The Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that the Philippine Embassy in Athens is ready to extend assistance to Filipinos there who may be affected by the country’s plummet to a debt crisis that has now apparently made a turn for the worse. Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said at a press briefing that DFA and the embassy staff in Athens are continuously monitoring the situation in Greece. The embassy has already met with the Filipino community leaders in Athens to advise then “to be prepared for any eventuality.” Banks in the country have been closed for a week after the European Central Bank refused an emergency loan that would infuse assistance into Greece’s deepening debt crisis. Jose said DFA is waiting for the “full extent [of the] results of [the] referendum.” “In any case, the embassy is prepared to extend any assistance [to Filipinos],” he added, referring to the government’s repatriation program. There are an estimated 61,500 Filipinos in Greece – 11,500 are land-based and 50,000 are seafarers.
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