The IMF Steering Board is expected to discuss the results of the Fund’s post-memorandum mission in Athens in early March, while the report is expected for later in the next month.
During the regular briefing of journalists, IMF spokesman Jerry Rice was asked about the Greek economy and, in particular, about the state of the Greek banking system, with reference to the recent statements by the Vice-President of the Government Yiannis Dragasagis on recapitalization.
In addition, Jerry Rice reported an acceleration in growth rates (2.4% the latest forecast), although downside risks, including the fiscal sphere, are boosted.
Banks and nonperforming loans
In particular, for the issue of banks, he said that he has nothing more to add to what was reported in the recent announcement by the Fund, according to which:
“The restoration of credit expansion in favor of growth will require rapid, integrated and well-coordinated actions to restore balance sheets. Co-ordinated steps from key stakeholders are needed to support banks’ efforts to achieve a faster reduction in NPLs. Authorities should review the design of the household insolvency framework and facilitate the efficient use of online auctions and out-of-court settlements. Public finances could support market-based efforts to reduce non-performing loans, but the cost-effectiveness of such a strategy should be assessed globally, including its impact on bank balance sheets and debt. These steps, combined with other efforts, such as improving internal governance, will help restore profitability and develop capitals and liquidity reserves”./IBNA