(20 Jul 2015) RESTRICTION SUMMARY: AP CLIENTS ONLY
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Athens – 20 July 2015
1. Pan right of pensioners waiting in front bank to open
2. Close of bank sign
3. Pensioners queuing in front of bank
4. Pensioners and other people entering and exiting bank
5. Close of pensioners queuing
6. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Giorgos Athanasopoulos, pensioner:
“From the moment pensions will be cut, things will simply be tougher.”
(Reporter question: Will this influence your day to day life?)
“Of course it will since there is no rise in pensions at all, and there is a rise in prices and in food. It will be a tough situation.”
7. People entering and exiting bank
8. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Dimitris Kalopoulos, pensioner:
“I see that things for Greece are very tough as there is a political system and a government that wants to implement measures that the government itself doesn’t agree with. This in my opinion is very tough, and it (the government) is adding pressure to the opposition to vote for measures, that the government itself is not agreeing nor voting for, this is a dead end, a political dead end.”
9. Various of pensioners and people entering and exiting bank
10. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Andreas Chrisavas, pensioner:
“I haven’t gone anywhere, throughout the whole summer, because this (capital controls) came as a big surprise which we were not prepared at all for. I had 20 euros in my pocket when this happened. They said that today we would be able to withdraw 400 euros, but I could only withdraw 60, they just told us we can withdraw 60 each day, or wait until Friday, to withdraw 400 euros, but they did not make that clear in their announcement, they didn’t say “don’t go to the bank today, wait until Friday to get the full amount”. We are once more withdrawing only 60 euros a day, or we will have to wait until Friday for the full amount. This is very tiring for everybody.”
11. Various of Syntagma square with parliament building in background
Greeks finally saw their banks reopen at 8 a.m. local (0500 GMT) on Monday, but many restrictions on transactions, including cash withdrawals, remain.
Many goods and services will also become more expensive as a result of a rise in Value Added Tax approved by Parliament last Thursday, among the first batch of austerity measures demanded by Greece’s creditors.
The parliament also agreed to deep reforms in the pension system including a gradual phasing out of all early retirement options.
In a decree published Saturday, the Greek government kept the daily cash withdrawal limit at 60 euros (65 US dollars) but added a weekly limit.
Bank customers will still not be able to cash cheques, only deposit them into their accounts, and will not be able to get cash abroad with their credit or cash cards, only make purchases.
There are also restrictions on opening new accounts or activating dormant ones.
Greece closed its banks beginning June 29 to prevent a bank run after the European Central Bank did not increase emergency funding as Greece’s second bailout expired.
After the Greek Parliament passed an agreement Thursday to seek a third bailout, the ECB raised its emergency funding to the cash-strapped Greek banks.
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