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Greek banks: liquidity apprx €1bn – ATMs “full over weekend”

What has been rumored since the morning, takes a shape in the afternoon: that the cash reserves of Greek banks are shrinking. The rumor started when some pensioners could not withdraw €120 on Friday if they had withdrawn €60 via ATM the day before. The concern increased, when several debit cards holders were unable to withdraw money from the ATMs of a certain bank. “The ATM is broken,” “the bank is doing some changes,”, “you can withdraw money over the Saturday and Sunday” these vague explanations were what people heard and got alarmed and started calling around relatives and friends. Nobody knew what was going on, some suggested that the withdrawal “limit was to be lowered,” as the conservative party members of New Democracy have been heralding all through the week from television channels, radio stations and newspapers. For some the worst, the horror scenario was that the ATMs would run out of money.

After en extraordinary meeting between Finance Ministry top officials and bankers, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis told reporters that “ATMs will be full over the weekend.” He did not elaborate what will happen on Monday and if there will be still money in the ATMs but he assured that “there is no lowering of the €60 withdrawal cap.”

The top economists of the country had met on Friday afternoon to evaluate the stand of the banks’ cash reserves and to handle the crisis in the Greek banking system. Governor of Bank of Greece Yannis Stournaras was not present.

“The liquidity at the ATMs is secured until Monday,” a high ranking bank sector official told media under conditions of anonymity and he/she was cited also by state broadcaster ERT at 6 o’ clock news. The bank official said further after Sunday’s referendum a meeting at the European Central Bank will take place and this will be crucial for the decision as to when Greek banks can open again.

According to information leaked to the Greek press the cash reserves of the Greek banks amounted to approximately one billion euro.

During the capital controls since Monday – Friday, it was expected that cash withdrawal from ATMs would €600 million, however only €380 million left.

For pensions,  government officials had calculated that the outflow would reach €350 million. According to the Finance Ministry, only €80 million were paid to pensioners.

Through special approvals for capital export/medical expenditure €400 million left the banks, while expectations were €650 million.

The Greek government imposed capital controls and bank holiday on 29th June 2015. ATM withdrawal limit was put at €60 per day in form 3 x20 banknotes. However as of Wednesday afternoon, many ATMs was spitting only 50 euro banknotes. According to the media, the measure had lead to 20-euro banknotes shortage. More than 1,000 bank branches across the country were open Wednesday to Friday to allow pensioners without card to withdraw just part of their pension, no more than 120 euro.

According to Prime Minister, the government was obliged to impose capital controls when the Eurogroup of last Friday rejected the Greek request to extend the Greek program for a couple of days, i.e. until the Referendum, and consequently the European Central Bank ‘froze’ the Emergency Liquidity Assistance.

Some friends of mine (not SYRIZA supporters), said that the government had to impose capital controls “much earlier” as Greeks were flocking to the banks and the ATMS already two weeks before due to the uncertainty for the negotiations outcome.

Some other friends (SYRIZA supporters) told me a couple of minutes ago that the Finance Ministry and the government did not handle well the capital controls issue and that they should have a better plan and thus in advance.

An analyst on ERT TV said that the government should have impose the capital controls on Friday, right before or after the Referendum announcement.”

Now the question is: will bank sector employees go to work on Monday?

I guess, they they will know after the meeting between Bank of Greece and Greek banking sector officials on Sunday night, most probably after the Referendum results so around 8 – 9 pm. And if they go to the banks Monday morning, they will have to wait until the ECB decides whether the ELA will be increased or not.

If yes… ok. If not… well… the government may reveal its Plan B, if it has one.

PS I assume that this official-unofficial announcement today may be very decisive for the Referendum outcome.

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  1. “If yes… ok. If not… well… the government may reveal its Plan B, if it has one.”

    Hey, didn’t Tsipras and Varoufakis confirm they’d come home Monday evening from Brussels with a signed agreement in case there is a NO vote? So why worry? Everyone should vote “no” so that we know on Tuesday whether they were lying or making propaganda when saying that, or whether they are the geniuses they and many of their voters think they are.

    They are playing a very dangerous game. And of course it’s not a game, so you cannot go back to the start if the outcome is not as expected.

    For the sake of Greece, I hope that I am just a helpless victim of IMF and German propaganda.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      What propaganda? Syriza has no resources for propaganda. While ERT shows both sides the networks of the oligarchy – who threaten to close and fire thousands if the government still keeps on demanding that they please pay for their licenses – fed by the German Goebbels-media give close to nothing space for the NO-position and Mega posts an old South-African picture of a mugged granny.
      4 minutes to cover NO and 40 to cover YES:

      • 246 Greek economists supporting Yes does not count then? Because they are all stupid? Long live drachma!

