Prime Minister announces complete abolition of capital controls

Prime Minister announces complete abolition of capital controls

The Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced the complete abolition of capital controls.

Today in his speech, he stated “in cooperation with the Bank of Greece, we are fully restoring the normality in capital movements”. He went on to attack the Tsipras government, saying that “the first half of 2015 resulted to the loss of tens of billions of euros, with the phenomenon reaching its peak in June, when the banks were shut down and restrictions were forced on capital movements and cash withdrawals. The elections have restored the confidence in our banking system… Today, a period of insecurity is coming to an end and capital controls are being abolished, while at the same time the country enters a new period of optimism”, Mitsotakis concluded. Immediately afterwards, the Minister in-charge, Christos Staikouras, tabled the amendment.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the bill on the protection of personal information on the internet. The country, he commented, is coordinating with the acquis communautaire, the implementation of which has been delayed for 14 months and has resulted to a 5500 euros fine per day.

The bill’s arrangements, the prime minister said, “are critical and necessary, as they comprise steps towards growth, modernization and democracy, which constitute ingredients of our government.”

He went on to say that the government’s legislative initiatives so far have shown the readiness of the government. He specifically referred to the removal of gaseous combustible materials from the plot in Mati, but also to the renegotiation of the state television’s rights on football matches, which led to a saving of 35 million euros; and, despite the objections, the championship kicked off on schedule. He also noted that “the everyday battle with this summer’s fire incidents is proof of our daily presence by the citizens’ side”.

The bills submitted by the government highlight its readiness as well as the implementation of its commitments earlier than expected. The prime minister commented that today’s personal information bill is being processed towards the same direction, while adding that the government takes steps according to its speed and effect plan. “This is how we moved during our first 40 days, and that is how we are going to be moving over the next four years; by following a program, with consistency and by producing measurable outcome”, he said.

“Protecting personal data online is a crucial and pivotal area for the economy and for democracy”, the prime minister underlined, while adding: “Free communication in an open world is a necessity of our times, and protection of personal information is equally urgent… In this field, Europe has been a pioneer and has even imposed fines on large companies. One wonders how a government, that allegedly proclaimed personal rights, left citizens unprotected for 14 months… Therefore, it constitutes an important step towards modernizing the country and at the same time it is regarded as a social responsibility step… What the new framework actually offers is that it establishes order in the cloudy areas of the internet that remain uncontrolled. No one will be able to use someone else’s data without their consent and no employer will be able to use employee data against them; the citizens’ personal data will only concern themselves. Anyone who has been handling large amounts of data for unknown purposes up until now, will think twice. Those who abide by the rules will gain prestige and confidence. The right to free information is harmonized with the protection of personal data”.

Finally, he called for the bill to be voted on by everyone, a fact that could be used as an argument before the European Court of Justice. /ibna