ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece is anxiously awaiting a decision by the European Central Bank on whether to increase the emergency liquidity assistance banks can draw on from the country’s central bank.
Worried Greeks on Sunday kept lining up at ATM machines after the prime minister called Saturday for a referendum on creditors’ financial proposals in return for rescue loans and creditors refused to extend Greece’s international bailout beyond Tuesday.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ move has startled Greece’s European partners and thrown the country’s bailout negotiations with international lenders into turmoil.
If the ECB decides Sunday not to increase the emergency liquidity, which currently stands at just under 90 billion euros ($100 billion), Greece’s banks will soon run out of cash and restrictions on transactions will likely be imposed.
Parliament approved Tsipras’ referendum call early Sunday, with the national vote set for July 5.
A top Greek financial official urged Greeks on Sunday to remain calm and not withdraw all their savings.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry is advising travelers to Greece to ensure they have enough cash on them before they depart.
An updated version of the ministry’s travel advice issued Sunday noted that people seeking to withdraw cash in Greece could face “significant waits” and possible shortages at cash machines.