Emergency banking controls prevent Greek customers from renewing their iCloud subscriptions, buying on iTunes/App Stores

Given the enormity of the financial meltdown in Greece, not being able to make iCloud or iTunes purchases is rather a long way down the list of the country’s problems – but for those with data stored on iCloud, not being able to renew a subscription could put that data at risk.

For those outside Europe who may not have seen too much news coverage, a combination of a long history of low levels of tax collection and the global financial crash has left Greece unable to pay its international debts. To prevent a collapse of the Greek banking system, the government has put strict controls in place, including maximum cash withdrawals of €60 ($66) a day – and a complete ban on overseas payments or transfers.

As payments from Greek subscribers are processed outside the country, this means that Apple cannot legally accept payments from anyone with a Greek account. One Bloomberg staffer learnt about this very directly when they received an email from Apple telling them their iCloud renewal had failed.

“On June 30, we tried to charge your account for your iCloud space of 20GB, but there is a problem with your payment details,” said one e-mail received by Bloomberg News staff based in Athens. “If we don’t manage to renew your subscription, your account will be downgraded to the free 5GB space program.”

Via Business Insider