On the inaugural day of the much-awaited holy grail of Europe - the ESM - DutchNews.nl reports that Dutch diplomats in Athens have been secretly planning for an eventual Greek exit from the eurozone (along four themes - liquidity, energy, communications, and security). "We have deliberately strictly kept this behind closed doors", a Dutch diplomat told Volkskrant, adding "I do not know who has trumpeted." Among the Dutch companies doing business in Greece are Heineken, Unilever, and Philips as one business owner note that they "send cash back to the Netherlands as soon as possible - holding as little money in Greece as possible." While the foreign affairs ministry would not confirm, the paper cites a diplomat who commented: "we do not want to awaken any sleeping giants." We suspect you just did - sshh!
Via Volkskrant (via Google Translate):
Netherlands Dutch companies in Greece began to prepare for a possible Greek departure from the euro. Dutch diplomats in Athens inventory of the risks, planned emergency measures and shared a few months ago in a confidential meeting with companies.
Preparations are sensitive because the Dutch government publicly stressed that Greece should remain in the eurozone. The Greek government is also annoyed speculation about a Greek exit from the eurozone, because the economic recovery more difficult.
"I do not know who has trumpeted," said a Dutch diplomat. "We have deliberately strictly behind closed doors done. We do not want to wake spirits that are not awakened to be made. " Diplomats organized the meeting because in the run-up to the Greek elections in June at Dutch companies growing unrest arose about a possible departure from the euro. During the meeting shared the companies themselves also information about their precautions.
The diplomat: "Everyone was willing to share information provided in strict confidence."
Uncertainty Fears of a Greek exit from the eurozone - 'in jargon grexit'- is the last month eased somewhat, because Greece is a government coalition the power that seem prepared to accept some of the cuts and reforms that are demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. But there remains much uncertainty.
Among the Dutch companies in Greece are multinationals such as Heineken, Unilever and Philips, but also smaller companies such as travel agencies and yacht brokers. Many companies have recently taken steps to limit the damage of a Greek exit from the eurozone limit. Thus, companies have adjusted their computer so they can quickly switch to a new currency. Or they have an appointment with the head office in case of emergency an employee with a suitcase of euros to Athens comes to workers' pay.
"We demand especially by our customers giving us much faster than before paying," said Tasos Zacharidis, manager of the Greek branch of the Dutch company Den Braven, specializing in adhesives, sealants and foams. 'Self we send our cash as soon as possible to the Netherlands. We ensure that we here in Greece as little money as possible. "
What advice the Dutch embassy to the companies has given is not entirely clear. The diplomats had initially hoped to build on what colleagues in Argentina prepared when that country in 2001 and 2002 financial crisis. But there was little they could find about. So went the diplomats themselves to work. They copied the emergency measures of the embassy, ??which covers such matters as earthquakes, and they thought themselves after.
So they came on four themes: liquidity, energy, communications and security. The editors of the Times, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested further information on the opinions and to disclosure of the relevant documents. According to the Department, no information can be provided, because the pieces' also security related aspects. "We never statements about safety," said a spokesman.