Greek banks to re-open Monday as Tsipras eyes new start
By Karolina Tagaris
ATHENS (Reuters) - The Greek government ordered banks to open on Monday, three weeks after they were shut down to prevent the system collapsing under a flood of withdrawals, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looked to the start of new bailout talks next week.
The decree to re-open the banks came hours after new ministers were sworn in following a cabinet reshuffle in which Tsipras replaced dissident members of his ruling Syriza party following a revolt over the tough bailout terms.
In a move that marked a split with the main leftist faction in the ruling Syriza party, Tsipras sacked hardline former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and two deputy ministers following a party rebellion in which 39 Syriza lawmakers withheld support from the government over the package.
Panos Skourletis, a close Tsipras ally who left the labor ministry to take over the vital energy portfolio, said the reshuffle marked "an adjustment by the government to a new reality".
The reshuffle allowed Tsipras to replace cabinet rebels with allies of his own or from his junior coalition partners, the right-wing Independent Greeks party.
The first action of the new cabinet was to sign off on a decree to reopen banks on Monday with slightly more flexible withdrawal limits that allow a maximum of 420 euros a week in place of the strict limit of 60 euros a day currently in place.
But restrictions on transfers abroad and other capital controls remain in place.
The move had been widely expected after the European Central Bank agreed to re-open the emergency credit lines which the tottering Greek banking sector needs to survive. Continued...