Greeks withdraw money from banks as worries grow

A man makes his way next to a replica of a one drachma coin outside the Athens Town Hall Greeks have been taking cash out of their bank accounts amid fears the country may not keep the euro

Greeks withdrew 700m euros ($894m; £560m) from the country's banks in the week ending on Monday, according to the Greek president.

The action comes as fears increase that the country may be forced out of the eurozone and on to a weaker currency.

Greece's president Karolos Papoulias revealed the outflows of cash in talks with rival political leaders.

He said the head of the Greek central bank had told him there was no panic yet, but that this could change.

Mr Papoulias said that the central bank governor, George Provopoulos, had said that the banks' situation was very difficult and that the banking system was currently very weak.

"Mr Provopoulos told me there was no panic, but there was great fear that could develop into a panic," the president was quoted as saying in minutes of the meetings with political leaders.

Uncertainty about the country's future has intensified after Greece's political parties failed to form a coalition government this week.

Recent elections saw votes widely split between parties, and another round of elections will now be held in June.

In February, former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said Greeks had deposited 16bn euros overseas, including "32% in British banks and 10% in Swiss banks".

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