The Greek government closed all banks to prevent people from withdrawing all their money and crashing the banking system. Greek citizens could only withdraw €60 ($67) of their own money each day from ATMs. European authorities eventually gave Greece a bailout... and the crisis dropped from the headlines.
But here’s something you probably haven’t heard from the mainstream media….
It’s now been two months and Greek people still can’t fully access their own cash.
Greek banks are set to keep broad cash controls in place for months, until fresh money arrives from Europe and with it a sweeping restructuring, officials believe. “Broad cash controls” means Greek banks are essentially frozen. Greek people can withdraw only €420 ($460) per week of their own money.
More from Reuters:
The longer it takes, the more critical the banks’ condition becomes as a 420 euro ($460) weekly limit on cash withdrawals chokes the economy and borrowers’ ability to repay loans. “The banks are in deep freeze but the economy is getting weaker,” said one official, pointing to a steady rise in loans that are not being repaid.
Short on cash, Greek people have resorted to bartering….
A rising number of Greeks in rural areas are swapping goods and services in cashless transactions since the government shut down banks on June 28 for three weeks, restricted cash withdrawals and banned transfers abroad to halt a run on deposits and prevent a collapse of the banks.
Reuters reports how the Greek farmer is trying to survive the crisis:
Squeezed on all sides, the 41 year old farmer began informal bartering to get around the cash crunch. He now pays some of his workers in kind with his clover crop and exchanges equipment with other farmers instead of buying or renting machinery.
This is a good reminder of something we stress often: the government controls any money you have in the bank. It can decide you’re not allowed to touch your own money at any time. Or it can put severe restrictions on how much money you can take out, like the Greek government is doing right now.
We began this essay with a question: what will you do if you wake up tomorrow and your bank account is frozen? There’s no good answer. At that point, it’s too late. You need a plan in place before the government decides you can’t touch your own money.
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The article How to Make Sure the Government Can’t Freeze Your Bank Account was originally published at caseyresearch.com.
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