20-05-2022 07:32 PM Jerusalem Timing

Greek Banks to Resume Transactions after ECB Extends Cash Lifeline

Greek Banks to Resume Transactions after ECB Extends Cash Lifeline

Greek banks will reopen Monday after the European Central Bank boosted emergency aid to the crisis-hit country and eurozone nations agreed to crucial short-term funding.

Greece PMGreek banks will reopen Monday after the European Central Bank boosted emergency aid to the crisis-hit country and eurozone nations agreed to crucial short-term funding, boosting hopes ahead of a key bailout vote in Germany.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said a vital cash lifeline to Greece's struggling lenders would be increased, while also throwing his weight behind calls International Monetary Fund for debt relief for Athens.

In response, the Greek government announced that banks would reopen on Monday for the first time in almost three weeks, although withdrawals would still be capped at 60 euros ($65) a day.

Athens shuttered banks and imposed capital controls at the end of last month, bringing the economy to a virtual standstill and forcing Greeks to queue for hours for cash.

"From Monday, citizens can go to the bank counters and make any kind of transaction," Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas told ERT public television late Thursday.

Meanwhile, eurozone ministers approved the launch of bailout talks after lawmakers in Athens grudgingly passed tough reforms to taxes, pensions and labor rules demanded by creditors in the early hours of Thursday morning.

"The Eurogroup welcomes the adoption by the Greek Parliament of all the commitments specified in the Euro Summit statement" reached in marathon talks last weekend, the eurozone's finance ministers said.

The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, also agreed in theory to grant Greece a three-month 7.0-billion-euro ($7.6 billion) bridging loan to keep its economy afloat until its new bailout is ratified.

The moves came as German lawmakers will on Friday interrupt their summer holiday to vote on granting the government a mandate to negotiate the details of the new aid package.