Banks reopen as Greece prepares to reboot economy

2015-07-20 06:24
People stand in a queue to use the ATM to withdraw cash at a bank in Athens. (Aris Messinis, AFP)

People stand in a queue to use the ATM to withdraw cash at a bank in Athens. (Aris Messinis, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Athens - Greek banks prepared to reopen Monday after a three-week shutdown, but capital controls remained largely in place while citizens also face widespread price hikes.

The shutdown is estimated to have cost the economy close to $3.3bn in market shortages and export disruption, with a block on money transfers to foreign banks and a ban on the opening of new accounts still active.

Greeks will be able to withdraw up to 420 euros at once-per-week, sparing people the ordeal of queuing daily at ATMs in the summer heat, which thousands did for just 60 euros per day.

The government is meanwhile expected to make a 4.2-billion euro payment on Monday to the European Central Bank (ECB), made possible by the granting of a short-term loan of 7.16 billion euros by the European Union on Friday.

The loan will also enable Athens to repay debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) outstanding since June.

Greece last week had to agree to a tough fiscal package to earn a three-year bailout from its international creditors and avoid crashing out of the eurozone.

Merkel’s red line

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday reiterated Berlin's tough stance ruling out debt forgiveness for Greece, but added that her government was open to more flexibility in Athens' repayment schedule.

Crisis-hit Greeks will now be taxed at 23%, up from 13%, on everything from sugar and cocoa to condoms, taxis and funerals.

To sweeten the pill, the tax on medicines, books and newspapers eases from 6.5% to 6.0%.

For the first time in months, technical teams representing the creditors - the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - are expected in Athens in the coming week to assess the state of the economy.

The austerity package caused a mutiny among lawmakers of the ruling radical Syriza party, forcing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to carry out a limited reshuffle on Friday.

Even so, most analysts and even government officials say early elections are now inevitable, and are likely to be held in September.

Read more on:    greece

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
17 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.