Monday, December 19, 2011

Are you an ex-pat Brit in Spain?

If so, then you should take great solace from the fact that your Foreign Minister is on the ball and has foresight.  But that is about all you can take much solace in.  An article in the Mirror outlines deep concerns about what will happen to you if the Euro collapses.  It seems as though the Foreign Office has begun drawing up plans for at best illiquid and at worst destitute citizens who have their entire life savings frozen (if not wiped out) when the inevitable run on the Spanish banks starts with the currency collapse:

The drastic proposals emerged as a former Security Minister warned expats could be left stranded and destitute by the break-up of the single currency.
Brits who invested their savings in their adopted countries may not be able to withdraw cash and could even lose their homes if banks call in loans, worried ministers are warning.
The Foreign Office is preparing to bring them back from Spain and Portugal if the two countries are forced out of the euro, triggering a banking collapse

Since there are about a million ex-pat Brits in Spain (and another million total in the other Eurozone countries), the government is right to worry.  They may need to deal with all of the suddenly penniless people sleeping in airports or elsewhere with no access to money and no way to get home.  Planes, boats and quick cash loans are all being bandied about.  By the way, 10 Spanish banks were downgraded last week amid fears that the crisis had already spiralled out of control.

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