Greece ends crisis-era capital controls

International

People use the ATMs of a bank in central Athens, Monday, Aug. 26, 2017. Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says the country will soon lift the last remaining restrictions imposed on bank depositors more than four years ago at the height of the country’s financial crisis. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has formally ended the last remaining banking restrictions imposed four years ago during a financial crisis that saw the country nearly crash out of the eurozone.

The decision announced last week took full effect Monday as limits were lifted on international business transactions, overseas cash withdrawals and money sent to students studying abroad, among other cash curbs.

Capital controls were imposed in 2015 during a standoff between international bailout lenders and the previous Greek government that triggered a three-week closure of Greek banks and severe limits placed on cash withdrawals. Greece eventually signed up to a third consecutive bailout agreement and the banking restrictions were later gradually dismantled.

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted that “the abolition of capital controls is a necessary condition to attracting investment and growth.”

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