Slaying Greek Myths

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Last Tuesday (15/05/2012) DialaFlight put out a completely fictitious ‘news’ story on their blog that Euro notes issued in Greece will become worthless if Greece left the single currency. As soon as we noticed the story, about mid morning on the 15th we started to point out that this was not true.

Later that day ABTA [the travel agents association] also started to try and stop the story and also the British Bankers Association also issued a statement. DialaFlight have since deleted the post from their blog.

Euro is a single currency

This story is actually becoming a bit of an ‘Urban Myth’ and has been going around for years, here is an example from June 2010 by Ian Cowie, financial editor of The Daily Telegraph  and even at that time this was highlighted as a hoax. As we and the spokesperson for the BBA [British Bankers Association] pointed out “‘There is no difference between Euros from different countries. They are worth the same from one end of the Eurozone to the other, regardless of where they are issued. The Euro is a single currency and worth the same whether French, German, Greek or Spanish.”

Don’t Panic!

The truth right now is that almost nothing is likely to happen until after the Greek elections on June 17th and even after that whatever actions are decided upon will take months to play out. As ABTA said “A euro is a euro regardless of where it is printed. If Greece were to leave the euro, nobody can predict 100 per cent accurately all the effects this might have, but it is safe to say that there would be a transition period when you would still be able to pay with Euros in bars and restaurants, as is common in many countries where currencies such as the euro or dollar are accepted in parallel to the local currency.” One commentator speculating on a Greek exit said that to go from the decision to exit to having a standalone Greek currency would take well into 2013 to accomplish. Whilst this is not good news for 24hr news channels that need new ‘news’ all day and all night it does mean there really is no need to panic buy or panic sell any Euro notes.

I will leave you with one particularly amusing comment from back in 2010 from southdevonsuzie…

I have a brilliant idea! Why don’t all the countries have easily recognisable markers on their currencies? For example: France could use the Franc, Ireland…possibly the Punt, Germany…well could be the Deuchmark, Italy …..mmmmmm, lets think…the Lira. Get my drift?

Posted by Peter Rudin-Burgess

Peter Rudin-Burgess

Peter is one of the founding partners for both Compare Holiday Money and Currency Buy Back. He regularly blogs on financial matters and writes content for a number of blogs in the travel industry.

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