ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest on Greece’s financial crisis (all times local):
Lawmakers from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Greek bailout agreement ahead of a parliamentary ballot Friday.
At a meeting that lasted 5 hours, 48 lawmakers dissented, while some 250 backed the deal.
Members of the Social Democrats, Merkel’s coalition partner, also strongly supported the agreement at their own meeting, meaning it will likely pass Friday.
Greek banks are going to reopen Monday after being closed for three weeks but there’s one catch — customers can’t actually withdraw money except at ATMs.
Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas says bank customers “can deposit cash, they can transfer money from one account to the other” but withdrawal restrictions will remain.
Customers can still only take out 60 euros ($67) a day in cash. But Mardas says Greek authorities are working on a plan to allow people rollover access to their funds so if they don’t make it to a cash machine one day, the next day they can take out 120 euros.
He promised more detailed information on the continued withdrawal restrictions over the weekend.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is urging Greece’s creditors to make sure the struggling country emerges from negotiations with debts it can manage.
The International Monetary Fund has already labeled Greece’s debts unsustainable and called for generous debt relief.
Lew met Thursday with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble in Berlin and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin in Paris. He expressed support for the Greek debt deal, saying it restores trust between Greece and its creditors and could help keep Greece in the common euro currency.
Lew, in telephone calls with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, urged the Greeks to “fully” implement the budget cuts and economic reforms they had agreed to.
The head of euro-region finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is seeking to ease concerns over a new financing deal for Greece.
Dijsselbloem said European Union members not using the shared euro currency would be given guarantees for contributing to a bridging loan for Greece. The move follows strong objections raised by Britain toward helping bail out a eurozone member.
The EU has 28 nations but only 19 of them, including Greece, use the euro. Greece got a bridge loan so it can make a 4.2 billion-euro ($4.6 billion) payment to the European Central Bank on Monday.
Dijsselbloem, who was meeting in Berlin with German lawmakers late Thursday, also shot down talk of continued support for a Greek euro exit by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
He said: “If you reach an agreement after such long and hard talks, you have to stand behind it. And that goes for all sides.”
Greece’s government says the
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