It won’t have escaped anyone’s attention that as recently as last year, there was a little bit of public unrest in Greece. Thosedemonstrations and protests that were all over the news were primarily aimed at the Greek government’shugely unpopular austerity measures which it was required to accept in order to receive an EU bail-out for its faltering economy. Fast forward to present day and while the protests are not completely over and the economy is still slightly sluggish, it’s seemingly on the gradual road to recovery and there’s no cause for you to reconsider planning a trip to Greece for a holiday.
The Greek economy has not by any means suddenly become a stable European powerhouse, but plenty of articles, including this one by Bloomberg, do suggest that it is at least on the right path and that another crisis on a par with that of 2012 is not at all expected. There’s also been a lot of concern over the possible impact on holidaymakers should Greece opt to leave the Eurozone. It’s worth noting however that should this occur (and it is looking increasingly unlikely under the present government), it would take around 18 months for Drachma to be reintroduced and Euros would remain legal tender until it was.
Holiday Resorts a Safe Bet
Should the worst come to pass and Greece suffer any further economic downturn, peaceful protests may follow – but even then, these will be primarily centred around Athens as before. These protests won’t even come near to most holiday resorts, and these areas will be as open and welcoming to travellers as ever. These tourist hotspots rely on the tourism trade for commerce and the locals will be more than happy to receive your business. Even in central Athens itself, simple common sense can be applied and as long as you avoid the central square meeting point, you would have no cause for concern.
At present there are no travel restrictions in place from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) when it comes to visiting Greece. There are however a few sensible contingency plans it is worth following when you take your holiday. First off, as already mentioned, avoiding any protests or demonstrations is always a safe bet. Secondly, despite credit and debit cards still being readily accepted and the low limit on ATM withdrawals being for Greeks only, it is worth taking ample cash with you in advance of your journey just in case the worst comes to pass.
No Current Travel Restrictions
Also, just for further piece of mind, please remember that as long as the FCO continues to not impose travel warnings on Greece, travel insurance will continue to pay out if you experience any losses on your trip. Further travel advice can be found here.
Your Money Will Go Further!
While the daily struggles experienced by Greeks are nothing to trivialise, it remainsa fact that the economic crisis has driven prices down for tourists across the country. For Brits visiting Greece, value for money has never been higher with the poundbeing at its strongest against the Euro since 2008, which means your spending money will go that bit further.
On the whole, Greece is slowly recovering, and while it would be misleading to suggest that protests and strikes are definitely not going to happen, it’s certainly fair to say that the chance of these affecting your holiday are extremely slim. Just follow foreign office advice, take cash with you and avoid protests should they occur, and you can still enjoy a fantastic holiday. Soak in the sunshine, take in the beautiful beaches, marvel at the architecture and enjoy the warm welcome that Greece is renowned for. Despite the economic strife of recent years, the Greeks certainly haven’t lost their sense of hospitality.