Buy Euros in the US or Greece

Reply

Jun 20th, 2012, 06:34 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Buy Euros in the US or Greece

I hear ATMs are lacking Euros in Greece as everyone has been withdrawing their funds before the elections with expectation of economic downturn and local currency devaluation. So I was wondering whether it's a good idea to convert my cash while in the US instead of in Greece.

Any thoughts on this are appreciated.

Thanks
roadbus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 06:45 AM
  #2
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 73,515
Hi RB,

>...everyone has been withdrawing their funds before the elections with expectation of economic downturn and local currency devaluation.<

I was under the impression that the legal currency in Greece was the Euro.

If that is so, there isn't going to be a devaluation of the local currency.

I also believe that the Greeks held their election on Sunday.

Do you know of a new one?

ira is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 07:51 AM
  #3
twk
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,036
The elections in Greece this past weekend have not settled anything, and the OP's concern about runs on ATMs in Greece is not totally unfounded. If Greece is forced to leave the euro--which is still very much a possibility--then Greece will implement capital controls on accounts limiting withdrawals, and may even have to leave the Schengen zone in order to impose boarder controls restricting people from taking cash out of Greece. These are things that are actually being discussed by government officials as part of their contigency planning.

The situation over there is so fluid that there is really no good way to answer the question. If at all possible, it is best to rely upon ATMs rather than carrying large amounts of cash, but if you happend to get caught in a bank run in Greece--and a real run IS coming, it's just a question of time--then that could gum up your plans. If I was going in the next couple of weeks, I would only be slightly concerned about relying upon ATMs to get cash in Greece. Six weeks from now, or six months from now, who knows.
twk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 08:01 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Thank you for such an elaborate answer.
You hit the nail on the head about walking with serious cash in your pockets. I wouldn't mind bringing the Euros with me but there is that risk you want to avoid. So I guess I'll be doing a 50/50, bring some with me and hope to get some cash at the ATMs there.

My friends just flew into Greece, so I'll be hearing from them as well and post back if anyone one is interested.

Thanks again
roadbus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 08:50 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,304
twk

Nothing of what you write is true.
Greece had elections, and a new pro Euro government, the situation here is now VERY clear, Greece is NOT going to leave the eurozone and will continue having the Euro.

I also would like to know where OP has got the information that ATMs in Greece are lacking Euro, because everyone is withdrawing funds, which is also NOT true.

Unfortunately these posts, that have nothing to do with the reality and what's really going on in the country, make others believe that they are true and discourage people from traveling to Greece, based on these rumors.

I live in Athens and had NO problem getting money from ATMs during before and after the elections.
clausar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 09:05 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Thank you for your response, I am simply trying to clarify the rumors that I hear these days.
roadbus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 09:26 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,089
Timely request. I leave Friday and am on the way out to buy euros -- 4 days worth, just in case....

Roadbus, I'd like to hear your friends advice.
Jackie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 09:49 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 21,465
Greece had elections, and a new pro Euro government, the situation here is now VERY clear, Greece is NOT going to leave the eurozone and will continue having the Euro.

We'll see. The government only has about a month of cash left. If Merkel continues to pander to the German public and does not allow the EU to act in a concerted and dramatic fashion, there is a real near-term risk that Greece may have no choice but to leave.

The Greeks (narrowly) elected a pro-euro government in the hopes that the rest of the EU will come to their senses and bail them out. I am far from certain that Merkel has the intestinal fortitude to do what must be done. Until she does, Greece will be under constant and significant pressure that may force a euro exit.

The current government is just a band aid, elected under the promise that they can renegotiate the terms of their bailout. If they fail, then the only smart play for Greece will be to leave the euro, lest they face crippling austerity measures that will further exacerbate what may already be a depression.

I also would like to know where OP has got the information that ATMs in Greece are lacking Euro, because everyone is withdrawing funds, which is also NOT true.

While the ATMs may have enough cash, Greeks ARE withdrawing funds from banks at rates of up to EUR 700m per week. During 2011, Greek banks lost something like 15% of deposits. Frankly, Greek citizens would be crazy to hold large amounts of funds in Greek bank accounts.

Pretending there is not a crisis of confidence in Greek banks is unhelpful.
travelgourmet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 10:39 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,304
travelgourmet
Have been reading these theories two years now, and i am tired of it....
Greece still is in the eurozone, no matter what Cassandras are saying.
Merkel has to deal not only with Greece but with the entire European South, since all these countries are sitting in the same boat.

