Cash limits remain as Greek banks reopen


Greek banks are poised to reopen after a forced three-week closure – but restrictions on cash withdrawals remain.

In a decree on Saturday, the Greek government kept the daily cash withdrawal limit at €60 but added a weekly limit. That means a depositor who does not withdraw cash today can withdraw €120 tomorrow, and so on, up to €420 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 and can only make purchases. There are also restrictions on opening new accounts or activating dormant ones.

The decree also pushes back by a month, to August 26, the deadline for filing income tax returns.

The order 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 on Thursday and the fifth had resigned before the vote.

Greece closed its banks from 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 on 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 MPs voted 439-119 in favour of opening discussions on Greece’s third bailout and the EU decided to release a short-term loan of €7.16bn to help Greece pay back a loan due today to the ECB.

The Greek parliament will vote on further austerity measures on Wednesday.

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