Sunscreen, mosquito repellant… and British contingency plans!
British Treasury officials have drawn up contingency plans to fly plane-loads of cash to British tourists to help those who get stranded if there is a financial meltdown and full-blown collapse of the Greek banking system. Banks are still closed in the country, but ATMs are still spitting out as much cash as tourists would like to withdraw, while the credit card system is also unaffected.
A gloomy statement by British chancellor of the exchequer (FinMin) George Osborne warned yesterday that there were ‘greater risks of shortages’ as a result of the crisis, hence there may be a problem in tourists who need medical supplies.
Around 2,000 British expats receiving pensions in Greece have been advised to open British bank accounts in case there is a freeze on their local accounts.
Asked to give details about his plan, Osborne said: “What I should say, without going into too much detail is, we do have a number of contingency plans and we just hope we don’t have to put them into operation.”
The finance minister said more consular staff have been sent to the Greek islands of Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Zakynthos so that the British embassy could be “prepared for whatever happens.”
“We need to be realistic: The prospects of a happy resolution of this crisis are sadly diminishing,” Osborne told Parliament.
- pack medicine
- take wads of money
- have a British bank account
- be aware that there may be strikes and protests to affect ferry boats and airports
- call 112/999 to access emergency services
May we add: Just stay calm and enjoy the surroundings; Europe and Europeans have been through much, much worse, with some pensioners having first-hand experience. In fact, there’s armed conflict in Europe’s eastern periphery (eastern Ukraine), while boatloads of people are trying to flee real wars in the Middle East and North Africa.