Greek banks will remain closed until after a July 5 referendum on the terms it has been offered for receiving a fresh bailout from creditors.
After Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a national vote Friday, ATMs across Greece were mobbed until the government assigned a 60 Euro limit ($66) on withdrawals per day by individuals. Saturday Eurozone creditors refused to extend the existing bailout, with a 1.6 Euro billion ($1.78 billion) payment to the International Monetary Fund due this week. Sunday the European Central Bank refused to loan any additional funding to Greece through its Emergency Liquidity Assistance fund.
About 1 billion Euros ($1.1 billion) were withdrawn from Greek ATMs Saturday. Banks will stay closed until July 7.
The decision to begin the national bank holiday came during a meeting of Greece’s national financial stability council.
Rejection of “the Greek government’s request for a short extension of the (bailout) program was an unprecedented act by European standards…this decision led the ECB to limit the liquidity available to Greek banks and forced the Greek central bank to suggest a bank holiday and restrictions on bank withdrawals,” Tsipris said in a televised address Sunday.