Greece Initiates Bank Shut Down
In the wake of its failure to reach a deal with creditors, Greece is imposing capital controls by shutting down banks. This move also follows after the European Central Bank froze necessary funding to support banks in Greece, Reuters reports. The necessary move is meant to keep the Greek banking system from collapsing.
Reuters also learned that the banks throughout Greece will be closed until July 6. This will affect all credit institutions in the country, including branches of foreign banks. Moreover, Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis may choose to extend or cut the bank holiday period short.
For the moment, daily cash withdrawals are given a limit of €60, although the finance minister may also change the said withdrawal cap. At this time, there will be a special committee that shall approve banking transactions identified as necessary for public or social interest. This may include medical expenses or pharmaceutical imports. Furthermore, online transactions within Greece will be allowed, but any foreign transfer will be strictly prohibited.
Moreover, the said capital controls shall not affect pension payments. Interest surcharges on due payments shall also not be allowed throughout the bank holiday period. Furthermore, any bank found to be breaking the rules will reportedly be fined up to 10% of any transaction that violates the control measures.
In the midst of this, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted messages in an effort to assure Greek people that their money won’t be going anywhere.
Nonetheless, many Greeks have taken to the ATM to withdraw their money. A report by Reuters that was published in the Business Insider found that on Saturday, as much as one-third of ATM machines across Greece had ran out of cash.
Moreover, 2,000 out o 5,500 of these ATM machines ran out of Euro bank notes during the day. It was being replenished, although the process reportedly took about one to two hours per ATM, according to an unnamed bank source. This is reportedly what led to long ATM queues throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Sky News reports that the government has announced that tourists coming to Greece need not fear the said capital control measures as they can readily make withdrawals and other transactions so long as they are using a “credit card issued in their home country.”