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UK Govt warn EU riots likely

Sat 26th Nov 2011

Foreign Office officials are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the crisis.

The UK Treasury has already confirmed that contingency plans have been made, and a senior minister has now disclosed the extent of the government's concern, saying Britain is planning on the basis that a euro collapse is just a matter of time.

"It's in our interests that they keep playing for time because that gives us more time to prepare," one MP told The Daily Telegraph.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office instructions to embassies and consulates are requesting that diplomats put plans in place for a currency collapse that could leave Britons unable to access bank accounts or even withdraw cash, and facing scenarios such as rioting and social unrest.

Greece has already seen outbreaks of civil disorder as it struggles with huge debts.

British officials say similar scenes cannot be ruled out in other nations if the euro collapses.

The EU treaties that created the euro contain no provision for members to leave, and if eurozone governments defaulted on debts, European banks that held their bonds face collapse. Some analysts say such an event would risk the collapse of the entire financial system, leaving banks unable to return money to retail depositors and destroying companies dependent on bank credit.

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