Greek Minister Warns Banks Are Unlikely to Open this Week



greek banksThe extension of the bank holiday until Wednesday, July 8, which was decided on Monday, is likely to carry on for the rest of the week.

In an interview to Greek radio on Tuesday, Alternate Administrative Reform Minister Giorgos Katrougalos warned that banks are unlikely to open this week.

“Decisions need to be taken this week so that banks can open. Not open this week -technically, this is probably impossible- but they can enter a normalization path. The economy cannot work without the banks. I hope it will not take weeks. It is not possible to go more than one week with closed banks, we are already late,” he said.

Greece has been under a capital controls regime since June 28 with the maximum daily withdrawal limit set at 60 euros per account while pensioners are eligible to collect 120 euros per week.

The Greek Minister put the blame on the European Central Bank for not increasing the limit of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), currently capped at 89 billion euros, prior to the referendum and argued that the ECB could still make this decision.

“The ECB does not doubt the solvency of the banks, meaning their capital sufficiency,” he noted. “The problem we are facing here was first and foremost a liquidity problem, which could have been dealt with. By not dealing with it immediately, by not increasing liquidity, an avalanche occurred.”


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