Greece’s banks may need an injection of fresh emergency funds to operate on Monday as people rushed to pull out money after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a referendum that could decide his country’s fate in the euro.
Two senior Greek retail bank executives said as many as 500 of the country’s more than 7000 ATMs had run out of cash as of Saturday morning, and that some lenders may not be able to open on Monday unless there was an emergency liquidity injection from the Bank of Greece. An official with Greece’s Capital Markets Commission, the markets’ regulator, also warned that the Athens Stock Exchange may be unable to operate on Monday without a cash injection into the banking system. A Greek central bank spokesman said it was making efforts to supply money.
The European Central Bank’s governing council was expected to hold a conference call on Sunday to review the banks’ liquidity condition, said a Greek official, who asked not to be named in line with policy. The Frankfurt-based central bank said in a Twitter post that it’s closely monitoring developments and would review the situation “in due course”.
Some banks were placing limits in daily cash transactions. Yiota Kardogianni, a manager at a branch of Piraeus Bank SA, said cash withdrawals were limited at 3000 euros ($4375) daily and ATM withdrawals at 600 euros. Alpha Bank AE had set a daily limit of 5000 euros for most of its branches since last week.
“I’m here to take my mother’s pension out before the machine runs out of cash,” said Erato Spyropoulou, who was standing in a line of about eight people at one of National Bank of Greece SA’s ATMs. “It’s very worrying what’s happening because people don’t know what they’re being asked to vote for. It’s the last nail in Greece’s coffin.”
Full article: Greeks drain ATMs as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calls referendum to decide country’s fate (The Age)