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Saturday 19 October 2019

Greece ends banking restrictions imposed during financial crisis

The country almost crashed out of the eurozone.

The cupola and bells of an Orthodox church on the Greek island of Santorini (PA)
The cupola and bells of an Orthodox church on the Greek island of Santorini (PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

Greece has formally ended the last remaining banking restrictions imposed four years ago during a financial crisis that saw the country nearly crash out of the eurozone.

The decision announced last week took full effect on Monday as limits were lifted on international business transactions, overseas cash withdrawals and money sent to students studying abroad, among other cash curbs.

Capital controls were imposed in 2015 during a standoff between international bailout lenders and the previous Greek government that triggered a three-week closure of Greek banks and severe limits placed on cash withdrawals.

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The Porch of the Caryatids of the Erechtheum at The Acropolis (Nick Potts/PA)

Greece eventually signed up to a third consecutive bailout agreement and the banking restrictions were later gradually dismantled.

Conservative prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted that “the abolition of capital controls is a necessary condition to attracting investment and growth”.

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