You can’t believe all that you read in the press, even the “serious” newspapers are guilty of scaremongering. Yesterday I picked up the story about plans for the evacuation of ex pats from Spain and Portugal in the Daily Telegraph. The same story had been apparently run in the Sunday Times.
One of our neighbours, who is out of the country at the moment, has pointed me in the direction of a web site called Typically Spanish. On that site they tell us that a British Embassy spokesperson in Madrid said:
“All British Embassies regularly update contingency planning for all sorts of scenarios, including natural disasters and internal political unrest.
“There is no Spain (or Portugal) contingency plan for a euro-based evacuation, nor do we have any intention of preparing one. It is fanciful to imagine that a major evacuation of British nationals would either be necessary or feasible.”
That makes more sense than the notion that the British Government are considering chartering ships, planes and coaches to evacuate the whole ex pat population of Spain. If the banks were allowed to collapse then it would not just be the accounts of ex pats that were frozen, all accounts of Spaniards and other nationalities would be frozen as well. The whole country would need to be evacuated or at least given assistance.
I’m not sure what the motives of the stories in the Sunday Times and Telegraph are but if people gave them credibility there would be a panic run on banks with people withdrawing their funds just as they did with Northern Rock Building Society. If that were to happen it would cause a collapse of the banks in Spain.