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Greece: Capital Controls Still On, Central Bank Calls on ECB to Show ‘Good Will’

ATM machine in Greece.Despite several changes announced last week to the capital controls which were implemented in July 2015 amid Greek political havoc and eurozone uncertainty, bank officials say the restrictions to our personal deposits will be with us most likely until the end of 2016.

The banking insiders, who added that they don’t expect any substantial changes before the second quarter of this year, said the obstacle to the phase-out of the limits is the “outstanding” assessment of the Greek program by its creditors.

At the same time, reluctant depositors are only heightening the problem. Banking authorities say there has so far been no trend indicating a return of deposits.

In the meantime, the Bank of Greece is stressing that only after two or three months of fixed rates can it propose to the European Central Bank (ECB) to lift restrictions and be able to provide sufficient guarantees to financial stability.

Central Bank sources however, told Greek daily To Vima, that the ECB could move ahead with a number of “good will” gestures, which would improve the overall market climate, including increasing the weekly withdrawal limit from 420 euros to 500 euros, updating the said limit each month to include allowances that have not been withdrawn with a cut-off point of 1,680 euros, attracting new cash flows, boosting the limit for imports to 20,000 euros, being able to change banks that handle payrolls, and allowing the transfer of share, bonds and securities portfolios abroad.

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