Greek banks reopen, taxes soar

Added On July 22, 2015

 After a three-week bank closure, the doors of all 2,500 Greek bank branches across the country have reopened. 

But, strict limits on cash withdrawals and higher taxes suggest that the economic outlook for the country was far from back to normal. 
Greek banks reopened on Monday for the first time in three weeks with capital controls remaining in place.
Despite the banks' reopening, for most Greeks, Monday was all about rising prices as tax hikes demanded by creditors took effect.
Value-added tax has gone up from 13 percent to 23 percent on a wide range of goods and services.
The tax hikes are part of the tough reform package agreed last week in exchange for a three-year bailout of up to 86 billion euros aimed at keeping Greece from crashing out of the eurozone.
The austerity measures also include pension cuts and other reforms that the Greek government had to introduce for negotiations to begin on a crucial third bailout. 
In response to last week's parliamentary vote backing the austerity measures, the European Central Bank raised the amount of liquidity assistance on offer to Greek banks, paving the way for them to reopen Monday. 
The European Union also sent a three-month loan to Athens, enabling the government to repay a 4.2-billion-euro debt to the European Central Bank on Monday and to clear its arrears of about 2 billion euros with the IMF.
Both institutions confirmed they had been repaid.