Greece Shuts Down Banks, Caps ATM Withdrawals Due to Crisis
The five-year financial crisis in Greece has taken a turn for the worse, with the government shutting down banks throughout the country until Monday, July 6. Many analysts are questioning whether Greece will remain part of the 19-nation group using the Euro currency, as well as being part of the European Union.
With many Greeks frantically turning to ATMs to get money for the next week, the government put a €60 daily limit in place for ATM withdrawals. But citizens are finding many ATMs are completely out of money while others are scheduled for a later opening this afternoon. Banks and credit cards from other countries can still be used at ATMs, but debit cards from Greek banks will have to abide by the withdrawal limit.
Greeks will be allowed to pay bills online and handle several other financial transactions through the Internet, but they cannot move money to accounts abroad. For emergency funds such as medical payments, Greece has set up a Banking Transactions Approval Committee to approve transactions on a case-by-case basis.
The shutdown is an effort to keep money inside the country in the hopes that creditors in Greece will offer financial concessions before the €7.2 billion bailout program expires Tuesday. Unless the banks can come together to pay the €1.6 billion International Monetary Fund debt repayment due tomorrow, the country may lose its ability to use the Euro currency.
France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, said, “We don’t know–none of us–the consequences of an exit from the eurozone, either on the political or economic front. We must do everything so that Greece stays in the Eurozone.”