Greek Exports Hurt by Capital Controls

EXAGOGES FORTHGAGreek exporting companies could lose 80 million euros per week after the imposition of capital controls and the closing of banks, estimates the Panhellenic Exporters Association (PSE).

Also, PSE predicts a shortage of imported goods adding up to 600 million euros per week, according to Greek newspaper “Kathimerini.”

An emergency meeting of the PSE board of directors was held on Wednesday to assess the market situation after three days of closed banks and capital controls, and decide on actions to curb losses.

It is estimated that exports will drop by about 7% within the next two weeks while imports will drop by 28%. This will put an end to a rising trend of exports and lead to significant shortages in the local market, initially in machinery and spare parts, and then in fresh products, mainly meat and cheese, the report said.

Another problem exporters face, according to PSE President Christina Sakellaridi, is that foreign buyers of Greek products are receiving warnings from their banks that the money they forward to Greece for the payment of their Greek suppliers may be tied down and never reach the Greek businesses. Some Greek food exporters have already advised their clients in the United States against sending any money to Greek bank accounts, as they don’t know whether their money will reach the sellers or not.

According to the report, among the measures that PSE is considering is the formation of a special committee to examine the demands of exporters for payments at all of Greece’s commercial banks, the exemption of money forwarded to Greece for the payment of product and service exports from time-consuming procedures, and to be informed by commercial banks about regional branches that will accept checks from export businesses.