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Belfast flights to cash-strapped Greece are still in demand

By Amanda Ferguson

Northern Ireland holidaymakers aren't being put off going to Greece despite the country being in economic meltdown.

Greece and its islands remain one of the most popular destinations for sunseekers with regular flights from Belfast International Airport to Corfu, Crete and Rhodes.

It emerged yesterday that the country was keeping its banks closed today after international creditors refused to extend bailout conditions and savers queued to withdraw cash.

Cash machines are currently limited to €60 per day, however this applies to Greek-issued bank cards only.

But lighting designer and novelist Gary McElkerney (31), from north Belfast, said he was still looking forward to heading to the Greek island of Paros at the end of July.

However, the Foreign Office is urging tourists to have enough euros in cash to cover emergencies, any unforeseen circumstances and unexpected delays.

Gary said: "I am looking forward to my holiday.

"I think we will take cash or travellers cheques rather than using an ATM.

"I would be a bit worried about bringing all our money with us but I am sure it will be fine.

"We have a friend living out there every summer and she is pretty reassuring about everything that is happening. It is fine so far.

"What is happening in Greece is like everyone outside Northern Ireland thinking we are in a war zone, but then it is not as bad as it is portrayed."

A spokesman for the Greek consulate in Belfast said it assists people with business connections and travel issues.

There are approximately 150 Greeks, mainly students, living in Northern Ireland at the moment.

It is estimated around 300 people living in Northern Ireland own property in Greece, mainly on the islands.

Advice for those travelling to Greece: Should holidaymakers be anxious? 

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