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Greece latest: Banks to reopen on Monday, but with a €60 withdrawal limit

The EU has expressed its satisfaction with Greece as its parliament passes a sweeping austerity bill in advance of the country’s third bailout.

Greece Bailout Source: Thanassis Stavrakis/PA

Updated at 9.26 pm

GREEK BANKS WILL reopen on Monday, after three weeks of closure, it was confirmed tonight.

Customers will only be allowed to take out a maximum of €60 per day, but those limits are expect to be eased in the coming days and weeks.

Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas made the announcement this evening on state-run ERT television.

Banks were closed on 29 June, to prevent mass cash withdrawals from triggering their collapse.

The decision to reopen them was announced hours after the European Central Bank increased its emergency cash support to Greek lenders.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had earlier announced that the European Union had agreed on a short-term loan to help Greece cover its debts until mid-August.

Mardas said banks would likely to switch to a more relaxed weekly limit after reopening, instead of imposing a daily ATM withdrawal cap.

Meanwhile, political activists who are less than impressed with Greece’s acquiescence to a third bailout, are calling on people to boycott German products and brands.

The hashtag #BoycottGermany has been tweeted almost 33,000 times since Monday as disgruntled activists express their displeasure with how the Greek situation has been dealt with, most especially via the hard-ball tactics of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The idea behind the boycott has been for people to avoid products with barcodes that contain number sequences indicating German origin.

Unfortunately it seems that the codes being touted (any that begin with 401) only indicate the location of the parent company – not where a product was actually made. So a product being boycotted could have actually been made in Greece. Which sort of defeats the purpose.

One American anthropology professor David Graeber has called on the debts of Nazi Germany, which were cancelled in 1953, to be reinstated and paid in full.

Not everyone who is tweeting is necessarily fully supportive of the idea of a boycott however.

Meanwhile, this morning the EU said that last night’s Greek parliament vote satisfies the initial terms of a bailout deal between Athens and its creditors agreed at a 17-hour summit earlier this week.

“The authorities have legally implemented the first set of four measures agreed at the eurosummit in a timely and overall satisfactory manner,” EU spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt told reporters.

Parliament in Athens adopted overnight a set of sweeping reforms after radical left Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged them to back the unpopular measures, a condition to begin discussions for its new €86 billion bailout.

Europe Greece Bailout Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Alexis Tsipras at the emergency EU summit held in Brussels last Sunday Source: AP/Press Association Images

“The Greek parliament took an important step toward rebuilding trust with Greece’s international partners,” added Breidthardt, who represents the European Commission, the executive of the 28-nation EU.

Michel Reijns, spokesman for Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup of finance ministers representing the 19-country eurozone, said the group had finished a teleconference on Greece and would issue a statement later today.

The ministers were expected to discuss a three-month €7 billion bridging loan for Greece through an EU-wide crisis fund to hold Athens over until its new bailout is ratified.

Britain and the Czech Republic resisted the use of this fund, but European officials told AFP that a compromise was in the works and could be finalised tomorrow.

“We do think there are a number of solutions that could be found – our objective here is the principle that British taxpayers’ money should not be put on the line for a financial package for the eurozone,” a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Tsipras agreed on Monday to tough reforms after 17 hours of gruelling negotiations with fellow eurozone leaders in return for a third massive rescue programme in five years.

To rebuild the trust they said was lost during six months of bitter negotiations with the Tsipras government, the eurozone leaders urged him to immediately push through reforms on taxes and pensions before they agree to actually implement the new bailout deal.

Contains reporting by AFP and Associated Press.
Additional Reporting by Dan Mac Guill

Originally published: 4.15 pm 

Read: ‘Alexis, let me give you a piece of advice… ‘: Enda reveals what he told the Greek prime minister

Read: Limerick chairman hoping Greek financial crisis can help save his club from relegation

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