Tuesday

14th Jul 2020

Greek banks reopen with capital controls still in place

  • Greeks can now withdraw €420 a week. (Photo: Eric Maurice)

Greek banks reopened Monday (20 July) after three weeks of closure but capital controls remained in place with a limit on weekly withdrawals.

The country's 2,500 bank branches will start providing basic services again, such as paying cheques and opening accounts for salaries.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

People will be able to withdraw €420 a week, in one go if they want, instead of the €60 a day since capital controls were imposed on 28 June.

Money transfers abroad are still forbidden, except to pay for medical services and studies.

The Athens stock exchange will remain shut until the banking and financial sector regain some stability.

"Capital controls and restrictions on withdrawals will remain in place but we are entering a new stage which we all hope will be one of normality," the head of Greece's banking association, Louka Katseli, said on Skai TV channel.

Katseli also called on the Greeks to bring their deposits back to the banks to "strengthen the liquidity of the economy".

According to Kathimerini newspaper, the closing of the banks as well as capital controls cost Greece €3 billion in lost exports and commodity. The calculation does not include tourism, a key sector for the Greek economy.

Greek authorities were able to ease the restrictions after the European Central Bank (ECB) decided on Thursday (16 July) to increase the level of liquidity available to Greek banks by €900 million.

Greece's financial short-term situation also improved after EU countries agreed on Friday (17 July) to lend Greece €7.16 billion through the EFSM rescue fund.

The loan will allow Greece to repay a €4.2 billion debt to the ECB and €2 billion to the International Monetary Fund on Monday.

The liquidity assistance freeze and capital controls were decided after Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum on austerity measures asked for by Greece's creditors.

Following a deal on a new bailout in exchange for reforms and budget cuts, Tsipras reshuffled his government on Friday (17 July) to replace critics of the agreement.

All cabinet members of Syriza's Left Platform left the government, including their leader, energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.

Tsipras also appointed a special anti-corruption committee, chaired by Panagiotis Nikoloudis.

Greece to get €7bn loan on Monday

EU member states agreed on the modalities of a short-term financing which will allow Greece to repays its debt to the IMF and ECB.

Germany approves talks on new Greek bailout

The Bundestag Friday voted to open negotiations for a third aid programme for Greece but the number of rebel centre-right MPs voting No grew from 29 in February to 60.

Greece to vote on second set of reforms

The Greek government has submitted new reforms on banks and the justice system to parliament, ahead of a vote Wednesday, as required by creditors.

Tsipras survives second EU bailout rebellion

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras faced down a second rebellion from his governing Syriza party on Thursday morning, moving the country another step closer to obtaining an €86 billion EU bailout package.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan politician accuses Spanish state of espionage
  2. EU ministers clash with Turkey over Hagia Sophia and drilling
  3. Study: EU recovery package falls short on green investment
  4. WHO: no return to normal for foreseeable future
  5. Macron wants a stronger EU in the Mediterranean
  6. Croatia opens for US tourists, defying EU ban
  7. Poll: only 61% of Germans would get Covid-19 vaccine
  8. UK to spend €788m on new UK-EU border control system

EU forecasts deeper recession, amid recovery funds row

The economies of France, Italy and Spain will contract more then 10-percent this year, according to the latest forecast by the EU executive, as it urges member state governments to strike a deal on the budget and recovery package.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. EU prepares response to China over Hong Kong
  2. EU to keep corporate sponsorship of presidencies
  3. 'Passengers' became 'lenders' to airlines hit by pandemic
  4. Green NGOs demand EU dumps controversial energy treaty
  5. EU Parliament considers streamlining rule-of-law tools
  6. Italy has a responsibility, too
  7. Poland's EU-battles to continue as Duda wins tight vote
  8. EU 'in-person' summit plus key data privacy ruling This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us