        • Giaourti Giaourtaki

          As they don’t understand the question which is not “Grexit: yes/no” sure they must be stupid and all others too who don’t read between Schäuble’s lines: If he would get Greek slaves for government he would dictate them to “temporarily” leave the Eurozone.

          • Interestingly, the malakas Donald Tusk has announced that the referendum is NOT about exit from the eurozone. Why is this interesting? because unlike the other big malakas, Schultz, Tusk takes his instructions from the governments of the EU. He is an employee of the Council of Ministers, and will not give a personal opinion.

            So, now we know the official position: Grexit is not a possibility, at least as a deliberate choice. The EU does not want Greece to leave (for obvious reasons), even though they do want Syriza to leave office.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            be polite & creative when it comes to ‘swear’ at EU officials please.

          • SO what does happen/ what are your expectation towards a no?
            Giaourti rightly says it is not a grexit yes/no question, butwhat is the actual question decided here? Im having problems with that and seeing how i(like all of us here)consume more information on this then the vast majority of voters I dare say there are others struggeling with this too.

          • The question is simply this; do the Greek people agree to the certainty of having their country slowly asphixiated by the neo-libs in Europe, or would the Greek people rather take their chances and jump into the unknown and fight for their, and their childrens’ future. Many years ago the Irish government did not have the courtesy to ask the Ikrish people what they wanted, but said yes to everything on their behalf. Today, Ireland is being hailed as the poster boy of auterity success. Reality is different. Ireland has an increasing personal debt problem
            (because people are being forced to pay the banking debts), resulting in ever increasing arrears in mortgage payments and rapidly climbing repossessions of houses by the banks. In the second quarter of 2014, 1116 “primary” homes were repossesed. this figure is much higher today. Unemployment is kept around 450,000, not by creating jobs, but by increasingly exporting people. The abolishment of existing labour laws has resulted in schemes like “jobsbridge” which forces graduates to accept a job at 50Euro per week, or lose all benefits. Since 2011, the Irish national budget gets debated in the Bundestag BEFORE anybody in the Irish parliament ever gets to see it. ( Homelessness is on the increase, while over 500,000 brand new, never lived in houses, are standing empty around the country. The EU rethoric about the state of the country is, to say the least, wishful thinking. A personal experience includes ALL of my children having emigrated to the 4 corners of the world.
            the Greek people would do very well to say “Όχι” and stand up and fight.

          • Thank you for your honest answer.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Martin Schulz promotes openly another muppet government of technocrats and calls Tsipras again a demagogue


      Again, vote OXI !

  2. I was actually referring to the content of what your PM and FM said repeatedly: that they will sign an agreement on Monday if there’s a no. Except for those two guys and their believers, there seems to be nobody in the world sharing that opinion.

    Don’t understand me wrong. I’m very much in favor of referendums, when it’s clear what they are about and when they are timed properly. Why not hold it one month earlier?

    This referendum comes too late and at a time when it will likely increase the chaos, whatever the outcome is.

    And one thing should be clear:
    A “no to austerity” will not mean there is no austerity. The public debt does not disappear just because of a default (see the problems Argentinia has with some hedgefunds). A no will also not lead to a quick solution. Many believe, that it will cause Greece to leave the Euro, something that does not have to be bad. But they should be *saying* that and not try to get a vote from their people by telling stories. This referendum is NOT about austerity, as both outcomes will lead to more of it, unless a new agreement magically appears on Monday without any further reform conditions.

    Why not have a referendum on introducing another currency? Or a referendum on leaving the EU, like the Brits plan it. Is seems clear you personally want to get out of the EU asap, as all countries but Greece are run by criminals elected by people who all whatch the 100+ German language Propaganda Channels. So have a vote and let the people decide.

    But let’s stop these vain discussions here. On Sunday, there will be a vote and on Monday we should either see Tsipras and Varoufakis resigning OR signing a new austerity-free agreement with the creditors, according to their narrative.

    • The Bundestag will reconvene on the 7th of September. So it is highly unlikely there will be a third programme before that date.

    • The referendum is irrelevant. The only player in all of this that matters is Germany. This is the problem of the eurozone — not Greece.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Most German media translate their lies into English

  3. I actually wonder what all those Greek members of parliament were doing in the last 4 months if not preparing plans.

    I mean the situation does not came without warning and since then a few hundred politicians had thousands of work hours.

    So are they doing votes on something, but on what? Or are they writing statements all the time? Are they negotiating with other politicians or maybe people of the economy?

    I really would like to see their time schedules.


    The banks in Greece are run out of Frankfurt, not the Greek government. The head of the Bank of Greece, is none other than a member of Nea Democratia. Perhaps they are keeping the money reserves low so as to scare more people not to vote OXI.

    All the more reason to vote OXI !!!