Greece travel advice Q&A: Tourists urged to bring cash not cards on holiday

Same would presumptively be true of students abroad in Greece for the summer.**DB

“Greece travel advice Q&A: Tourists urged to bring cash not cards on holiday”

by Kiran Moodley via “Independent.co.uk”

The Foreign Office has advised British tourists travelling to Greece to avoid relying on cards and that cash will be the best form of currency as the country enters a week of political and economic uncertainty.

Greece is close to a financial collapse with the stock exchange closed and banks shut all week after the European Central Bank (ECB) said that further credit to the nation was being refused after the eurozone rejected the latest bailout extension pleas from Greek politicians.

With new proposals put forward by creditors, the Greek people will go to the polls on Sunday to have their say on whether they agree with the latest round of austerity proposals. Having already overwhelmingly backed the anti-austerity, ultra left party Syriza in January, the future of Greece’s place in the eurozone looks uncertain.

The Foreign Office has advised British tourists travelling to Greece to avoid relying on cards and that cash will be the best form of currency as the country enters a week of political and economic uncertainty.

Greece is close to a financial collapse with the stock exchange closed and banks shut all week after the European Central Bank (ECB) said that further credit to the nation was being refused after the eurozone rejected the latest bailout extension pleas from Greek politicians.

With new proposals put forward by creditors, the Greek people will go to the polls on Sunday to have their say on whether they agree with the latest round of austerity proposals. Having already overwhelmingly backed the anti-austerity, ultra left party Syriza in January, the future of Greece’s place in the eurozone looks uncertain.

The ECB has said it will not extend emergency funding to Greece, thus forcing all banks to close this week with the government saying it needing to protect their liquidity. Currently, people can only withdraw up to €60 (£42) a day this week. The administration of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must pay €1.6bn to the IMF on Tuesday. That is also the day when the country’s current bailout package expires, with the new austerity proposal offered by the eurozone yet to be agreed upon by Greece, after the government said it had to take the matter to the people in a referendum on 5 July.

What has the Foreign Office said?

The latest advice reads: “Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice. Make sure you have enough Euros in cash to cover emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays.”

What does this mean for holidaymakers?

The €60 restriction on withdrawals does not apply to people who hold bank cards from outside of Greece, but still, the main warning is that it may be difficult to find a reliable, working ATM. . . .

What’s the problem?

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See the Beautiful Reason This Woman’s Study Abroad Photo Is Going Viral

“See the Beautiful Reason This Woman’s Study Abroad Photo Is Going Viral”

by Caitlin Scott via “Cosmopolitan

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This photo of University of Montana senior Gabrielle Broere has been viewed over 1 million times, and for good reason.

Broere was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that causes physical disability, when she was just 1 year old. With crutches, Broere is able to walk short distances, but according to The Montana Kaimin, she often uses a wheelchair to get around.

Although her disability poses challenges each day, she didn’t let it stop her from missing out on important experiences in her life, like studying abroad in Greece.

“I wasn’t really sure how people were going to react to me and how helpful they would be and if I was going to get left behind,” she tells Montana Kaimin. Broere had previously been to Peru for a 10-day trip, and knew how difficult it can be to access historical sites as a disabled person.

When she visited the Aegean Sea, Broere was unable to push her wheelchair through the sand. And, without shoes and leg braces, her feet would have been unable to bear the necessary weight. So her friends decided to picked her up and carry her across the rocky beach so that she could experience the sea. One of them snapped the inspiring photo above.

Broere describes the experience as “surreal,” saying,  “I was in complete awe of where I was and what was happening.” . . .

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‘Brain drain’ sets in at Greek universities as thousands study abroad

“‘Brain drain’ sets in at Greek universities as thousands study abroad”

by Lisa Brüßler via “DW”

More and more Greeks are moving to Germany to complete their university studies in the hope of improving their chances in the job market. Radical cuts continue to threaten the quality of teaching in Greece.

University of Leipzig

When Alexia Papaioannou decided to begin her studies in Germany, there was an outcry in Greece. “The best of the best emigrate,” said the Greek newspaper “Kathimerini.” From Athens, 18-year-old Alexia achieved the highest score in Greece’s nationwide university entrance exam, has now been studying law in Heidelberg for a year.

Despite the quality of degrees in their homeland, an increasing number of Greek students are moving abroad to study. In Germany alone, between 2012 and 2013, the number of Greek students rose by 13 percent. In 2012, Germany’s Federal Statistical Office totaled almost 6,000 Greek students, of which more than 1,100 had directly begun their studies in Germany.

Too little money for Greek universities

Greek student in Germany Elena Apostolaki

From Corfu to Bonn: Elena Apostolaki now studies in Germany

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Foreign Languages and Translation at the University of Ionischen in Corfu, Elena Apostolaki decided to no longer study in Greece. She successfully applied to study a Master’s degree in North American Studies in English at the University of Bonn.

“For me the ‘brain drain’ is only half of the truth, because many of my friends have stayed in Greece and are struggling,” said Apostolaki.

“My goal is to get a Ph.D. position in Berlin, to work a few years in Germany and then go back again.” But the 27-year-old said she was unsure whether the Greek job market will ease in the coming years. According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate in the crisis-torn country currently stands at 27 percent.

“For the past four to five years, young Greeks have been studying abroad earlier and earlier, in the hope that they’ll find work faster and easier afterwards. My children are also in Germany,” said sociology professor Skevos Papaioannou. . . . .

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