Greek banks to reopen Monday but capital controls remain

A security worker brings money to a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece on July 17, 2015.
A security worker brings money to a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece on July 17, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

ATHENS (AFP) - Greek banks will reopen on Monday after a three-week closure and withdrawal limits have been relaxed, but capital controls remain in place, a government decree said on Saturday.

The decree sets a new cumulative weekly withdrawal limit of 420 euros (S$623.17), with the daily limit remaining at 60 euros.

To facilitate Greeks studying abroad the decree permits the electronic transfer of up to 5,000 euros per trimester.

Meanwhile, people receiving health treatment abroad will be able to access up to 2,000 euros in cash.

A broad range of capital controls still remain in place, however, including a block on capital transfers and a ban on the opening of new accounts and addition of new depositors to existing accounts.

The decree also enables the Bank of Greece to restrict the amount of euros or other currency carried in cash out of Greece.

New sales tax rates that were agreed between Greece and its international creditors in return for a three-year bailout last week will also come into effect on Monday.

The bank closure was enacted on June 29, after the radical government of Mr Alexis Tsipras called a referendum on lenders' austerity demands that Greeks rejected by over 61 per cent.

The three-week shutdown has cost the country's struggling economy some 3.0 billion euros not counting lost tourism revenue, Kathimerini daily estimated on Saturday.