US embassy on stand-by to help Americans in Greece

People stand in a queue to use ATM machines to withdraw cash at a bank in Athens on June 27, 2015 (AFP Photo/Aris Messinis)

Vienna (AFP) - The US embassy in Athens is closely monitoring the situation in Greece and preparing to help any Americans facing difficulties amid the country's political and economic upheavals.

US ambassador in Greece has been in touch with "all of his colleagues so that we can try to have a coordinated plan," a senior US official told reporters travelling with Secretary of State John Kerry.

"We certainly have our embassy geared up to help Americans who find themselves in distress."

The crisis in Greece was raised during a "fulsome" discussion between Kerry and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Vienna late Sunday when they discussed "what it might mean, where things might be headed. What the consequences might be, and thinking through what else might be done."

European leaders Monday pleaded with Greek voters to back hotly disputed bailout proposals in a crunch referendum or face leaving the euro as bank closures left many in Greece scrambling to find cash.

Washington issued a travel advisory some weeks ago warning "that people should travel to Greece with more than one currency. And sort of give them a heads-up that they were coming into a difficult situation," the US official said.

US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande agreed in a telephone call Monday to work together to encourage a return to the negotiating table with Greece to solve its debt crisis.

Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner meanwhile told reporters in Washington that it was "important that all sides work to get back to a path that will allow Greece to resume reforms and return to growth within the Eurozone. And we believe this is in the best interests of Greece as well as Europe and the global economy."