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Posted July 9th, 2015 by Charles Purdy

How will the ongoing Greek situation affect your viewing trips this summer?

It’s been a regular topic at Smart Currency Exchange this year – the impact of political events on the currency markets. This month really is no different, with the ongoing situation in Greece continuing to spiral, havinga dramatic effect on the currency markets and political posturing in Europe – and further afield.

After a very volatile June, which began with the possibility of a deal being made and ended with Greece missing their first deadline, we expect this to continue as this month goes on. The ‘No’ result at last Sunday’s referendum is likely to ensure this carries on for the foreseeable future.

There are numerous effects from this that are likely to rebound on multiple audiences around the world; today I thought it would be a good idea to assess how this could affect you – especially those of you who will be heading out on viewing trips in Europe over the summer.

The biggest effect that the ongoing Greece talks will have on those visiting anywhere in the Eurozone over the coming months is the reflected effect that they have on the euro. Currently, while the talks languish, and more ‘negative’ news comes from the table (such as the result of Sunday’s referendum, and of course the missed payment deadline at the end of June), the single currency is weak – touching eight year lows against sterling. When the outlook seemed good at the beginning of last month, the euro soared – showing just how much of an effect the talks in Greece have on the currency rates (and equally just how much a strong sterling depends on a weakened euro).

If you are heading out on a viewing trip in Greece in particular, there will be even more of an effect. In the first instance, the experts at the Foreign Office suggest ensuring you have enough cash on you to cover your trip – the banks in Greece are closed, and the ATMs are limited to €60 transactions; these rules don’t actually cover those with foreign cards, but you still may find that ATMs are short on cash. Cards should work everywhere, but you may find places like restaurants only want to deal with cash.

In theory, the ongoing talks should not affect your trip – so you should be left to find your dream home in peace (and perhaps at a lower cost than you would have

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Posted June 12th, 2015 by Charles Purdy

Recovering Greek situation could be bad news for sterling

For the first five months of 2015, sterling has experienced exceptional strength – particularly against the euro. While this has in part been due to a strong UK economy and the re-election of David Cameron and the Conservative party (reflecting the currency markets’ desire for political consistency) a significant factor behind this has been due  Continue Reading…

Posted June 12th, 2015 by Charles Purdy

The cost of living in Europe

The strength of sterling in recent months has certainly had an effect on the cost of living in the UK compared to elsewhere in Europe. Our partner, the Overseas Guides Company (OGC) has surveyed the cost of everyday items that fill the average supermarket shop, including items like bread, milk, teabags, pasta, washing up liquid  Continue Reading…

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