July 8, 2015
‘NO’ supporters dance a Greek traditional dance in front of the parliament late on July 5, 2015 in Athens after early results showed those who rejected further austerity measures in a crucial bailout referendum were poised to win. Greek voters headed to the polls July 5 to vote in a historic, tightly-fought referendum on whether to accept worsening austerity measures in exchange for more bailout funds, in a gamble that could see the country crash out of the euro. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
BRUSSELS (AP) — The latest on the Greek financial crisis (all times Brussels local):
A Greek official has conceded that the country’s banks are unlikely to reopen this week despite an earlier pledge to do so.
George Katrougalos, a minister for administrative reform, told a radio station Tuesday in Athens that a decision must be made to reopen the banks, but “that’s probably is not technically possible this week.”
The government announced bank closures and withdrawal restrictions June 28 and extended them through Wednesday.
A cash shortage is looming, however, as Greeks and tourists drain as much cash as they can from ATMs. The European Central Bank refused Monday to increase the amount of credit that Greek banks can draw on.
The White House says President Barack Obama and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke by phone Tuesday morning.
It’s the first known phone call between the two leaders since the weekend referendum in which Greece rejected creditor proposals that included more austerity measures.
The White House has said it’s in Europe’s interest to reach a resolution that puts Greece on the path toward economic growth and stability.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s message to the Greeks was blunt as he arrived at an emergency eurozone summit in Brussels: We can only help you if you want to be helped.
Rutte, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told reporters Tuesday he was “extremely somber about this summit. I’m also somber about the question of whether Greece really wants to come up with proposals, with a solution.”
Rutte refused to say if a Grexit — a Greek exit from using the euro currency — was looming. But he said he was at the summit not only for Greece but also for the euro currency used by 19 of the European Union’s 28 nations.
“I am at the table here today to ensure that the integrity, the cohesion, the underlying principles of the single currency are protected,” he said. “And it is really up to the Greek government to come up with far-reaching proposals. If they don’t do that, then I think it will be over quickly.”
The eurozone’s top official says Greece would make a proposal to tap Europe’s bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, as soon as Wednesday.
Following the conclusion of the meeting of the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed that the new Greek finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, did not deliver any fresh written proposals for a bailout deal that would help the country avoid falling out of the euro.
Dijsselbloem said he “broadly agreed” that Greece needs more than a short-term financial fix.
“The ministers also broadly agreed that if there is to be another ESM program with support it would have to be a medium term program for reasons of credibility,” he said.
The eurozone, he added, would first have to assess the financial situation in Greece before deciding to start talks on a possible new aid program.