Britain warns tourists of shortages risk in Greece
Britain warned travellers to Greece that the situation there could "deteriorate rapidly" if no new debt deal was reached soon, instructing tourists to take medical supplies in case of shortages.
British Finance Minister George Osborne warned of growing risks in Greece as a flurry of meetings took place Monday after Greece's resounding rejection of fresh austerity measures in return for a new bailout in a Sunday referendum.
"If there is no signal from these meetings that Greece and the eurozone are ready to get around the table again, we can expect the financial situation in Greece to deteriorate rapidly," Osborne told parliament in London.
"As the economic crisis in Greece persists, there are greater risks of shortages...The risks are growing, so it is right that we remain vigilant and monitor the situation carefully."
Osborne said that extra staff had been sent to the British embassy in Athens, "to be prepared for whatever happens".
In addition, more consular staff were sent to the Greek islands of Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Zakynthos, where there are many British tourists.
Meanwhile, people living in Greece who receive a British state pension can now set up a British bank account, Osborne said.
The finance minister said the Department for Work and Pensions had spoken to 2,000 people to advise them on how to set up a British account.
"We need to be realistic: the prospects of a happy resolution of this crisis are sadly diminishing," Osborne told parliament.
Britain's foreign office updated its travel advice for the country, telling travellers to ensure they had sufficient medical supplies for their stay and for any unexpected delays.
"In recent days the media have reported a shortage of medical supplies in Greece," the advice read.
"Make sure you have sufficient medical supplies...adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation."
© 2015 AFP