Greeks withdrew more than EUR 1 billion (USD 1.1 billion) from banks today, the second day of such mass withdrawals from ATMs in Greece, signaling fears are rising that the country could not be able to reach a deal with its creditors next Monday.
Banking sources told Reuters that the withdrawals on Friday amounted to EUR 1.2 billion (USD 1.3 billion). This the second day in a row during which cash withdrawals in Greece exceed EUR 1 billion. On Thursday, the sum pulled out totalled EUR 1.1 billion (USD 1.2 billion). As a result, the amount withdrawn by Greeks since last weekend exceeds USD 4.5 billion, estimates by NBC News show.
Excluding today’s withdrawals, the sum pulled out from ATMs since last weekend equalled 2.2% of household and corporate deposits at the end of April 2015.
The nation’s population is concerned that the country may default on a $1.8 billion loan payment to the International Monetary Fund, forcing the country into bankruptcy and possibly leading to the so called “Grexit”, or Greece’s exit from the eurozone.
The Bank of Greece issued a stark warning on Wednesday, saying a failure to reach an agreement with the creditors could lead to “an uncontrollable crisis, with great risks for the banking system and financial stability. An exit from the euro would only compound the already adverse environment, as the ensuing acute exchange rate crisis would send inflation soaring”.
IMF’s chief Christine Lagarde added to doubts about Greece’s financial future by saying that there would be no grace period for the debt payment due on June 30, 2015.
Many Greeks are concerned that there would be capital controls imposed soon, analogical to those introduced in Cyprus in 2013, when there were limits on cash withdrawals. Bankers told Reuters they expect the situation to worsen on Monday.