Greek captial controls: what are they?

Main points of the Tsipras, Pavlopoulos decree that came into operation this morning

Greek prime minister Alex Tsipras published a decree in the official government gazette setting out the capital controls to be imposed on the country on Monday morning.

The decree, entitled 'Bank Holiday break, was signed by Mr Tsipras and Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

It cited “the extremely urgent and unforeseen need to protect the Greek financial system and the Greek economy due to the lack of liquidity caused by the Eurogroup’s decision on June 27 to refuse the extension of the loan agreement with Greece”.

Its key measures are the following:


Banks shut until July 6th 
All Greek banks, including branches of foreign banks, will remain closed until after the referendum on the bailout proposals. The government says they will reopen on Tuesday July 7th.

ATM withdrawals limited to €60 a day
Cash machine withdrawals will be capped at €60 per card per day until July 6th, equivalent to €1,800 per month. Many machines are already reported to have run out of bank notes, although the government said ATMs should "operate normally again by Monday noon at the latest". The limit can be changed by the finance minister.

Foreign bank cards excepted from controls
The limits do not apply to people using a credit or debit card issued in a foreign country. Thousands of foreign tourists currently staying in Greece could still be affected by cash machines running dry, however, and the finance minister could yet set withdrawal limits here too.

Stock exchange closed on Monday
The Athens stock exchange will not open on Monday.

Pensions and wages 'unaffected'
Pension payments will be exempt from the bank transaction restrictions, while there will be "no problem for wages paid electronically into bank accounts", the statement said.

Bank card payments operating 'as normal'
Paying by credit or debit card in shops and between Greek bank accounts should continue to work as normal.

Internet banking 'unaffected'
The government statement said online transactions inside Greece will not be affected.

Foreign transfers prohibited
Transfers of money to destinations outside Greece are prohibited and will require approval from a Ministry of Finance commission.

Other transactions subject to approval
A new banking transactions approval committee will have to approve, on a case-by-case basis, any urgent transactions deemed "necessary to safeguard a public or social interest", such as medical expenses or pharmaceutical imports.

Interest surcharges prohibited
Interest surcharges on due payments are prohibited during the period of closure.

Are there penalties for banks breaching controls?
Banks breaching the rules face fines of up to 10 per cent of the amount of any transaction violating the control measures.

What will happen after July 6th?
The statement allows for the "bank holiday period" to be extended – or shortened – by the finance minister. A lot will depend on the outcome of the referendum on July 5th.