What if no deal surfaces? Capital controls for Greece are a certainty. Here is what they may look like…

No deal? Here is what capital controls will look like in Greece. Via Open Europe…

How would Greek capital controls be implemented and what form might they take?

It’s likely that such controls would need to be brought in over the course of a weekend, though I expect they may also need to be combined with some bank holidays anyway

  • Cash/ATM withdrawal limits: This would be a vital control in order to halt the huge outflow of deposits which has been taking place and which will pick up if a deal isn’t struck soon. In Cyprus the limit was set at €300 per person per day. However, I suspect ones in Greece may go even lower. This is because Greece is suffering from serious domestic withdrawals while the primary concern in Cyprus was foreign outflows.
  • Foreign transfer controls: The aim here would be to limit the amount that people can transfer abroad from Greece in one go and also over a set period. Obviously some transfers are needed for businesses to function so there would need to be a process by which businesses related (and other verified) transactions could still go through.
  • Time requirements or taxes: Other options or versions of the above include taxing certain withdrawals or foreign transactions heavily. This has the advantage of potentially creating a revenue stream for the government, though it may come at a very high cost. The government could also decree time limits on certain deposits or investments in an attempt to limit withdrawals indirectly.
  • Physical controls: Obviously with free movement within the EU it would be quite easy for people to move large amounts of cash or assets across borders. As such there will need to be checks and limits on the amount of cash people can take abroad with them. This may also have to extend to assets. For example, someone could purchase a car and then try and drive across a border and sell it on. This is tricky to police but some attempts may well be made.


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Abraham Seggfej
Abraham Seggfej
June 15, 2015

Greece must do what Iceland did. There is no other viable choice on offer. This EU has almost destroyed Greece moreover, if the Gov of Greece carries on with the same dithering, that Nation will have a very slow & painful disintegration and death. Procrastination is the worst of all actions.

Yanis Varoufakis estimates a Grexit could cost the world more than a trillion euros in losses

Firm red lines. No weekend deal between Athens and the Troika