Stournaras: The government should proceed with changes

Stournaras: The government should proceed with changes

Athens, June 16, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The government should proceed with changes, argued the governor of the Bank of Greece (BoG), Yannis Stournaras, during the tabling of the Monetary Policy Report 2015-2016 to the presidency of the House.

Addressing the President of Parliament, Nikos Voutsis, the central banker of Greece noted that “the government must make changes in privatizations, reforms that increase the intensity of competition in goods and services, but also to address NPLs, together with the BoG and commercial banks”.

Furthermore, he estimated that “next week, the ECB – probably – will approve the return of the exception, thus accepting Greek bonds in the normal financing from the Eurosystem”. This, he explained, will improve confidence, and “constitutes the beginning of a new road that allows us to view the economy with greater optimism”.

Among other things, Mr Stournaras referred to the primary surpluses, noting that the target should be reduced to 2% with parallel debt restructuring, “which will not cause damage to the lenders but will be a situation where both the borrower (ie Greece), and the lenders would benefit”.

As regards relations between the government and the Bank of Greece, he noted that “it is much better today” than it was before half a year ago.

He also made special mention to the risks involved, expressing his concern for both the refugees and for the possibility of Britain leaving the EU, while he appeared anxious for the issue of high taxation. “We have to see how we can counterbalance the recessionary effects of these risks”, he noted meaningful.

For his part, Mr Voutsis noted that now “an optimistic environment is being formed”, since “issues are under discussion which some time ago, half a year ago at least, they were not considered part of the agenda”.

“We hope with the help of the BoG, on issues related much more to society, which has suffered all these years, to quickly find positive solutions for the socially weak”, he said and cited as an example the issue of red loans and code of conduct.

The House Speaker also made reference to capital controls, asking for a road map, which would provide for the escape from the current status, as soon as possible.