think it's really needed.

I really do find it incredible that the advice to take a bit of cash with you on holiday could cause panic or fear. Unlike your suggestion re bullet proof vest - that would be for Eastern Ukraine.

We are all aware of the Greek financial crisis (I would think) and my post advocates ignoring that crisis re any decision on holidaying in Plakias because with taking absolutely minimal basic precautions (carry a bit of cash) one need not worry whatever happens. Simple.

Offline John R

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2015, 11:15:50 AM »
Just done another hunt on the net and it is now very official advice for UK Foreign office as well :-

The UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office is advising travellers to take enough cash with them to cover expenses for three to five days if they are going to Greece.

John R

Offline John R

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2015, 01:57:48 PM »
Something else of importance that the Greek Govt is rushing to be law within weeks (?) which among other things means any transaction greater tha 70 euros must be paid by debit or credit card. I will copy below the info I have which is posted on the reliable Sfakia forum. Apologies if yet again I seem to be scaremongering but if you are aware of these things (if they happen) then you can easily enjoy your stay, as always in Plakias. :-

The government is rushing to implement tax reforms by the next Eurogroup meeting on May 11 so as to unlock bailout funds benchmarked for Greece. The omnibus bill to be presented by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday also includes decisions concerning “luxury” islands with increased taxes on the table. Specifically cards for all transactions over 70 euros will be enforced as well as a special 4-5% accomodation tax at hotels that have more than three stars.

23 islands expected to be included on the luxury list will see overnight tax hikes once the omnibus bill will go into affect. The islands to be affected are those with over 3,100 inhabitants. Visitors will pay 1-5 euros per night to stay here as well as an additional 6% for clothes, footwear, jewelry in addition to 3% taxes at bar restaurants and night clubs from April 1 to October 31, according to a report in Greek daily Ta Nea.

Offline Voloudakis

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2015, 02:28:40 PM »
Hmmm, I recognise a certain style of writing I think. Greek from Kokkino Chorio perhaps  ;)

Offline LESANDCHRIS

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2015, 03:08:12 PM »
Thanks for the welcome information John

Offline Χαΐνης

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Re: Taking Currency for holiday
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2015, 05:12:59 PM »
I suppose this is the official advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/money

Here's a related article: http://www.thetoc.gr/eng/food--travel/article/foreign-office-denies-changing-travel-advice-on-greece

I don't see how this advice relates to empty ATMs caused by crash or new drachmae being secretly printed.

Yes, the Ministry of Finance is planning to impose the measure with card payments to fight tax evasion. Let's hope this will prove fruitful for the government and convenient for the tourists.