Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Banking Disruptions in Greece
June 28, 2015
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Greece of the possibility of disruptions to banking services – including credit-card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece in light of developments within the local economy. International and local media are reporting that banks will remain closed starting on Monday, June 29, 2015, and that capital controls may be imposed before they re-open. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry more than one means of payment (cash, debit cards, credit cards), and make sure to have enough cash on hand to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays.
The State Department recommends you maintain a high level of security awareness and avoid political rallies and demonstrations as instances of unrest can occur. Exercise caution and common sense: Avoid the areas of demonstrations, and if you find yourself too close to a demonstration, move in the opposite direction and seek shelter. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a website with information about anticipated demonstrations, rallies, and strikes. We encourage all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security. Exercise vigilance to protect against pickpocketing and secure valuables in hotel rooms when traveling. For additional information, please refer to “Travelers Checklist.”
U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Greece are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or nearest Consulate to contact them in the case of an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Athens. Regularly monitor the Department’s website where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Greece.
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. You can follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
You can contact the U.S. Embassy in Athens for general consular assistance and up-to-date information on conditions in Greece. The U.S. Embassy in Athens is located at 91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, except on Greek and U.S. official holidays and the last Wednesday of every month. The U.S. Embassy in Athens can be reached by e-mail, or by telephone at 210-720-2414, or 210-729-4444 for after-hours emergencies. If you are a U.S. citizen with an after-hours emergency, please call the U.S. Embassy in Athens at 210-729-4444.