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Minister Stathakis: Banks in Greece Will Not Open This Week

Stathakis_bloombergBanks in Greece will open again once the European Central Bank (ECB) resumes its financing through the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) mechanism, Greek Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Shipping Minister George Stathakis told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

“This will take place once the parliaments in Greece, Germany and elsewhere vote for the new agreement,” he added. Germany will vote on Friday which means the banks will be closed for the rest of this week.

Minister Stathakis also said that capital controls will be lifted in a couple of months because it is a more complex issue.

When asked by Bloomberg’s Olivia Sterns, if depositors in Greece were going to have a “haircut”, the minister ruled out a “bail-in” that would reduce bank deposits, reminding that the agreement called for a 25 billion euro recapitalisation of Greek banks.

“It’s a direct bail-out system, so there is no way that a bail-in will ever take place”, he underlined.

In regards to the “privatisation fund” for Greek assets up to 50 billion euros that is to be set up in Athens and whether it was possible to raise that amount, Minister Stathakis said the new fund would operate more as a “guarantee fund” than a fund for large-scale privatisations which obviously do not exist.

As for the extent of austerity the new program will bring to the Greek people, the minister said he believes that the new program has less austerity than the previous one, since it calls for smaller primary surpluses.

He also said that a cabinet reshuffle will most likely take place right after the Hellenic Parliament votes on Wednesday night to pass legislation to implement the measures agreed in Brussels.

To see the whole interview of Minister Stathakis, press here.

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