Greece imposes capital controls, banks to remain shut

Updated: 2015-06-29 06:43


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Greece imposes capital controls, banks to remain shut

People line up to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a National Bank branch in Iraklio on the island of Crete, Greece June 28, 2015. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday announced a bank holiday and capital controls after Greeks responded to his surprise call for a referendum on bailout terms by pulling money out of banks. [Photo/Agencies]

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn to date Sunday, with the prime minister announcing Greek banks would remain shut indefinitely and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals.

The decision came on the recommendation of the Bank of Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during a televised address to the nation. He didn't immediately say what types of capital controls would be imposed.

The developments have thrown into question Greece's financial future and continued membership in the 19-nation shared euro currency _ and even the European Union.

For the past two days, Greeks have been rushing to ATMs to withdraw money across the country following Tsipras' sudden weekend decision to call a referendum on creditor proposals for Greek reforms in return for vital bailout funds.

The government is urging Greeks to vote against the proposals, arguing that they are humiliating and that they would prolong the country's financial woes.

The referendum decision, which was ratified by parliament after a marathon 13-hour session that ended in the early hours of Sunday, shocked and angered Greece's European partners. The country's negotiations with its European creditors have been suspended, with both sides accusing each other of being responsible.

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