The last thing Greece needs: a run on its banks

Don’t panic.
Don’t panic.
Image: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza
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Following Alexis Tspiras’ announcement that Greeks will vote on whether to accept the country’s international creditors’ bailout terms, many are rushing to ATMs to withdraw their cash.

Bloomberg reports that as of Saturday morning, as many as 500 of the country’s ATMs were completely drained of cash, and that one institution had lost €110 million ($123 million) by 11:30 am in Athens.

That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the €35 billion of deposits withdrawn from Greece’s banks between between November 2014 and May 2015, but it doesn’t bode well for the country’s flailing financial institutions.

Greek banks have dealt with the drain by relying heavily on “emergency liquidity assistance,” with the blessing of the European Central Bank—but Tsipras has come out against the conditions of a further bailout.

Tonight, members of parliament will vote on whether to proceed with the referendum, and ask Greeks to decide whether to accept creditors’ austerity measures.

Incidentally, inside parliament is where freelance journalist Dimitris Bounias reported seeing the longest ATM line.