Greek banks to re­open, with lim­its

SundayXtra - - WORLD -

ATHENS, Greece — Greek banks are re­open­ing Mon­day af­ter a forced three-week clo­sure, but re­stric­tions on cash with­drawals will re­main.

In a de­cree Satur­day, the Greek gov­ern­ment kept the daily cash with­drawal limit at US$65 but added a weekly limit. For ex­am­ple, a de­pos­i­tor who doesn’t with­draw cash on Mon­day can with­draw $US130 on Tues­day, and so on, up to US$455 a week.

Bank cus­tomers will still not be able to cash cheques, only de­posit them into their ac­counts, and will not be able to get cash abroad with their credit or cash cards, only make pur­chases. There are also re­stric­tions on open­ing new ac­counts or ac­ti­vat­ing dor­mant ones. The de­cree also pushes back by a month, to Aug. 26, the dead­line for fil­ing in­come tax re­turns.

The de­gree came on the same day as Greece’s coali­tion gov­ern­ment swore in its new, reshuf­fled cab­i­net. Five prom­i­nent dis­si­dents from the rad­i­cal-left Syriza party, the se­nior coali­tion party, were re­placed. Four of them had voted against an agree­ment with Greece’s cred­i­tors Thurs­day, and the fifth had re­signed be­fore the vote.

Greece closed its banks be­gin­ning June 29 to pre­vent a bank run af­ter the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank did not in­crease emer­gency fund­ing as Greece’s sec­ond bailout ex­pired.

Af­ter the Greek par­lia­ment passed an agree­ment Thurs­day to seek a third bailout and re­lated aus­ter­ity mea­sures de­manded by cred­i­tors, the ECB raised its emer­gency fund­ing to the cash-strapped Greek banks.

On Fri­day, Ger­man law­mak­ers voted 439-119 in favour of open­ing dis­cus­sions on Greece’s third bailout, and the EU de­cided to re­lease a short-term loan of US$7.75 bil­lion to help Greece pay back a loan due Mon­day to the ECB.


A Greek man holds a poster with a pic­ture of Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel wear­ing a swastika in Athens.

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