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Greek debt crisis: Banks reopen amid tax rise

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Image 0Greek banks are reopening after being closed for three weeks because of the deadlock over the country's debt, as the government initiates repayment of its loans to the ECB and IMF.

Athens reached a cash-for-reforms deal aimed at avoiding a debt default and an exit from the eurozone.

But many restrictions remain and Greeks also face price rises with an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

Germany has said it may consider further debt concessions to Greece.

Greece has begun making a €4.2bn ($4.6bn) payment due to the European Central Bank (ECB) on Monday, as well as €2.05bn due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Queues at ATMs have been a feature of life in Greece for weeks, with people waiting in line each day to withdraw a maximum of €60 (£41) a day, a restriction imposed amid fears of a run on banks.

From Monday, the daily limit becomes a weekly one, capped at €420 (£291), meaning Greeks will not have to queue every day.

An architect told the BBC that the banks re-opening will make only a small difference to his ability to operate:

"The key challenge is that we cannot pay our suppliers, which means that we will eventually run out of products to sell," Vassilis Masselos told the BBC World Service's Newsday programme.

Source: bbc

July 20 2015, 16:10

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