Greece says banks can tap further 10 bln euros in emergency funds

Greek banks have been given approval to tap an additional 10 billion euros in emergency funding over an existing ceiling if necessary, a Greek government official said in a statement on Thursday.

The European Central Bank on Wednesday abruptly cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return for funding, leaving Greek banks reliant on the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) line offered by the national central bank, Bank of Greece.

The cap was on money that Bank of Greece could lend under the ELA.

The official reiterated that the ECB’s earlier move was designed to add pressure on all parties involved in talks and that Athens would not succumb to pressure to change its policies.

“Greece does not aim to blackmail anyone but will not be blackmailed either,” the official said. “The ECB’s decision … is an act of political pressure to quickly reach a deal.”