Islands protest as Greek bank shuts down branches


Alpha bank

Greece’s Alpha Bank unexpectedly shut down its branches on the islands of Tilos, Kasos and Lipsoi on Monday without any prior warning.

According to the mayors of the islands, the bank informed them without any prior notice by fax on Monday, which will now force local residents to travel by boat for hours to a nearby island to get their banking done.

The mayors of the three islands sent a joint letter to Deputy Shipping and Island Policy Minister Nektarios Santorinios, protesting the move to close the bank branches and the ATMS.

Alpha Banks decision takes effect ás of next month, leaving the islands without any banks or ATM machines, the mayors said.

"We genuinely can't understand the thinking behind this decision," reads the letter, which has also been sent to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

"We cannot understand the fact that from now on every islander will need to travel by sea for hours to pay any ten-euro government charge, or to pay a bill, or to conduct any sort of banking transaction," the letter adds.

Alpha Bank was not immediately available for comment.