Visitors travelling to Greece for a holiday should take ‘plenty of cash’, officials say. The German foreign office has issued a travel warning, advising tourists to Greece to sort their cash beforehand to avoid possible problems with local banks.
Some ATM lines in central Athens are up to 50-people long.
The UK foreign office has updated its travel guide today, advising that visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – could potentially become limited at short notice.
British nationals make around two million visits to Greece to every year.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited leaders from all the major German parties to a crisis meeting in Berlin on Monday to discuss the Greece crisis, reports Reuters.
On Friday, Ms Merkel accused Greece of taking “regressive” steps, warning that Berlin would not be “blackmailed” by the debtor’s demands, she told her MEP’s.
The German premier has become increasingly impatient over the long-running Greek saga.
“We have not made the necessary progress. In some areas one even gets the impression that we have moved backwards,” she said on Fridayfollowing another day of debt talks.
Ms Merkel had hoped for a solution by Sunday at the latest, to avoid markets spiralling into chaos on Monday morning.
Greece is currently formulating a response to the cash crisis facing its banks when they open on Monday.
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has remained tight-lipped about whether the government will introduce capital controls.
Economists have predicted that Monday will be a bank holiday in Greece, to relieve some of the stress on its banks before the referendum next week.
A decision is expected to come in tonight on what happens next, as discussions continue in the Greek government.
Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras said the bank would take all measures necessary to ensure financial stability for Greek citizens “in these difficult circumstances.”
The Greek Government is refusing to submit to pressure to shut down its banks as early as Monday morning as the country is days away from crashing out of the eurozone, reports The Telegraph‘s Mehreen Khan.
Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Twitter he was fundamentally opposed to carrying out draconian measures such as enforcing bank holidays and restricting access to cash.
His defiance is the latest show of brinkmanship by the Leftist government which is due to hold a referendum on accepting the austerity terms put forward by its lenders on July 5.
Mixed feelings towards Greek PM Alexis Tsipras’ hardnosed attitude to European officials, reports The Telegraph’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Colin Freeman, who is in Athens.
Costas Papadopolous, a 75-year-old pensioner attempting to withdraw money from an empty ATM, says he is for the euro “no matter what” and he believes the conditions set down by the eurozone creditors have been okay.
However, Lambros Stamoulis, an unemployed 29-year-old, says Europe has “lost its purpose” and it would be better for Greece to return to the national currency and leave the euro.
“[Europe] is trying to strangle Greece economically, and there is no way we can stand on our own two feet in the euro again.”
Despite previous reports the European Central Bank could pull the plug on any more funding to Greece, the ECB has said it will maintain its current funding level.
“Following the decision by the Greek authorities to hold a referendum and the non-prolongation of the EU adjustment programme for Greece, the Governing Council declared it will work closely with the Bank of Greece to maintain financial stability,” the ECB said in a statement.
Greece owes €1.52bn to the IMF in two days.
Read more: telegraph.co.uk