Christodoulakis: Capital controls will be lifted by end of 2015

Christodoulakis: Capital controls will be lifted by end of 2015

Athens, September 7, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Incentives to reverse the draining of the banking system and the relaxation of capital controls, heralded, from Thessaloniki, the caretaker Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, in his speech at the dinner hosted by the Commerce and Industry Chamber (TCCI), on the occasion of the general Assembly of the Central Union of Greek Chambers.

“We want to form two new products. First, to facilitate the repayment of loans to households and businesses in a way that will not affect the market value of loans that banks transfer to the ELA. If this is done, we will have significant liquidity.

Second, we examine incentives to return deposits people hold in their households and start to reverse the drain of the banking system, he said, but did not elaborate further details.

“Oxygenation” of business to avert a refugee wave

Referring to the problems created by capital controls, the minister said: We are government limited in time and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are living in limited oxygen conditions. We want to see how it will enhance their oxygenation to avert an economic refugee waves.

As he said, he believes that by next week there will be significant easing of the pressures currently faced by SMEs.

The following steps are taken to this end: the transfer for the next few days of the daily limit per bank if it is not reached (weekly), the service of imports requests up to 5,000 euros from the banks themselves, the intensive “cleansing” of requests stagnating in the competent Committee of the BoG, the easing of the possibility for online transactions abroad for the purchase of products, as well as the codification of the framework of capital controls.

When will capital controls be lifted?

“If these things are done, it is reasonable to assume that capital controls will be lifted in their great majority by the end of 2015, provided that there will be political stability and there won’t be any more ‘acrobatic’ moves”, he noted.

Christodoulakis argued that the main problem of the country was that it ravaged its productive potential. “This problem must be resolved by the government resulting from the elections. There is no right, left and centrist disinvestment. The divestment is one and is dealt with money”.

Money should go to investments, not to the bars of Mykonos

Christodoulakis further stated that public money is good and useful but a few. “In order for Greece to get back to the production capability of 2009, new investments in the region of EUR 100 billion will be needed.

If we are smart and succeed to getting EUR 20 bn. Euros from the NSRF, both the old and the new, the country will still be missing EUR 80 billion of private investment over the next five years. What we should focus on is how to find people with money, both domestic and foreigners, to invest in the country, instead of going [to spend their money] in the bars of Mykonos”, he said.

In connection with the new developmental law, he said: We have decided the new developmental law to turn to new directions, providing significant assistance to those businesses that create jobs.