Since June 29, Greece and its citizens have been heavily restricted in matters of finance. They were calling it “capital control,” and essentially all financial transactions, from businesses transferring money to pay for goods, to ordinary people withdrawing money to pay for food or other such daily needs, were tightly limited. Businesses were weighed down with having to go through a special committee to get payments for bills approved.
Friday, however, that all began to change. Reuters reports that Greek banks have raised the daily limit on money transfers from 50,000 Euros to 100,000 Euros, allowing businesses to transfer more money for goods. Yannis Stournaras, central bank governor, said conditions were improving, and that Greek imports were near levels the “economy was registering before the crisis.”
As far as approvals are concerned, we are now very close to the monthly imports the Greek economy was registering before the crisis
During the control, citizens were only allowed to withdraw 60 euros ($66) a day for fear that people would withdraw all of their money. On Monday though, banks reopened after receiving a 7.2 billion euro bridging loan, allowing people to withdraw several days worth at once, reports the Economic Times.
The shipping industry also won out on Friday. The government issued a decree allowing them to withdraw 50,000 euros a day in cash. This comes at a much need time, according to some professional associations, where thousands of shipping containers remain rooted in Greek docks because of unpaid bills.
In total, Greek business were shut down for about three weeks. This reportedly cost them somewhere in the area of 3 billion euros, according to the head of Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry Constantinos Michalos. Although restrictions are being lifted, creditors are demanding austerity guarantees over the long road ahead.