Stournaras eyes QE entry by end-2016
Greece expects to take part in the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program at the end of the year, Greek Central Bank Governor Yannis Stournaras said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday. Participation in the ECB’s massive quantitative easing scheme would mark another key step toward normalizing Greece’s battered economy, which remains in recession, weighed down by capital controls and austerity measures linked to its third multibillion-euro bailout program. “Realistically, I could see something like that at the end of the year,” Stournaras, who is also a member of the ECB’s Governing Council, was quoted as telling Avgi newspaper. “Most of the governors wish to see a sustainability analysis for the Greek debt first,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we have to wait for the Eurogroup to do it. The ECB can do the debt analysis.” The ECB reinstated Greek banks’ access to cheap funding operations last month after more than a year on an emergency lifeline. The banks lost their access to the ECB’s regular funding operations early last year when Greece came close to being ejected from the eurozone. Greek banks saw a 42 billion euro deposit outflow from December to July last year.
Conference tourism. Conferences fetch 95 million euros to Athens per year, City Hall has announced, with the view that conference tourism is a key route toward financial growth and attracting revenues to the Greek capital. The City of Athens has just allocated almost 600,000 euros to its international promotion for conferences.