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Calm Down Dear It’s Only A Plan

So we are all going to be evacuated from Spain when the Euro collapses and the Spanish banks wont let us Brits have our savings, and they want our homes back because they froze our bank accounts to stop panic driven mass withdrawals, so we couldn’t make the payments on the mortgage.

It is true I tell you. You may have read about the plans in the Times, Telegraph, Mirror etc, but I heard it first hand: from the Expat Pensioners Monday Morning Coffee Club. That they have yet to get one fact correct in their years as self appointed distributor of news should be ignored: if you aim at enough barn doors you will eventually hit one and sure enough this is the ‘one we are absolutely certain’ about.

You think I am kidding?

Christmas is now this Wednesday, New Year on Friday and on Monday the mass exodus begins, probably via Gibraltar to get a few bits and bobs for the journey.

It all started with the no doubt well intentioned announcement over the weekend that emergency evacuation plans for Brits living in Spain and Portugal are being drawn up amid fears of the euro collapsing.

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.

A million Brits live in Spain and 50,000 in neighbouring Portugal – plus a million in the other eurozone countries.

And Baroness Neville-Jones, who only stepped down as a minister in May, called the situation “very, very worrying”.

The Tory peer – who once chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee for MI5, MI6 and other security agencies – said: “Spain is clearly a vulnerable area. If that happens, one of the things that will happen in a crash of that kind, is that the banks would close their doors. You would find that there are people there, including our own citizens, a lot of them, who couldn’t get money out to live on. So you would have a destitution problem.”

Commenting on the evacuation plans, she added: “I think they are right to be doing that. I think this is a real contingency that they need to plan against – very, very worrying.”

Officials are braced for a nightmare scenario where thousands end up penniless and sleeping at airports with no means of getting home. Planes, ships and coaches could be sent, with some expats being brought out through Gibraltar.

The Foreign Office could offer small loans while piling pressure on the banks to give Brits access to their funds.

Spanish and Portuguese banks guarantee the first 100,000 euros deposited by savers but many put limits on withdrawals in a crisis.

A powerful credit rating agency downgraded 10 Spanish banks last week, while another warned over the weekend the debt crisis was threatening to spiral out of control.

I am sorry but I hazard a guess that until the reports at the weekend this was not an issue high on the expats lists of concerns: where to get Parsnips, Brussels and an Xmas pud maybe.

Now, well let’s just say I hear that the local bingo night is being replaced by an open meeting to discuss transportation plans for the evacuation, and a Plan B to meet up in the UK to celebrate the annual Burns Night celebrations.

You see that is the thing about plans. They are all very well and good, but best kept under wraps until they are required. As soon as you let people know you have a plan they start thinking, and worrying, and speculating and heavens forbid …. acting!

I have a plan ready just in case Kelly Brook pops round, but I haven’t shared it with anyone have I? In the unlikely event that she does happen to be passing I know exactly what to do and what will happen, and that is all that is required of a plan.

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  1. Chris, I have been entertained throughout the weekend, firstly by these loony reports in the papers and secondly by the mostly rabid response from readers. I did actually write a response to the Daily Mail but I note that it hasn’t been published on their website. Too calm and rational, perhaps? Keep up the good work!

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