Bank withdrawals surge, govt revenue slumps as Greece defies creditors

Reuters Athens/Luxembourg | Updated on January 24, 2018

Bank withdrawals accelerated and government revenue slumped as Greece defied its international creditors on Thursday, escalating a debt crisis that may reach a climax at a European Union summit next week.

Savers pulled out some €2 billion between Monday and Wednesday, senior banking sources told Reuters, double the amount that the European Central Bank granted Greek banks in extra emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) for the whole week.

The IMF meanwhile dashed any hope that Greece could avert default if it fails to repay a €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) loan by the end of June, piling pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who showed no sign of yielding to the lenders.

If deposit flight continues to outpace ELA, it could force Greece to impose capital controls, as Cyprus did in 2013, to ration cash withdrawals and stop money fleeing the country.

The €2 billion taken out in just three days represents about 1.5 per cent of total household and corporate deposits of €133.6 billion held by Greek banks as of end-April.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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