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Greek Banks Reopen But Withdrawal Restrictions Remain


Greek banks reopened on July 20 after a three-week closure aimed at preventing panic withdrawals.

However, restrictions on transactions and cash withdrawals remain in place.

In a decree published on July 18, the Greek government created a weekly withdrawal limit of 420 euros ($455), replacing the existing 60 euro ($65) daily withdrawal limit.

Meanwhile, many consumer goods become more expensive on July 20 due to an increase from 13 percent to 23 percent of the Value Added Tax.

The VAT tax hike is part of the first set of austerity measures imposed on Greece by European creditors as a precondition for starting talks on a financial bailout plan.

Greece closed its banks on June 29 after its second bailout expired and the European Central Bank (ECB) did not increase emergency funding.

Meanwhile, the European Council announced on July 20 that a 7.16-billion-euro (7.68-billion-dollar) bridging loan has been disbursed to Greece, allowing the country to repay pressing debts to the ECB and the International Monetary Fund.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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