Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 3 October 2016, 17:04 NZDT
  • Still current at: 20 August 2017

Some Risk

There is some risk to your security in Greece due to the potential for civil unrest and an underlying threat of terrorism and we advise caution.

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Civil unrest
Demonstrations in relation to economic and political developments occur frequently in Greece, often with little warning. Demonstrations primarily occur in Athens, particularly in Syntagma and Omonia Squares. In light of ongoing austerity measures and economic conditions in Greece, further demonstrations are possible. Although tourists have not been targeted in violence surrounding demonstrations, the potential remains for them to be caught up in violence directed at others.

New Zealanders should be aware that strikes occur regularly in Greece, and can cause disruption to public transport, including air travel, sea and rail transport and taxi services.

New Zealanders in Greece are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent. Police may use tear gas and/or water cannons to disperse demonstrations. You should monitor the media and adhere to any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities.

New Zealanders who find themselves in an area affected by demonstrations or violence should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or if this is not possible, find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice.

Terrorism
Terrorist groups, including those based in Syria and Iraq, have made threats to conduct attacks across Europe. There is also an ongoing threat of domestic terrorism, often targeting government buildings, police stations, banks and diplomatic and commercial interests. In the past, there have been a number of bomb attacks in urban areas, some of which have resulted in injuries. Further attacks are possible, and could occur anywhere at any time, including in places frequented by tourists.

New Zealanders in Greece are advised to be keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising a high degree of vigilance in public places.

Economic situation
The Greek government has imposed capital controls on banking services, including ATM withdrawal limits, however these do not currently apply to most major foreign bank cards.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Greece should be aware of the continuing possibility that available retail banking services throughout Greece, including access to cash from ATMs and credit card payment acceptance, may become limited at short notice.

We recommend making sure that you have multiple means of payment with you (including cash, debit cards, credit cards) and ensuring that you have enough cash to cover emergencies and any unexpected travel expenses.

Crime
Opportunistic petty crime like pickpocketing, bag snatching and passport theft is common in tourist areas and on public transport.  Tourists are often targeted on the metro and on the train to and from Athens Airport. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings.

General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Greece should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Greece are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Rome, Italy is accredited to Greece

Street Address Via Clitunno, 44, 00198 Rome, Italy Telephone +39 06 853 7501 Fax +39 06 440 2984 Email rome@nzembassy.it Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/italy Hours Mon- Fri 0830-1230 and 1330-1700

New Zealand Consulate-General Athens, Greece

Street Address 76 Kifissias Avenue, 11526, Ambelokipi, Athens, Greece Telephone +30 210 6924 136 Mobile +30 6932 730394 Fax +30 210 6924 821 Email costacot@yahoo.com

See our regional advice for Europe

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Italy

Street Address
Via Clitunno, 44, 00198 Rome, Italy

Telephone: +39 06 853 7501

Fax: +39 06 440 2984

Email: rome@nzembassy.it

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/italy

Hours: Mon- Fri 0830-1230 and 1330-1700

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