Greek ATMs will be empty on Monday -- unless Europe steps in

John Stewart caresses his dog Cuddles as he sits on 14th Street with a sign asking for help in New York October 27, 2014. Stewart has been homeless for 2.5 years and can't find a bed in a shelter because he refuses to give up his dog who he has had for 20 years. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriGreece is relying on the kindness of strangers — like John Stewart, pictured here with his dog Cuddles as he sits on 14th Street with a sign asking for help in New York.

The head of the Greek Banks Union just admitted that Greece’s ATMs will run dry by Monday unless Europe steps in and loans it more cash.

Strict capital controls were introduced in Greece last weekend limiting people to withdrawals of €60 (£42, $US66)a day and the country’s banks are reportedly down to their last €500 million (£355.6 million,$US555 million).

Now Reuters is reporting that the head of Greece’s banking association says banks have enough liquidity to last them through to Monday morning, but after that it is dependant on the European Central Bank (ECB) raising the cap on Greece’s use of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) scheme.

ELA provides emergency funding to banks and Greece’s financial system has been on this life support system for months. The IMF said on Thursday that Greece will need €50 billion (£35.5 billion, $US55.5 billion) over just the next three years to keep itself going.

If the ECB doesn’t let Greece borrow more money then ATMs in the country will stand empty. Capital has flown out of the country at insane speeds over the last few months — €5.6 billion (£3.98 billion, $US6.22 billion) was pulled out in April alone.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has assured people that banks will reopen once Greece agrees a deal, but how long that will take? Who knows. Now we know the banks may be empty when they reopen after all.

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