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Greece Extends Bank Closures For Days

Posted: Jul 7, 2015 at 4:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Greece is to extend the bank holiday for a few more days despite promises that branches would reopen today.

Yanis Varoufakis, who quit as finance minister on Monday, had said that banks would open Tuesday.

But an official decree to be issued later will see the bank holiday extended for a few more days.

Meanwhile, Greece’s top negotiator in aid talks with creditors, Euclid Tsakalotos, will be sworn in as finance minister a Greek presidency source said.

“Tsakalotos will be sworn in with the political oath as finance minister,” the presidency official said.

The Greek people rejected a tough new bailout deal on Sunday, with 61 percent snubbing demands for further austerity measures.

Creditors had wanted more spending cuts in exchange for extending the country’s multibillion euro bailout deal until November.

George Osborne told Members of Parliament (MPs) the Government would “do whatever necessary to protect the UK’s economic security” following the vote.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the result a “victory of democracy” and said the Greek people had made a “very brave choice.”

But Mr. Varoufakis quit soon afterwards, saying he had been “made aware” some members of the eurozone did not want him at the meetings of finance ministers.

He added: “I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”

Mr. Tsipras met on Monday with the leaders of six of the seven parties represented in Parliament at the presidential palace.

He then spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and agreed to discuss new proposals on Tuesday.

He also chatted on the phone with French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Putin told him that he supports the Greek people in their efforts to “overcome difficulties.”

Speaking in the Commons, George Osborne said the Government had contacted more than 2,000 people in Greece who receive UK pensions to reassure them that their payments would not be affected by the crisis.

He said they had been given advice on opening non-Greek bank accounts and that UK businesses exposed to the economic turbulence were getting guidance.

Mr. Osborne reiterated travel advice, urging holidaymakers to take enough cash to cover their trip and prescription medication, amid reports of shortages in Greece.

Mr. Tsipras has promised to return to the negotiating table to push for better terms from Greece’s creditors – the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

The government said it believes a new bailout deal could be possible with the next 48 hours.

Mr Tsipras also stressed the referendum did not necessarily mean Athens would leave the euro – polls show most people in Greece want to stay in the currency union.

No country has ever left the 19-member eurozone.

An emergency summit of leaders and finance ministers from all eurozone countries will take place today.