Greece Debt Crisis: Greek banks set to reopen, curbs on withdrawals modifiedIBTimes UK

Banks in Greece are poised to reopen for the first time in three weeks and long queues of customers are expected.

The banks were shut after a bitter standoff with European authorities over the debt crisis. Capital controls which were imposed are set to stay for some more time.

Restrictions on withdrawal of money will also be in place, but with a modification. Instead of €60 a day, Greeks would now be able to draw €420 (£290) as a weekly allowance in a single transaction.

VAT rates on restaurant food and public transport have also been raised aimed at boosting the confidence of creditors.

"Capital controls and restrictions on withdrawals will remain in place but we are entering a new stage which we all hope will be one of normality," Louka Katseli, the chief of Greece's banking association, told Skai television.

"Tomorrow when the banks reopen and normality is restored, let's all help our economy."

"If we take our money out of chests and from our homes - where they are not safe in any case - and we deposit them in the banks, we will strengthen the liquidity of the economy."

The banks were closed to prevent a run potentially crippling Greece's already fragile economic system. As much as €1.6bn was being withdrawn on a single day in the run up to the deadlock when it was feared that Greece could exit the single currency zone.

Merkel's offer

Meanwhile, Germany has said they are ready to consider offering further debt concessions for Greece and urged Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to act quickly.

In an interview with the German broadcaster ARD, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "There are things that we have discussed with all of the Greek governments since 2010 that have never been done, but that have been done in other countries like Portugal and Ireland."

"Greece has already been given relief. We had a voluntary haircut among the private creditors and we then extended maturities once and reduced interest rates."

"And we can now talk about such possibilities again ... once the first successful review of the programme to be negotiated has been completed then exactly this question will be discussed – not now but then."