Greek banks running out of cash as EU leaders meet
Officials on Monday announced that the banks would remain closed until Thursday, as the European Central Bank (ECB) slowly tightened a noose on its funding.
The daily withdrawal limits were to remain unchanged at 60 euros ($66) per account daily.
Al Jazeera’s John Psaropoulos, reporting from Athens, said Greek banks were now operating “under siege”, with one major Athens bank only able to keep its ATMs open on Monday after two major companies deposited their payrolls in cash.
“The banks are living day-to-day and hand-to-mouth,” Psaropoulos said.
“They believe they have enough to keep going today, possibly Thursday, but only under the capital controls (withdrawal limits).”
The ECB has maintained its emergency liquidity lifeline for Greek banks, however it raised charges on collateral the banks require to present for funds, effectively devaluing the banks’ assets and making them less able to borrow against their collateral.
“The situation is becoming financially worse, not just more politically difficult,” our correspondent said.
Greece last week defaulted on a $1.8bn repayment to the International Monetary Fund, and on Sunday, in a referendum, the Greek people voted to say “no” to Europe’s bailout deal.
Tsipras yesterday must persuade Europe’s other 18 leaders, many of who are exasperated after five years of the Greek crisis, to open rapid negotiations for a major new loan to rescue his country.
He spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the new proposals of yesterday’s hastily arranged emergency summit of the eurozone countries in Brussels.
Germany and France, whose economies together account for nearly half of the eurozone, on Monday asked Greece to make detailed proposals to revive bailout talks, a day after the referendum that decisively rejected creditors’ demands for further austerity.
Late on Monday, a Greek government source said that Tsipras had spoken to ECB chief Mario Draghi in efforts to reopen banks with assistance from the Frankfurt-based lender.