As for withdrawing funs from the banks, this is partially true but for a different reason, people were in many cases obliged to do it, in order to cover the much higher expenses of new taxes, higher cost of living etc.
Btw after the elections, there has been an increase of funds returning to the Greek banks. ( certainly not from the average Greek, who is patient and tried not to touch his money at the bank)
clausar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 10:40 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,759
Yes, but a tourist doesn;t have a bunch of money in a Greek bank. Why not use credit cards wherever possible? No csh involved. Work with any currency. And just take euros for a couple of days?
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 10:41 AM
  #11
twk
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,036
Ditto everything travelgourmet said. While Greece is the immediate flashpoint, the problems that members of the single currency are seeing right now are predictable--in fact, they were predicted when the euro formed. Can't really have a currency union without a political union, or at least a banking union. It's OK when everything is going well across the entire euro zone, but when you get divergence like we're seeing now, with the Greeks in a virtual depression while Germany is experiencing good times, it's very difficult to hold that together with a single currency.

What's happening in Greece right now has been described as a "jog" rather than a bank run. Greeks are taking money out of Greek bank accounts and, where they can, depositing those funds in other countries. It's the only prudent thing to do, given curren circumstances. If that is all that is going on when you're in Greece, it shouldn't affect ATMs. However, if Greece's departure from the euro looks imminent (whether true or not), that will turn into a full scale bank run overnight. Hard to say when that would happen, or even if, but if I were going to Greece, I'd carry a little extra cash in reserve, just in case.
twk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 10:44 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,980
Sorry, but these rumours have been going around for the last two or three years. None of my friends who live in Greece, and I have several, are reporting ATMs running out of money. Even if they were, you could still get cash over the counter inside the bank, showing your debit card and passport.

Tourists are bringing money into Greece, not taking it out, and no one will want to prevent that. I think it would be wise to bring a little more cash in € or $ than usual, but no more than you are comfortable carrying around. Then make withdrawals in sensible amounts before your wallet is empty.

Frankly, Greek citizens would be crazy to hold large amounts of funds in Greek bank accounts.

They would be even crazier to put large amounts of cash under their mattresses. ;-)
Heimdall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 11:01 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 21,465
Have been reading these theories two years now, and i am tired of it....

I think we are all tired of the inaction of the EU in addressing what is a very real crisis. Unfortunately, that doesn't make the problem go away.

Merkel has to deal not only with Greece but with the entire European South, since all these countries are sitting in the same boat.

Merkel SHOULD deal with it. The question is whether she will. A quick look at the most recent Spanish debt auction suggests that there is limited confidence that European "leaders" will, you know, lead and do what needs to be done.

Tourists are bringing money into Greece

Not at nearly the same rate they used to, which is not helping matters in the country.
travelgourmet is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 11:21 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,304
travelgourmet

taking a look at an older post of yours, i read :

<< So, now we have Italian bonds trading at junk status. Greece is done. We have the Germans continuing to pretend that they have no skin in the game. I say the euro collapses by March 2012>>

Did the Euro collapse? No...
clausar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 11:28 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,980
LOL! What you put on the Internet stays there forever!

I don't think the OP was asking for a lesson in economics. ;-)
Heimdall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 11:33 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 392
" ... If Merkel continues to pander to the German public and does not allow the EU to act in a concerted and dramatic fashion,..." - travelgourmet

That's rich. Expecting German taxpayers to keep paying ever higher taxes, maybe even increasing their present 66 yr old retirement age, so their money can be shipped off to Greece to bail-out their profligate Govt and Govt labor unions.
tom_h is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 12:48 PM
  #17
twk
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,036
I guess there are some folks with a vested interest in the Greek travel industry who hate to see anyone talk about what is happening to the euro for fear that it will hurt business. That's understandable, but the OP had a legit question and I think it was responsibly answered--carry a little extra cash reserve just in case.

I wouldn't allow the turmoil over the euro to keep me from taking a Greek vacation. Heck, it might be kind of intersting to be over there if they actually do make the announcement that they are leaving the euro. Greek bank accounts might be frozen for a day or two, but tourist accounts won't, and as long as the credit card machines work at hotels and restaurants, it shouldn't be a great inconvenience for tourists--certainly less disruptive than a volcano or an earthuake.
twk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 01:09 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,304
No twk, i am living in Greek and i simply don't like reading all these posts from people who have no idea of what is happening in this country.
Reading a few newspapers and watching CNN or any other TV channel, doesn't make a financial expert out of a poster.

To write that it would be interesting to be in Greece while it leaves the Euro, is a proof of how serious such posts should be taken.
clausar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 01:14 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,980
Twk, I agree with the comments on your latest post. I don't think anyone who regularly posts on Fodor's has "a vested interest in the Greek travel industry" though (I certainly don't), or they would have been exposed as an advertiser long ago. Indeed, some have, and we no longer see them on this board. ;-)
Heimdall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2012, 01:43 PM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Hello all, I didn't finish reading all of the responses for which I am thankful. My friends just flew into Athens last night and I just got an email from them saying if it wasn't for the news they wouldn't know anything was happening. Everything is calm and ATMs are working fine.
roadbus is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:16 PM.