Banks in Greece stayed shut on Monday as officials scrambled to prevent the country's financial system from collapsing in panic.
Account holders were also facing tough limits on what they can withdraw from ATMs, and trading in Greek stocks and bonds was also halted. The measures were announced Sunday as Greece slid rapidly toward default and exit from the eurozone.
European leaders are now facing one of the worst moments in the history of the euro. President Obama called German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, and the two agreed to take all steps to try to resolve the crisis.
The trigger for the rapid escalation in the crisis was the Greek government's decision late Friday to pull its negotiators out of bailout talks.
- Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slammed a draft proposal from Europe and the International Monetary Fund, and said he would put it to the Greek people in a referendum on July 5.
- Since then, European officials have been focusing their efforts on how to limit the damage. The European Central Bank said Sunday it would provide no new emergency support to Greek banks.
- The crisis in Greece now has the full attention of investors around the world and they don't like what they see.
European markets were hammered early Monday morning, with both the German DAX and French CAC opening 4.4% lower. Portugal's stock market was down nearly 6%, while Britain's FTSE fared better, shedding only 2%. Those losses were trimmed by late morning.
European bank stocks were particularly hard hit. Spain's Banco Santander (BCDRF) gave up 5.7% in early trading, while French bank Credit Agricole (CRARF) lost 6.7%.